Dodgers v Kai Dragons 2 July 2019

Kai Dragons have been one of our strongest opponents in recent years, but Dodgers had brought a powerful batting line-up to this year's fixture as we attempted to avoid a repeat of the 2018 debacle (when we were bowled out for just 53). Dodgers celebrated the return of both Ayman and Damian for their first games of the season, and we welcomed Arpan Ganguli for his debut match playing for us. For the first time in many outings, Dodgers found themselves fielding first - which was slightly awkward, given that we had only 7 players present at the advertised start time of 6pm. The Dragons were kind enough to lend us a couple of fielders until our latecomers arrived and we were up to 10.

Adam and Bilal opened our attack neatly, but the Dragons top order started with intent. We did not have our crack change bowlers with us, and that weakness was soon exposed as John, Arpan, Ayman, Mehboob and Jatinder were all despatched to the four corners of the ground. Our downfall was the bowling of 12 wides @ 2 runs each, which would come back to haunt us: even though we managed to restrict the Dragons a little in the closing stages of their innings, we were still faced with the daunting target of 159 to win. Adam was the pick of the bowling with 4-0-14-1, but the rest of us were unable to keep their batsmen in check.

Mehboob and Tom B started brilliantly for us in the face of the usual tight Dragons bowling, keeping up with the run rate from the get-go and both retiring with 25* in double quick time. Jatinder and Damian took up the chase before the former was bowled by a good 'un and the latter was run out by his own captain. Mike and Ayman ran swiftly between the wickets and kept the scoreboard ticking over nicely, while Adam managed to find the long boundaries impressively with a succession of lusty blows. With 5 overs to go, we needed 50 to win - and we might indeed have got them had it not been for the return of the Dragons' best bowler Basnet, who snapped up three quick wickets and stifled any hope of a late surge. In the end we finished with a highly commendable 147, just 11 runs short of their total. Kai Dragons deserved their victory, but this year at least we departed Chiswick with our heads held high.

Man of the Match votes: Adam 8, Tom B 2

Mehboob, Tom, Adam and Captain Mike



And a glorious evening it was too...



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