Dodgers v Ad Hoc, 5 August 2021

This was an ad hoc match played against (appropriately) Ad Hoc, so the match report comes courtesy of Dodgers Vice-Captain Michael Dollin, who captained. 

Weather: execrable (wet to a point well past sensible).

Last Thursday 7 stalwart Dodgers and 8 Ad Hoc men rallied at Chiswick to maybe play cricket, and maybe watch it from the bar. As we got nearer to the ground the rain went from drizzle to a genuine downpour. Nat rang when we were at the bridge and offered a cancellation if ground was unplayable but we had to head over and check. Senior Ad Hoc Statesman Jon Law, playing from the time when it was just another work team (Google ATOC), and I duly wandered out: sure enough Pitch C, the beauty by the road, was playable but the weather was unrelenting and we walked back to put it to the assembled squads. As we walked back Superstars were walking out to play their game and this may have swayed our guys, who agreed they’d come all this way and we might as well play.

So we agreed to a 15 over game, that we’d bat first and borrow a fielder later, and I batted with my, now traditional, runner TQ and Simon James. We started sprightly but Diago bowled me with a peach (came back in to clip top of off stump for 7) and TQ stepped across to join Simon. The rain intensified but our innings did not, as our pair batted cautiously where more aggression would have paid dividends, especially with only eight on the park and most of them deep. Meanwhile the ever cheerful Noman tried to keep my spirits up by regaling me with Australia’s latest humiliation in Bangladesh and the further unwelcome news that he is off to Leicester next year.

TQ scored one of our few boundaries and fell trying for another (b J Law 15). Jatinder fell the same way to the wily Law (b 6). Fortunately the Ad Hoc two-over-per-bowler plan and a wet ball made for a healthy contribution from S Sundries before Diago came back for a third to keep us pegged to just 73 off 15, Simon not out 11, Noman not out 1 and Sundries top scoring on 28*.

We began our defence with Dave and Peretz, and both bowled well – David picking up Sohail (14) in the fly slip trap set for him (Dan Cohen guesting for us and taking a great mark). Diago was lucky not to pick out either mid on or mid off and then rallied to bat surely and pick off the odd misdirected ball and anchor the innings. In this he was abetted by Rodg who safely saw off Noman’s leg spin and Jatinder’s rather useful (and less seen these days) seam. Diago finally retired (27*) and there was a brief spike of interest as wickets followed. Hussain was bowled trying a mighty woosh off JT (0) and Dan H was run out taking an extra run to backward square leg (Noman throwing to Simon who completed the dismissal – Dan H 1). The game seemed to have swung back into the balance with 13 needed off 18 and Ad Hoc agreed to let us have extras from our three regular bowlers. A tight over from Dave left them still needing 9 off 2. Hodg recovered from a nervy shot that just carried cover and then finished strong against Noman in the 14th to bring the scores level. Would another Dodgers tie ensue? Could everyone’s favourite 71-year-old Israeli international deliver such a result? Dan Cohen was on strike and the battle between South Bank men started with a dot to the elder man, and then another dot. The tension was building but swiftly broken when a leg side ball got the treatment – racing away to the boundary at deep fine leg to secure the Ad Hoc win.

We’d fought well in the rain, bowled very well (conceding just 8 extras) but were always a little light in the batting and Ad Hoc were worthy winners.

Mike explaining how it will all appear in the match report...