The keenly awaited showdown between Dodgers and Superstars for the Ken Block Trophy was held up for a couple of hours by an unexpected pitch invasion from UK Lacrosse, but by 3.30pm the teams were ready to take the field for a slightly reduced 30-over match. With both previous games of the season tied, the tension was palpable as Dodgers prepared to bat first.
Our opening pair of NJ and Mike started briskly, taking 29 runs off the first three overs (the third alone going for 15 as each batsman deposited a six over the square leg boundary). By the time Mike perished, the two had put on an opening stand of 70 in 13 overs, and we were all set for a big score. NJ pushed on to an unbeaten half century but Tawhid and Simon were both bowled before they could get going. Jatinder (41*) and Jack (24*) pressed on solidly and then accelerated into the final furlong, taking an exceptional 17 off the last over. The traditional Dodgers middle innings lull had kept our total a touch lower than it might have been, but the heavy hitting of the last few overs meant we finished on a very creditable 167 for 3.
Superstars opened their chase with urgency, but tight bowling from Sohail and David ensured they found the boundary only once in the first eight overs. The opening partnership was broken when Paul Gaught lofted one high over mid-off and NJ took a brilliant catch over his shoulder. David (6-0-22-3) followed up this first wicket with another soon after when he removed the dangerous Sam Gibbs via an excellent caught-behind by Captain Ralph. George Warren and James Hewlett then proceeded to build an important partnership of 60, which was ended when Jack (6-1-25-3) bowled the former and had the latter sky a steepling top edge into the safe gloves of Ralph. By the time the unflappable Superstars skipper Barry Gigg came to the crease, the required run rate had crept up to more than 8 an over and the odds were in our favour. Chris Mountain dispatched Chairman John to the boundary with worrying regularity before falling LBW to him, and both Harish Kumar and Gary Plahe did their best to mount a late resistance, but Dan, NJ and the returning Dodgers quicks prevented any last-ditch heroics. Dodgers won a convincing victory by 28 runs and reclaimed the Ken Block Trophy in what had been a most enjoyable encounter.
Man of the Match votes: Jack 5, NJ 3, David 3
The Dodgers XI that reclaimed the Ken Block Trophy
NJ on his way to yet another Dodgers 50
Preparing for the first ball of the game
Superstars skipper Barry Gigg graciously handing over the Ken Block Trophy to Captain Ralph