The hottest day of the year so far saw a reduced Dodgers contingent of just five players take to the field at Chiswick, the start put back to 4pm due to some people wishing to watch England's opening game at the Euros. The Marauders, who had kindly come with 13 to help us out, lent us four of their top flight players - including the peach of their bowling attack.
Suitably fortified, we went in to bat first - but suffered an instant shock when Komal was bowled for an uncharacteristic duck after just four balls. His opening partner Vivek, guesting for us, proceeded to build a crucial partnership of 62 with Jatinder until the latter was bowled in his turn. Manav, also guesting for us, came in and hit out strongly before being caught behind. Simon took over batting duties and notched up a very creditable 20 before perishing in his turn. Xavier and David, the other two Marauders playing for us, both batted nicely - Xavier on his second attempt, having fallen LBW for a duck and coming in again as lowest scorer. We ended up with 168 off our 25 overs, but the outfield was quick after all the dry weather and boundaries were easy to find, so we would need a top performance to defend such a total.
The Marauders duo of Xavier and Manav opened for Dodgers, each bowling with pace and accuracy. Wickets came quickly, so that the actual Marauders were 3 down for 18 within the space of 5 overs. Vivek and John came on for Dodgers as first change, but the middle order batsmen proved a tougher proposition than the openers and the game swung back against us. Ralph and David took over bowling duties and wickets began to tumble, so that Marauders captain Neil Bishop and stalwart Chris Malins were forced to return to the middle after having each retired on 25 earlier. While they were well up with the required run rate, they had lost all other wickets and were thus left with no room for error. Komal took a smart catch behind to dismiss Malins off Manav, and Dodgers had won with 18 runs to spare!
Man of the Match votes: Vivek 5, Manav 3, Simon 1
Simon, Jatinder and Komal prepare to uphold the team's honour