Dodgers v Green Sox 1 July 2018 @ Belair Park

As Baldrick would say.

Another Sunday, another victory chalked up for the mighty Dodgers!

Playing Green Sox on a glorious day, on a less than glorious wicket at Belair park we were 8 fine souls, aided and abetted by 2 (decent) loanees form GS. Via prior agreement we were given the option of setting a total for GS to have a go at chasing, with a BBQ promised post game (yum, yum).

The day began in fine style as despite the considerable vagaries of the pitch, the surroundings are excellent and which were further improved by the chaps from Belair House kindly setting up both several seats and even a small marquee for the scorer! Scenes...

Turning to the game itself, Mike and loanee 1 (Chris) opened up and set a good pace against the oppo's openers with Chris eventually falling playing an aggressive shot to GS's left arm spinner resulting in a catch. Mike continued and was briefly joined by both TQ and Rob C making his seasonal debut but both we soon back in the hutch with TQ getting a full straight one and Rob trying to pull a shortish one which popped up off the top edge and was safely pouched by midwicket. This brought Milind to the crease who tells me he's keen to work on his batting this season, and by way of illustration seemed intent on dealing in boundaries with the majority of his quickfire 24 coming via that route, including a super pull for 6 over square leg off an full toss which was a thing of beauty. Continuing in that mood he was eventually clean bowled looking to push the scoring rate on. Loanee 2 (Will) strode to the crease and looked accomplished in both nudging it about and hitting a couple of decent boundaries before being caught for 15. Mike was the next to go chopping the aforementioned left armer to backward point with the usual slap of the pads and look to the sky and he wistfully considered the missed 50, having gone for a fine 45 which provided the backbone of our innings. Adam came in and played some super shots providing some real impetus lower down which saw us move towards a respectable total. Zayd on weekend debut came and went and Matt P hit a quickfire 10 before I joined Adam as last wicket (batting 10) and was left stranded as Adam was bowled for a super 42 with a few overs left but by that stage we'd reached a very respectable 203 off a little under 36 overs (playing 40).

Our bowling was in general a quality affair, save for some absolute tosh bowled by yours truly, though I did somehow manage to buy a couple of wickets (Lord knows how). Aside from my shabby efforts including 19 off my first over, we had excellent opening spells from Milind and Matt P who were both very unlucky not to take a wicket between them. First and second change were Adam and Zayd, the former who's pace was always likely to cause problems on the crazy paving that is Belair, and so it proved with some hostile stuff coming down resulting in 3 for 28 from 5 including a wicket maiden in his 5th over, and a broken middle stump from a quick yorker which was a sight to behold. Thankfully one of GS had some tape so it was duly mended. At the other end Zayd playing his second game for Dodgers, appears to be JH reincarnate sending down some controlled right arm medium which was extremely accurate and difficult to for the oppo to get off the square. He was duly rewarded for his nagging line and length taking an excellent 2/27 off his full allotment of 8 overs. At this stage I was then looking for other options so came on myself after initially asking Rob, who somehow managed to injure his back winging the ball in from cow, just prior... As already mentioned, this wasn't great but at least Mike had the good humour to send some gentle Aussie sledging my way from behind the stumps which is always appreciated as a motivational tool. 😊 Having somehow managed to get a couple of the oppo to give their wickets away to the filth I sent down we were closing on victory with GS still well short of our target. This gave me the opportunity to give both Chris and Will a bowl, the former requesting one over at the chap who removed him earlier, and we managed to break Will after 3 balls sadly as he managed to twist his front knee whilst landing. This led to the comedy of TQ turning his arm over upon request who assured me he'd complete the over in the 3 balls remaining. We won't talk about the 4 subsequent wides... Rob then decided he'd have a bowl after all, so came on to replace Zayd, bowled a decent full ball outside off which their no 11 seemed ever so excited to have a dart at, and promptly clipped it to backwards point who took a sharp catch, leaving GS all out for 140.

The subsequent BBQ was surprisingly good (as were the beers), no one got sunburnt to my knowledge, so all in all, a great day for cricket and my eternal thanks to all those that played given it was a weekend game for which we still struggle for no's.

Match report by Ralph