Dodgers v Fleet Street Strollers, 20 June 2024

Last summer marked our first ever fixture against the Fleet Street Stollers, a one-sided affair at Chiswick in which only heavy rain saved us from certain defeat. This time we met up on a sunny evening by the side of the river at Barn Elms, determined to mount a stronger resistance in our own defence.

Captain Ralph lost the toss and we were put in to field. Abhishek launched our attack with both pace and economy, but sadly the same could not be said of Chairman John's initial two overs, as the Fleet Street openers hit out powerfully and took every single available. Niket and Satya came on and steadied the ship, ably supported by Savan and Ralph at second change, but the outfield was lightning quick and the Strollers maintained their high standard of running between the wickets. Excellent keeping by Charlie as well as committed fielding in the deep by Harry and Brendan (bloodied but unbowed) restricted the batting side to 144 off their 20, and we turned with hope in our hearts.

Charlie and Mike D opened our response with gusto, well up with the required 7 an over after the initial five. Both were bowled, however, at which point Niket and Harry took up the charge, the former lofting two gorgeous straight drives over long off for four before being caught behind. Jatinder arrived to craft a confident 26* together with Satya, who also remained unbeaten, but the Strollers had kept some of their best bowling until the latter stages and it became more and more difficult to get the ball off the square. Ralph and Savan each joined Satya in succession but the required run rate crept inexorably higher until the game was beyond us. Yet the honour of Dodgers had been salvaged, and we can contemplate a rematch in future seasons with equanimity.

Man of the Match votes: Satya 4, Abhi 3, Jatinder 3, Charlie 1