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Sunday 19th July 2020, 2pm start.
Dulwich College, The posh bit of SE London.
35 over match, it rained overnight.
Our first afternoon match after COVID-19 lockdown.
Mandarins (138-8) bt Superstars (137 all out) by two wickets.
Captain Conway loses the toss and is inserted (as he would have done to the oppo after overnight rain on an uncovered track). But he doesn't seem that bothered about batting first as he (17) and Adam (27) get stuck in to the Mandarins bowling with some gusto. Diwakar (22) also bats as if he is making up for lost time and 50 is up pretty quickly. But no one goes on to get the bigger, slower score that you need in this kind of timed game, with Vijay (14) and James Hewlett (16) also getting in and getting out, while Sandeep and Rick give it away in the air and Alok with a big swipe across his stumps after timing a couple nicely.
It all means wickets fall a bit too regularly (especially to sometime Superstar Stan) and no decision is going to need to be made about a declaration. In fact being bowled out for 137 off 34 gives a few overs back to the Mandarins, which might just have made all the difference in the end. Because the Sups bowling is superb. Konrad (9-1-32-1) sets the tone and Alok (10-4-29-3) is even more miserly.
Ravi, who starts with four consecutive maidens and ends with 9-4-16-1, is even tighter still and Sandeep (9-4-18-3) sensational at the other end, while Vijay only goes for 9 off his 5. But somehow the Mandarins survive it, with a steady 50 partnership between Graeme and Arvind getting most of the work done.
It all leads to a tight finish. Not quite all results possible territory but with 7 down and 40 odd still to get, two definitely were and it remained close enough to keep everybody interested to the end. But Mandarins' Rakesh and young Harry (17) got them almost to the line in a partnership of 33 just as the Sups had got their noses in front. Sandeep came back to get Harry but the Mandarins got there with 10 balls and two wickets to spare.
In all a great game between two closely matched sides, played in a great spirit exemplified by Konrad refusing to claim a low catch that no one would have quibbled with had he said he held it.
There was even a shaft of south London sun to defy the weather pessimists. A pretty ground. A couple of cold beers. Who's playing next week? Don't forget your match fees! Anyone get a photo of the book? God I've missed it. But it's great to be back.

Author: Dan Forman

Team: Conway (c), Spencer-Bickle, Patwal, Smith, Hewlett, Anand, Thompson, Goel, Chodzko-Zajko, Ravi, Singh.
1 / 4
Superstars looking energetic in the field
2 / 4
Sandeep bowls
3 / 4
The stylish settling
4 / 4
The match was played in a great spirit

Notable drop: (but in a good way) Konrad not claiming what looked to many a great catch. Konrad and Chris also dropped toughies.
Notable catch: Konrad took a fairly regulation effort.
Comedy Moment: Rick's Shane Dowrich impression.
Stat: to come.
1st Innings
2nd Innings
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