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Under leaden skies 9 Superstars gathered at a new venue, the Battersea Ironsides pitch near Earlsfield, to face Marauders. The ground felt damp and slow underfoot and the well-worn pitch mostly rolled mud.
Barry predictably lost the toss and the opposition chose to bat first. With Marauders letting us a borrow a fielder, Arun opened the bowling with a tidy spell. But it was Mike K opening from the other end who struck with the aid of a good catch running back from Mark Williams at mid-off. Unfortunately this brought in the Marauders’ Aussie ringer (an actual Ironside, though possibly from the rugby team) who proceeded to up the scoring rate, with the help of at least one dropped catch. Mike D was the main culprit but redeemed himself coming on at second change and having the ringer stumped for 24 off 14 balls. With the remaining opener retiring 25 n.o. this allowed Gary (2 wkts), Mike, Vijay and Guy (1 wkt; who had turned up to make us 10 half way through the innings) to apply the brakes. Vijay’s death bowling 3 for 10 off 3 overs being most notable. They closed on 124, which felt just about gettable.
Diwakar and Adam S-B got off to a good start until Adam was caught by the fielder (that ringer again) cunningly positioned directly behind the bowler. Gigg came in at 3 and he and Diwakar kept the run rate scampering along until both retired, although getting the ball away was clearly a struggle on the slow pitch. Marauders showed good control with very few extras (3 to our 22) and few easy balls. Mark W and Gary came and went quite quickly and after 13 overs we were still making 6 per over, just short of the required rate and Vijay was still there as Guy joined him. Could we kick on to victory? But then Marauders brought on their death bowler and their openers came back. Runs started to dry up and with the ball more and more difficult to both see and get away in the gathering gloom. Barry became increasingly agitated, as runs that were only possibly suicidal were passed up and the required run rate rose: 36 off the last 4, 29 off 3. Vijay was out caught and bowled for 23! Arun swished but could not make clean contact, 24 off 2. 21 required off the last over, Guy was bowled from the penultimate ball swinging for a 6 leaving Mike D to make 16 to tie from the last ball..........
Superstars went out not with a bang but a whimper; 108-5. Short a fielder and too many extras when fielding and not ambitious enough with the running when we had wickets in hand? But there were burgers from the barbeque and reasonably priced beer in the clubhouse with which to drown our sorrows.
Team: Gigg (capt), Diwakar, Spencer-Bickle, Williams, Plahe, Anand, Boubly, Arun, Mike D, Mike K.
Game picture
Game picture
Author: Mike "just should have hit the last ball for 17" Duggan.
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