Dodgers v Ad Hoc, 16 May 2023

With the sun shining on Chiswick, Dodgers assembled to face Ad Hoc. We lost the toss and were sent out into the field, but as the light was good this didn't seem too much of a disadvantage on a pitch that had dried out considerably since the week before.

Christian opened our attack with Siddharth, guesting with us from Putney, both bowling good pace and line. Sadly they were met by an onslaught from the in-form Diago, who did not let the fact that he has often played for Dodgers in the past stand in the way of an extraordinary 26* hit off just 9 balls. Charlie and John steadied the ship with some tight bowling against the middle order, but Ad Hoc gave a masterful display of running quick singles, maintaining a high run rate even when they weren't forcing boundaries and thus reaching an ominous 80 off their first 10 overs. With Ralph and Dave H adding guile to our attack, we managed to pin them back with regular wickets thereafter, so that their final total of 140 felt like a minor victory in itself. We had not helped ourselves by giving them almost 40 runs in extras, however, and the chase was always going to be a tough ask.

Suffice it to say that the Dodgers innings never really developed the momentum needed. In the face of some disciplined Ad Hoc bowling, we notched up too many dot balls in the opening 10 overs and failed to emulate their spirited running between the wickets. In addition, the Ad Hoc fielders had clearly been sent to an IPL training camp over the winter season, as they managed to hold every difficult catch (and most of the easy ones) that went their way. Special mention in this regard for father-and-son combo J. and T. Law, who pouched a succession of highly impressive catches - including a sprawling effort by the latter that was disallowed for a no ball. We managed to stage a late comeback thanks to some excellent strikes by Christian, Siddharth, Charlie and Ralph (top scorer with 21*) but had lost too many wickets along the way. Dodgers fell 20 runs short in what was a highly entertaining contest, with Ad Hoc the worthy winners.

Man of the Match votes: John 4, Ralph 4, Siddharth 3