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Ken Block Trophy
Tuesday 26th June, 6pm start.
Dukes Meadow, Chiswick.
t20 match, it had rained really hard and long overnight.
Ken Block Trophy, Match 2 of 3 in the 2019 series.
You want one of cricket's oldest and most intense rivalries? You want a tight last over finish? You want a team with bottle that digs in a produces a backs against the wall win rather than folds at the merest sight of pressure? You want your team to get to a decisive winner-takes-all conclusion of a competition instead of ending their involvement much earlier than anticipated? You should have been in Chiswick on Tuesday 25 June for Superstars-Dodgers II, not at Lord's for England's capitulation to Australia.
Coming into the contest one-nil down in the Ken Block Trophy best-of-three, the pressure was most certainly on. With four of his team still somewhere between Vauxhall and Barnes Bridge at the allotted start time, no one was feeling that pressure more than skipper Gigg. Inevitably he therefore lost the toss and was put into field. Those Dodgers boys might be many things unsuitable for publication on a family website, but they're not stupid.
Their dastardly plans were foiled however by three things: the arrival of gun fielders Forman, Hewlett and Duggan (alright alright, the arrival of Forman, Hewlett and Duggan) just in the nick of time; the fact that Barry had spotted a KAI player who had not been informed that his game on the adjoining pitch was cancelled and kindly filled in for us for a few overs instead; and the deadly pace and swing of Singh and Sears with the new ball. The tone was set from the start then and - a world class easier-to-catch-it-than-drop-it dolly drop from Kammellard aside - even the fielding was quite good, Hewlett pouching one in the deep and Gigg taking a remarkable three stumpings. Reeve was the star with the ball, bagging a well-deserved three-fer, Duggan kept throwing it up there and earned his rewards, while Mountain was nerveless at the death.
Some (batsmen) commentators on social media put the lowish total of 89 down to murky overhead conditions, a sluggish pitch and an outfield that hadn't been mowed since England last won a world cup match that really mattered (1992?). But those batsmen commentators seemed to have discounted the opinion of our bowlers that we might have bowled and fielded well and that actually the conditions were perfectly fine and we would knock these off quite easily.
Inevitably then our batsmen did their best to make a massive meal of it and only scrape over the line by a tiny margin. Kinnard cracked a powerful four but then fed one back to the bowler. He was dropped so obviously decided to play exactly the same shot again and this time the bowler held on. Bishop at the other end seemed to think we were playing a four-day game and was blocking out for the light with the occasional tapped single. It later turned out that he didn't actually know what the target was, which is just the thing you want from the man who we were 'batting around' and who was supposedly in charge of pacing the chase. Singh and Sears hit a couple of big blows each but also played and missed a lot. And the Dodgers seemed to have unearth a couple of youthful talents who pulled out stops that simply shouldn't be allowed at this level of cricket. At 38-2 at the half way we were in a bit of trouble.
Three more wickets were to fall, the WhatsApp group was getting nervous, the Dodgers were suddenly alive and happy to concede singles. But a couple of big overs from Sears and Mountain brought it back under control and captain Gigg then steered the ship home in the final over. Pressure? What pressure. Want to see how you deal with a must-win, less than run-a-ball chase when it gets a bit tight against your oldest rivals England? Get down to Chiswick on a Tuesday night lads.

Author: Dan Forman

Team: Gigg (c), Forman, Duggan, Singh, Kinnard, Kamellard, Reeve, Sears, Mountain, Hewlett, Bishop, .
1 / 2
Live Action Superstars
2 / 2
Superstars celebrate

Notable drop: Mike Kamellard's effort will be in the reckoning at the end of the year.
Notable catch: James Hewlett's fine catch in the deep.
Comedy Moment: Bish not actually knowing what the target was, but being the anchor in our chase responsible for maintaining the rate. Matt Sear's attempted reverse sweep with 2 required. Bish (again) declining to run in the boundary to take a catch, choosing instead to stay back to make sure he stopped the four then inevitably the ball going for four.
Stat: Barry Gigg's three stumpings in a match was notable.
1st Innings
2nd Innings
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