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The D1 quest to retain SCC championship final gets underway!

   It is fair to say that this season has been a bit of a hangover for the reigning D1 champions but with just 3 games to go the dream of retaining the championship is alive again! With a strong looking team finally assembled for once this season, with noticeable absences of James, now sadly departed back to the UK, sandwich artist JJ, and Malpy, who had to fly home to deal with rumours that his browsing history was the cause of the recent glitch in the HSBC computers. Pudong were the challengers at Wellington and they won the toss and decided to make first use of the wicket.

   The innings got off to a sedate start with Krish's swing and Alex T’s pace being too much for the opening batsman. Things eased off slightly when the change bowlers of Shashi and Sandy came on but that only resulted in a few more loose shots and it wasn’t long before the good Doctor Shashi found a break through, he followed that up with another 2 wickets to leave the batting side heading to drinks in the 20th over on 70/3. Things continued in a very slow and sedate manner with Shanghai’s premier spin bowler tying one end down and Alex T’s pace again proving too much for the Pudong batsman. The game was meandering along until a combination of Deepak’s arrival at the crease and some questionable square leg umpiring fired the HotDog’s up, captain Dayne setting the tone perfectly by directing some expletives at both the square leg umpire and then the batsmen. With a new found energy and fight the HotDogs bowlers battled the heat and smog to bowl out the opposition for 145 with the last ball of the 37th over.

   With Pudong being deducted 5 runs for a batsman appearing in shorts, Alun and Alex T opening the innings in search of the 141 runs needed for victory. A steady opening stand of 17 was ended when Alun edged behind but Alex T continued to look good with only the slow outfield causing him problems, until a great catch at short square leg ended his innings on 18. Dayne, Krish and Alex C all showed glimpses of talent with boundaries but all their innings fell short. With the game on a knifes edge at 64/4 Dave ‘Baymax’ Terrington strode out to the crease with the chance to continue on his Big Hero quest. He was well supported by Danny and a partnership of 57 in 14 brought the HotDogs to the brink of victory. With half a job done Danny decided to dolly a full toss to cover and it was left to Andy and DT to bring the innings home. Victory was achieved without any further blemishes and a 4 wicket victory was achieved in the 35th over.

   A fine all round performance, we won’t mention Vikas’ dropped catch, means that with two more games to go a semi-final berth is still within grasp.