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Superstars came into this fixture looking to defend an unbeaten record which stretched back until 2008 against LT Dinos. With a sparsity of Dinos present for the start of the game, captain Gigg graciously decided to forego the formality of losing the toss and allowed the opposition to bat first.
With the game on the vast open (and unmowed) plains of one of the bigger pitches at Chiswick (dispatched to field at cow corner, your correspondent had to check his watch to be sure that he hadnít entered a different timezone), scoring was always going to be difficult. However, even allowing for this opening bowlers Plahe (1-15) and Reeve (2-24) bowled well to keep it tight with the aid of some good fielding, and picked up three quick wickets to leave the Dinos struggling. First change bowler Williamsí (0-21) figures suffered a little as the Dinos' number 4 gathered momentum on his way to retirement, but Duggan (1-15) and Arun (1-16) picked up a wicket each to keep a lid on things. Hewlett (0-9) and Anand (1-0) came on to bowl economically at the death, and a last ball run out meant that the Dinos finished on a seemingly chaseable 103-8.
However, the impending gloaming, allied with the aforementioned amply-sized boundaries and dense outfield meant that scoring quickly wasnít really on the cards, and the Superstars run rate bobbed around 5-an-over for much of the innings. Opener Goel (5) was unfortunate to be well-caught by the Dinos opening bowler attempting to find the more moderately sized straight boundary, but Anand (28*) and Warren (25*) managed to steady the ship. Vijay retired with the required rate stubbornly clinging to around 5-an-over, and when George joined him it was down to Bishop (21*) and Plahe (12) to see Superstars home. A couple of well-timed boundaries from Gary eased the run rate concerns, but when he fell caught behind, a late flurry of wickets with Hewlett (caught at cover for 0) and Williams (LBW for 2) threatened a Devon Loch-like collapse at the finish. Thankfully, Bishop and Reeve (5*) combined in the darkness to see Superstars home by 6 wickets with about an over to spare.
In the end, a comfortable victory built on the foundations of a good bowling and fielding display. Batting in the dark in a late season game is not ideal (although provides a handy excuse for your correspondentís duck), but it certainly beats the next six months waiting for the cricket season to return.
Team hiding their heads in shame: Gigg (c), Goel, Anand, Warren, Bishop, Plahe, Hewlett, Williams, Reeve, Duggan, Arun.
Author: James "End of Season Blues" Hewlett.
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