The ground was wet and the forecast dismal, but a strong Dodgers XI assembled at Chiswick to face the auld foe Superstars in the deciding match for this season's Ken Block Trophy. Having lost the T20 fixture earlier in the summer, we couldn't afford to do the same with the afternoon game (duly shortened to 30 overs each in an attempt to beat the weather). The pressure was on.
Dodgers were put in to bat, and the rain kept off for the greater part of our innings. Mehboob and Komal started with control and aggression, pouncing on bad balls and taking quick singles from the outset - an excellent example which was followed by all Dodgers batsmen. Mehboob fell to a straight one on 29 and was replaced by Jatinder, who continued in the same expansive fashion. Before long both he and Komal had retired on 50* apiece, and Dodgers were motoring. NJ added his own lightning quick 45 before being caught spectacularly by Mike Duggan at backward point. This left Simon and Ralph to knock off the final runs in a class display that saw us reach 206 for the loss of just 2 wickets off our 30 - including a 'run four' at the end courtesy of some enthusiastic Superstars overthrows.
The tea break seemed to be the cue for the weather to turn against us, and soon the rain was falling in buckets. As both teams looked out from under the shelter of the pavilion onto an increasingly grim vista, there appeared little hope of restarting - but a break in the clouds allowed us to take the field with hope in our hearts. Charlie and Mike bowled extremely well considering the treacherous underfoot conditions, the latter dismissing Matt Conway via a nice catch by Chairman John at mid-wicket. However, it was not to last. After six overs of damp, dark fielding we were asked to stop play by the King's House staff, understandably keen to prevent the ground from being chewed up any further. The rain intensified later anyway, so we would never have completed the match.
STOP PRESS: Shortly after the game, Duckworth-Lewis was called into action - only to find that Dodgers had won by one run! While the legitimacy of this result is still to be confirmed by the ECB, the calculator reading below is sure proof that we had won a moral victory, at the very least.
STOP PRESS UPDATE: In a shock development, it turns out that Superstars actually scored 33 for 1 and thus WON the game by one run on the aforementioned Duckworth-Lewis calculation. We are therefore going back to our original position of declaring the game abandoned.
Before the rain came...
Komal and Jatinder, after each retiring on 50*
So we won!