Dodgers assembled at Putney for the final evening match of the 2023 season, which we had agreed would be contested in the spirit of the Hundred, with 20 overs of five balls each. Captaining the home team, Charlie won the toss and elected to make the best of the daylight by batting first, while kindly lending us Niket and Satya for the whole game as well as a couple of additional Putney fielders until our full complement turned up.
Niket and Diago spearheaded our attack with their usual pace and accuracy, although the Putney openers hit out strongly and ran well from the off for their singles. Chairman John and Matt S took over the bowling duties, the latter having started the game with an exemplary turn behind the stumps, but it was only when Gary and Satya came on as second change that we began to take wickets. Brendan was unlucky to see his smart catch at square leg disallowed for coming off a no ball, while his friend Matt Gutteridge, not only on debut for Dodgers but also playing his first real game of cricket, pouched a genuine catch off Gary. Putney had continued to press on, however, and finished with a total of 124 for 3 off their 100 balls.
Dodgers opened the batting with the same pair as had opened the bowling, and both were soon in the swing of things, Niket in particularly good form for his 27* off 10 balls. Bilal had been badly delayed in traffic on his way to the ground and so missed out on bowling, and he was thus doubly unlucky to be caught first ball off a full toss. Jatinder scored briskly but was bowled by one that kept low, bringing Brendan and Matt together at the crease rather earlier than they might have expected. With the light fading, Ralph and Satya were both returned to the pavilion in quick succession, leaving Matt S to join the resilient Brendan and deliver a sterling performance with five boundaries to keep us in the hunt. Gary took over from Matt as the drizzle reduced visibility even further, so that by the time John came in for the last few balls, the game was already beyond us. Special mention goes to Brendan for his 13* in a losing cause, but Putney ended up the worthy winners.
Man of the Match votes: Niket 6, Matt 3, Brendan 1
Jatinder facing, Niket backing up