Despite a day of intermittent showers, the evening was warm and fine for our match against the LT Dinos at Chiswick. Dodgers were unpredictable as ever, putting out a XII rather than XI this time - which actually worked well, as Rajiv was still recovering from a strained hamstring which allowed him to bat but not to field.
Dodgers batted first and Raj was unlucky to fall LBW early on. NJ and Rajiv made good headway but it was Noman who gave the innings real momentum, rotating the strike with every ball and punishing any bad deliveries mercilessly. Once he had passed 25 and retired, a succession of middle-order batsmen came in and hit out with purpose, pushing our total relentlessly upwards until we had reached 127 off our 20 overs. This felt a reasonable total, although by no means a secure one. All was still to play for.
The Dinos started strongly, taking full advantage of the short leg-side boundary in the early overs so that they were well up with the required rate. Gradually we began to take the necessary wickets, and once through the top order we pulled ourselves back into the game. Yet the batsmen continued to run well throughout their innings, so that the Dinos appeared on top going into the final two overs, from which they required 13 to win. Chairman John drew on his many decades of experience to maintain a good line and length in the penultimate over, which thankfully went for just 3, leaving NJ with a cushion of 10 runs at the death. The Dinos ran a succession of 2s, and with two balls left in the game they needed 4 to win. A single off the penultimate ball meant they now required 2 to tie off the last. NJ slung down a quick one which beat the bat, Captain Ralph (as wicket keeper) managed to clasp it to his nether regions and whip off the bails, and we had won on the final ball. A famous victory and a perfect end to an enjoyable match.
Man of the Match votes: Noman 6, John 3, NJ 2, David 1
Scorecard to come
XI of the Dodgers XII at the interval