Dodgers v Superstars 25 June 2019

With just a two-day turnaround since our dramatic tie with the Green Sox, Dodgers were straining at the leash to resume the 2019 series against Superstars for the Ken Block Trophy. Captain Mike, taking charge again in Ralph's absence, won the toss and elected to bat. Seeing how poorly England had fared earlier in the day by choosing the other option, this seemed like a good plan.

The Superstars pace attack began with a will, both Alok and Matt S bowling with accuracy and swing. Copious amounts of rain had left the wicket soft and the outfield long, so that it was hard to score in more than ones and twos. Openers Mike and Tom B refused to be tied down, however, the latter striking the ball particularly nicely before holing out for 39. They were replaced at the crease in fairly short order by a succession of willing batsmen, as Phil, Luke (of South Bank fame) and John H's cousin Max (from the cricketing side of the family) all swung mightily but perished swiftly. The Dodgers faithful were pleased to welcome the return of Peter Lee the Elder, who lofted his first ball for a majestic long drive out of the very middle of the bat, only to be caught in the deep. With wickets tumbling about him, Tawhid anchored the innings manfully with 11 judicious singles, leaving Tom W and John H to steer us to the close. Yet a total of just 89 off our 20 overs looked well short, whatever the conditions, and Dodgers knew that we were second favourites at the turn.

Bilal spearheaded our attack with his usual pace and control, and Dave tied up the Superstars openers from the other end with equal accuracy. While their batsmen seemed to be finding the boundaries with more regularity than we managed, at 28-2 off the first 7 and 38-2 off 10 Superstars were still behind the run rate and the game was in the balance. Tom W and Max took over the bowling duties with great economy, and John backed them up with a couple of overs of his own, but by now the Superstars batsmen had found their rhythm and the score had crept up to 76-3 off 17. One over from Tom B and a three-ball cameo from the aforementioned Peter Lee could not prevent the inevitable, and despite our bagging two final wickets legendary Superstars skipper Barry Gigg steered the auld enemie coolly to victory. Captain Mike praised his team afterwards for "fighting like lions" in defending such a low total, but big hearts were not enough to save us.

Tom B was deservedly Man of the Match for making close to half our runs and fielding brilliantly, but special mention must also go to Luke for his excellent wicket keeping and to Max for his all-round bowling, batting and fielding. We look forward to the crucial series decider on 29 August at the Abbey Rec.


Crouching Superstars, Hidden Dollin


...and experience