Back at Chiswick to face the Marauders for the second time in a fortnight, the Dodgers had this time brought a full XI of our own. Chairman John, deputising momentarily as captain while Ralph fought his way through work and traffic, won the toss and elected to bat, mainly because a number of our players were still en route to the ground.
We opened our account with Luke and Jack, the former sadly perishing at the start of the second over with an injudicious swipe across the line. Jatinder strode to the crease and proceeded to play a blinder of an innings, with a sterling display of cover drives off some high-quality Marauders bowling. Once he had retired with his unbeaten 25, Jack took over the striking role, including a glorious six over the long-on boundary followed up by an equally well struck four to long-off from the next ball. By this time he had been joined in the middle by NJ, and the two began to score freely. Once Jack had retired unbeaten and NJ had dragged one on to his stumps, however, the middle order fell away dramatically. The score board, which had stood at a very promising 95 off the first 15 overs, slowed down badly as the wickets tumbled, so that by the end we had posted a Nelsonian total of 111 for 7. While the outfield was slow and the boundaries long, this did not seem an unattainable target.
The Dodgers bowling attack of Bilal and Noman opened strongly, Bilal going for just 8 runs off his 3 overs. Christian and Raj came on as first change and maintained the pressure well, but the Marauders had kept up with the run rate throughout and looked to be in the driving seat with eight overs left to play. Assuming bowling duties at this critical moment, our second change pairing of Jack and NJ proved to be the deciding factor, taking six wickets between them and swinging the match back in our favour. Marauders could still have won but NJ took three wickets in the final over to end with exceptional figures of 4-0-13-4. Credit to Luke for his excellent work as wicket keeper, including two smart stumpings and a run out, and to NJ (again) for two good catches. Dodgers took the final Marauders wicket on the penultimate ball and claimed a famous victory over a powerful side.
Man of the Match votes: NJ 8, Jatinder 3
Part of the victorious Dodgers XI