Some games boost confidence, others build character. This was one of the latter. Dodgers turned up at the incomparable Windsor Great Park on the hottest day of the year so far and were beaten all ends up. Despite everything, however, it was still a joy to play an afternoon's cricket in such gorgeous surroundings and such pleasant company.
Our innings started off well enough, with Raj and Mike batting through the first nine overs fairly comfortably. In fact, Mike's safe return from his torn calf muscle to post a neat 27 was one of the distinct positives to take from the day - unless you were Tawhid, who was employed as his runner in the blazing heat for the first 15 overs, and then had to come in to bat his own innings for the next dozen after that. Yet our run rate slumped badly as the afternoon heat intensified, and wickets soon began to tumble with worrying regularity. Without dwelling on what might have been, let us just record that at the end of our 35 overs we had scored just 124 for 8.
The Windsor response started unsteadily, and our hopes rose mightily as we dismissed both openers in the space of just two overs. From then on, however, it was carnage as the young Abraham (a Hants Under 17 regular) and captain Harry Hill (not the comedian) proceeded to tear us apart. Harry batted ruthlessly, hitting the ball to all parts of the ground and ending up well worth his unbeaten 78. Windsor passed our total in just the 15th over, and we trooped back to the shade of a large marquee outside the pavilion to reflect on a comprehensive thrashing.
In view of the scale of the defeat, Man of the Match votes were not canvassed.
Dodgers putting in some practice before the match (in vain)