Despite the dismal weather forecasts, Dodgers and Superstars enjoyed a fine if sultry afternoon for the third and final showdown in the 2023 season's fight for the Ken Block Trophy. The fact that Dodgers came into the game two up did not lessen our appetite for another victory and the clean sweep it would entail.
Dodgers batted first, with Neil Bishop and Dave Hoggins forming an opening partnership distinctly Marauderesque in its appearance. Both seemed well set until Dave chased a wide delivery to be caught in the covers. Brendan and Captain Ralph fell without troubling the scorers, while Jatinder advanced briskly for his 32 and Charlie also for his 20. Damian and Matt steadied the ship as our loss of wickets began to look slightly perilous, but the story of the innings was without a doubt Neil's unbeaten century, carrying his bat from first to last and notching up a spectacular 101* off 93 balls (see photo below). With a team total of 186 from our 35 overs, even the most mathematically challenged Dodger could see that this single knock represented over half our runs scored. Yet the target for Superstars was little more than five an over, so we had no call to be complacent at the turn.
The Dodgers attack opened with Chairman John and Centurion Neil, the latter sufficiently rested after his heroics with the bat to deliver a similarly strong performance with the ball. Yet it was Dave who brought the Marauder magic to our bowling, taking wicket after wicket to finish with the highly commendable figures of 7-0-30-4. Aamir, Matt and Ralph all bowled tightly to keep the pressure on, and with the required run rate inexorably rising the Superstar bats were forced to take ever riskier chances. The result was a flurry of wickets, and the game was brought to an end when Neil pouched the final one off his own bowling to round off a majestic day's work. Special mention must be made of Charlie's solid keeping behind the stumps and the courageous fielding effort of our two American cousins (photo below), with Brendan putting in the exceptional stint in the deep that we have come to expect from him and the visiting Tate, on his first ever cricketing appearance, taking a succession of nasty blows in his service to the cause. Dodgers had emerged victorious by 27 runs and retired to the pavilion a happy band.
Man of the Match votes: Neil 10, Dave 1
The victorious Dodgers (minus Tate, who kindly took the photo)
Centurion Neil (for overs, read balls)
Neil's wagon wheel
Tate and Brendan, the dynamic duo