The Dodgers headed to the pavilion pitch at Battersea Park for a new fixture against St Peter's Dads, a friendly team formed of parents from St Peter's primary school over the other side of the river. With a scattering of interested passers-by as spectators, plus Chairman John's mother Phoebe representing our local fan base, we looked forward to a pleasant game of cricket.
Dodgers were led in to bat by Harry, a talented St Peter's colt on loan to us for the evening. Sohail, also making his debut for Dodgers, was unlucky to play his first ball on to his own stumps, bringing Jatinder to the crease somewhat earlier than he might have expected. The Battersea Park boundaries are short but the pitch was keeping low after the recent rain, so we took a little time to get into gear. Jatinder soon retired on an unbeaten 28, while Harry was eventually stumped for 24 as he looked to increase the run rate. Tawhid and Damian spurred us onward with a pair of strong contributions, and our total began to build more rapidly. Jack and Noman took on where they had left off, so that the final few overs saw a marked acceleration in our scoring and a considerable easing of tension back at the pavilion. Noman's six off the final ball, flicked nonchalantly over the fine leg boundary, was the shot of the innings, and our total of 130 for 4 looked far more respectable than we might have expected a few overs earlier.
St Peter's Dads began their chase with a will, striking out at our opening attack of Bilal and Noman and running well between the wickets. Dodgers fielded with rather less than our usual aplomb, but the pressure began to build once the Dads' captain Stefan retired on an unbeaten 26. This was the cue for Sohail to step forward and take three wickets in swift succession, pinning the oppo back in the crucial mid stages of their innings and finishing with exceptional figures of 4-0-14-3. The pendulum swung back against us, however, as John and Mike Mc were struck hard to various boundaries, and the Dads were soon looking favourites to overhaul our total with balls to spare. It was only a ruthlessly economical spell of quality bowling from Jack, coming on as second change and conceding just 12 runs off his 4 overs (including a maiden against the Dads' most powerful batsman), that pulled us back into the game. We eventually won by a 14 runs, but at no point had our victory been assured. A most pleasant evening against a thoroughly decent opposition, rounded off by a visit to the Prince Albert across the road. We look forward to the rematch!
Man of the Match votes: Sohail 4, Noman 3, Jack 3, Jatinder 1
The Dodgers XI relaxing after their victory
And before it...