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Ken Block Trophy
The Superstars selected a strong side for the final, decisive Ken Block Trophy match of the 2018 series. After a long, hot summer the previous day seen solid rain but the day of the match was sunny meaning a drying wicket was likely to get better to bat on. Inevitably Barry lost the toss in such conditions and we were asked to bat first. It was a chance to exorcise the demons of 364 days ago.
In favourable conditions the opening bowlers (Charlie and Saj) dismissed Spencer-Bickle (4) and Conway (0) with excellent deliveries. At 5-2 the ghost of collapses (recent) past was looming. Typically it was Gaught who supplied grit to the line up although it appears unlikely 3 or 4 Dodgers fielders will be catching colds in the near future. The first rebuilding partnership was with Smith (21) and then Gaught and Hall (41) put on 73 for the 4th wicket. The acceleration was on with Gaught and Hall picking up 53 in 7 overs before Gaught was bowled by Dodgers Legend Carr for 37. As often happens Hall was out soon after, run out for 41. Anand hit his first ball for 6 in a run-a-ball 26 while Gigg (8), Reeve (3no) and Plahe (0no) got the innings to 161-7 in 35 overs.
Superstars opened the batting with regular pairing of Chodzko-Zajko and Varghese. Chodzko-Zajko took the wicket of TQ with the very first ball (bowled) but Dodgers were still in the game at 47-1 after 8 overs. Plahe and Reeve joined the attack and as the Dodgers batsmen upped the aggression Plahe took the wicket of Mohan (caught Berry for 30) while Dollin retired (50 off 33 balls) and Kumar and Conway picked up run outs. After 16 overs Dodgers were 110-2 and while not out of the game Jack Lovell and Harish Kumar kept John Hilary and Tim Laken quiet to keep Dodgers to 138-4.
After Izzy’s cookies gave us much needed energy Superstars headed out suspecting the pitch had improved but knowing the runs were on the board. Anand opened the bowling and had Dollin caught at point first ball of the innings by Reeve. Could Dodgers be the team to collapse this year? No. Alston (50 retired) and Mohan (25) put Dodgers in a strong position. But when Smith had Mohan bowled there was a mini collapse as legend McBarron (6, lbw Reeve) and Shiva (3, lbw Singh) departed quickly. Singh, obviously inspired by his meeting with Sri Lankan great Aravinda De Silva (that made him 3 hours late for the game!), produced a testing spell of 7-0-20-2 removing the dangerous John Hillary. By now it was clear that the retiring Alston had left for another appointment so Dodgers were effectively six wickets down. Anand returned and bowled Ali for 21 and Surliam for 7, ending with 7-1-22-3. Dodgers needed 12 with 2 wickets in hand and 5 overs remaining. Conway was summoned and picked up the 8th (effectively 9th) wicket of Zan, caught Reeve. The final two for Dodgers were legends Carr and Palmer and they held firm and Ralph hit Reeve for the decisive 4 to clinch the match by one wicket.
One of the greatest Ken Block Trophy matches, but unfortunately a loss for Superstars made it the 3rd series loss in a row. A spokeswoman for the Superstars Ultras who wished to remain nameless said “I didn’t make those cookies for you to lose! Gary is in trouble when he gets home.”
Team: Gigg (c), Gaught, Spencer-Bickle, Conway, Smith, Hall, Anand, Reeve, Plahe, H Kumar, Singh.
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Early match action
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This tweet was proven right
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Tea time discussions
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The triumpant Dodgers team

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Related Links
2018 Fixtures/Results
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Next match: Green Sox
Match 1 of the Ken Block Trophy
Match 2 of the Ken Block Trophy
Last year's embarrassing series
Ken Block's Hall of Fame Profile
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Dodgers on twitter