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Sat 19th May – 2nd XI vs Guildford

On a beautiful day for playing and spectating, the 2nd XI turned up to Guildford’s new £1.6m pavilion hoping to maintain their 100% record under the regime of skipper Oliver “Vlad” Steward. These days £1.6m won’t even buy you the services of the skipper for a year’s fantasy cricket, so a new pavilion seems like good value. Indeed, new research into the Steward effect suggests that playing cricket for the premier club in South London is associated with mood swings, hair loss, and increased exposure to the shitriggus cantgetitoffthesquare pathogen.

Avoiding his first Gabba moment of the season, the skipper won the toss and asked Guildford to field. Warming up like a team on top of their game, no catches were dropped or throws mis-directed, and the standard of football was simply exceptional (footage available here).

Guy Skinner and very good looking man Ed Towner strode to the wicket to begin Dulwich’s innings. It was a particularly monumental day for Towner as Dad, a professional cricket coach no less, was due to arrive to watch, accompanied by Mrs. Tower and Mrs. Towner to be. But as the Towners approached the ground, Dad gave perhaps his most eloquent, most insightful, most accurate comment on Towner’s technique and approach to the game.

As the Towner Lambo rolled past, Dad passed his beer to his wife, leant out the window, and at the top of his voice shrieked “BORING”. Poor Ed promptly agreed, snicking off for 5.

As is the norm, finding strength in others’ misfortune, Guy Skinner flayed his way to 50ish (41) before politely guiding a catch to gully. Skinner’s innings oozed mediocrity, and his career continues to decline, a man who’s self-confessed cricketing peak was once being paid expenses to snick off against Essex under 25s. Enter Virat Hopkins who, paving the way for his subcontinental superstar cousin later in the summer, treated the four Guildford fans (one topless) (male) to a symphony of counterattacking striking before missing a straight one immediately after drinks.

At the other end, channelling his inner Steward and not hitting one off the square for the first hour of his innings, George Pearson finally leapt out of housemate Nick Gunnell’s shadow and began to sneak the ball through the inner field. Sir George to his friends, Pearson’s brain finally succumbed to low blood pressure from wearing his spray on under-13 Gloucestershire Young Cricketers kit, snicking off for 80 odd (77 off 101).

To the crease came the dear leader Olly Stewart, evidently nervous but purposeful in stride and strike rate, to kick on the Dulwich innings. A masterclass in modern cricket followed – clean striking, quick running, a performance of a true athlete in body and mind. An innings which Ed Towner described as the best 13 he’d ever seen, Steward scored 12 off 29 balls.

Gunning, Ayyavooraju, Quaife, and Khan did their best to jeopardise the setting of a competitive total on more of a road than the parallel A23, with Dulwich losing four wickets for 12 runs from 205/4 to 212/9. Specialist bowler Matt “the cat” Wright made use of all nine lives in his innings, but in partnership with genuine all-rounder Graeme Hough who finished with the second best strike rate of the innings, dragged Dulwich up to 251 all out with one ball left in the innings.

Matt “medium pacer” Wright and Matt Quaife opened up. Quaife, thinking his valuation in fantasy cricket was too high, put in a performance to achieve the maximum possible negative points score (-40 since you asked), and will feature no further in this report. Wright, however, settled into his usual military medium style – continually asking Hopkins not to stand up – and made the first breakthrough at 46/1. Taking a break from chain smoking and avidly watching the royal wedding, all-rounder Hough bowled with usual control and guile, and the Dulwich field sensed an opportunity to squeeze the Guildford batsmen harder than Steward’s anxious, anxious hands hold the bat. Despite partnerships of 50- and 80-odd, Guildford stuttered their way through the innings and a combination of tight bowling and energetic fielding kept the score 15-20 runs behind the rate throughout the innings.

Nick Gunning (born 29 July 1966) is a British former track and field athlete who won the 1992 Olympic gold medal in the 400 m hurdles. She is the only female British athlete to have won Olympic, World, European and Commonwealth titles. Born of the same bat-a-bit-and-bowl-slow-medium pace stock of Wright, Quaife, and Patankar, Gunning bowled with control and success, finishing with figures of 3/34 off 7.

At the other end, Ahmed Khan lived up to his reputation as the most promising 13-year old leg spinner since Gunning’s drift into middle-aged mediocrity. For ten critical mid-innings overs, Khan tied the Guildford middle order in knots, varying pace and length (intentionally, for a change), taking 2/34 off 10 overs. Khan’s first wicket – a googly which flummoxed Guildford’s dangerman and bowled him through the gate – saw him take off on a sprinting celebration, covering more ground than Guy Skinner’s intense cardiovascular regime does in a week. Enjoying his cricket, and contributing to the team on and off the field, Khan has already achieved more than Steward many of his colleagues.

With ten overs left, Dulwich turned the screw. Momentum continued to shift as Skinner took a regulation catch on the boundary at deep cover, and Towner achieved the cricketing pinnacle – taking a screamer at long off, pulling out the Shearer celebration, and getting a reciprocal wave from Dad on the boundary. Gunning, Wright, and Quaife bowled the final overs and nudged Dulwich over the line, winning by ten runs. A very good team performance means the 2s sit top of the table as we go into round 3.

Note from the Editor: As a result of publication, the author has received notification that “The Grade Cricketer” wish to pursue litigation as a result of alleged plagiarism. To compound matters, the Dulwich Fantasy Cricket Anti-Corruption Unit are seeking to have said author removed from this week’s matches as a result of irregular market activity prior to his performance this week. The anti-corruption unit, headed up by fantasy honcho Guy Woodgate, note that the author was dropped by several managers prior to him obtaining the worst possible score in fantasy cricket. He was also hit for six last ball of the game.

Sat 19th May – 1st XI v Oxted & Limpsfield

DULWICH 212 (49.5) lost to OXTED & LIMPSFIELD 214-1 (43.1) by 9 wickets

 

Dulwich started their first home match of the season in Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship by scoring 212 against Oxted & Limpsfield, but were left watching in frustration as their opponents cruised to victory by nine wickets with almost seven overs to spare.

 

Dulwich chose to bat, and skipper Ed Stolle led the way. He enjoyed stands of 37 for the first wicket with Kristian Williman, who made 19, and 28 for the second with Nick Hudson, who made 12. This brought in newcomer Matt Marfani for his first team debut, and together the pair added 77 for the third wicket to take the score to 142-2 after 36 overs. Marfani fell to a smart return catch by Ned Lack for 32, and Stolle was stumped off a wide in Lack’s next over, having made 63. Wickets then tumbled steadily, punctuated by some lusty blows by Salaar Waqar, Jon Lodwick and Phil McCormack. The last eight wickets went down for 70 runs to see Dulwich dismissed for 212 off the penultimate ball of their fifty overs.

 

Dulwich struck back immediately when Lodwick had Mike Adamson caught at gully off the second ball of the innings. But that proved to be the only wicket to fall as skipper Simon Jackson and Jack Lloyd, who had added 166 together in the first game between the sides last season, proceeded to knock off the runs. Lloyd led the way at first, but his captain caught him up in the thirties and reached his fifty first. Six bowlers were tried but were unable to break through as the two batsmen moved neck and neck into the nineties. Jackson reached his century first, to leave Lloyd facing the next over needing three for his hundred with three wanted for victory. The first ball went for four byes to end the match and leave Lloyd stranded on 97.

 

Dulwich took just three batting points from this game, and find themselves ninth in the table having suffered two defeats and one abandoned match in their first three games. They are level on points with Bank of England, who happen to be next week’s visitors. Dulwich will be looking to avenge their defeats of last season by these opponents.

Sat 5th May – 1st XI v Dorking

DORKING 219-7 (50) beat DULWICH 180 (47.2) by 39 runs

Scorecard

Dulwich started the new season in Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship with a 39 run defeat at Dorking.

The home side chose to bat on a slow pitch. Openers Bradley Erasmus and Tom Lister made a solid start against tight bowling from Jon Lodwick and debutant Phil McCormack, taking the score to 43 after 13 overs. Alex Gledhill and James Bridgland kept them on an even tighter rein, and it was Bridgland who broke through with the score on 66 after 23 overs, taking two wickets in three balls. This brought in Danny Douthwaite, who went on the attack, taking 17 off Salaar Waqar’s first over on his way to 41 off 43 balls. Waqar responded in his second over by having Erasmus lbw for 32, off a painstaking 83 balls, to make it 101-3. Douthwaite fell to Kamran Munawar with the score on 136, whereupon Ben Rogers was joined by Cameron Pitt in a stand of 59 in ten overs for the fifth wicket. Rogers fell for 27 to Gledhill, who took a second wicket three balls later. Kieran Corbitt was run out when both batsmen found themselves at the same end, but some late blows by Pitt, who finished with an unbeaten 47 off just 43 balls, lifted his side to 219 for 7 after their 50 overs. Extras had contributed 37 runs to the total, including 19 scored as wides. Gledhill and Bridgland finished their ten overs with 2-27 and 2-28 respectively, while Lodwick conceded just 22 runs off his ten.

Douthwaite and Corbitt then combined in a hostile opening spell against new skipper Ed Stolle and Nick Hudson. Douthwaite struck in his third over, bowling Stolle for 6, and followed up in his next over by having Ed Hopkins caught in the slips to reduce Dulwich to 16-2. Hudson was then joined by the second debutant, keeper Jonny Evans. Together they added 43 in just 7.2 overs before both fell with the score on 59, Hudson having made 28 (off 40 balls), and Evans 11 off 20. Waqar and Will Bancroft therefore had to consolidate, but gradually upped the tempo, adding 53 together in 16 overs to take Dulwich to 112-4 in the 31st over. Waqar’s dismissal for 30 was soon followed by Bancroft for 22, and Lodwick and McCormack were both bowled without scoring. Dulwich had lost four wickets in five overs for just four runs to make it 116-8 after 36.

Munawar and Gledhill then produced the third good partnership of the innings, adding exactly 50 in eight overs for the ninth wicket. Munawar led the way with some fine strokes, while Gledhill gave solid support before being run out for 11. A breezy knock by Bridgland helped secure a second batting point, before he fell to a sharp one handed catch with the score on 180. Munawar remained unbeaten, having faced 43 balls in making the highest score of the innings with 33.

Dulwich thus take four points from this match, and will be hoping for a better result next week when they visit Worcester Park.

 

 

 

Sat 8th July – 1st XI v Bank of England

BANK OF ENGLAND 239-9 (55) beat DULWICH 134 (37.4) by 105 runs

Scorecard

A depleted Dulwich side failed to build on a good start in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Bank of England, going down to defeat by 105 runs.

Dulwich gave their opponents first use of a good batting pitch, and got off to a good start as Leon Sealy and Jon Lodwick each took an early wicket to reduce Bank to 25-2 after 8.1 overs. The third wicket pair added 32 before both fell in the space of three balls trying extravagant shots. This gave a first wicket to Levi Olver, in his first over, and a second to Sealy, who completed an impressive first spell with 2-29 off nine overs. Janil Ramesh and Sam Brandon then defended resolutely as Brandon sought to recover from a knock on the hand. They added just twelve runs in the next eleven overs to reach the drinks break at 69-4 off 26 overs, with Dulwich seemingly well on top.

This all changed after the resumption as the pair went on the attack, and added a further 104 in 19.1 overs before Ramesh was caught behind by Will Bancroft off Olver. Having scored just five runs off his first 39 balls, he hit 38 off the next 49 to finish with 43 off 88. Brandon fell the same way 21 runs later for 80, having scored just four runs off his first 29 balls, and 76 at a run a ball for the rest of his innings. Sam Hawley, with 20 off 22 balls, and Nikul Ramesh, 15 off 15, then added 27 for the seventh wicket before both fell to Salaar Waqar in the penultimate over. Skipper Alex Gledhill picked up the ninth wicket in the last over as Bank closed on 239-9 after 55 overs. Olver finished with a creditable 3-33 off 14 overs, but none of the other bowlers were able to stem the flow of runs as 170 came off the final 29 overs of the innings.

The Dulwich reply got off to a disastrous start when Nick Hudson was caught behind off Jack O’Brien in the first over. Lodwick, in the unusual role of opening bat, fell the same way for 17 with the score on 27, and Henry Hazlewood was brilliantly caught by Brandon at second slip for 16 nine runs later. O’Brien took his fourth wicket when Assan Crawford-Khan was lbw for 4 with the score on 45. Waqar and Bancroft took the score to 65 in the 16th over when Bancroft was lbw to Nikul Ramesh for 4, and Waqar was caught behind in the next over for 13 to give Hawley his third catch and O’Brien his fifth wicket. The opener had bowled a curious mixture of wayward and challenging deliveries that had left the Dulwich innings in ruins, and was rested with figures of 5-29 after ten overs.

Kim Winder replaced him, and removed Euan Johnson, who had defended resolutely for 25 balls for a single, in his second over. He didn’t take any more wickets, but conceded just 13 runs off his nine overs. Sealy and Olver found runs easier to come by at the other end and added 27 in seven overs for the eighth wicket, the highest stand of the innings. Sealy was the next to go, having top scored with 24, off 32 balls. Olver and Gledhill added a further 17 before Olver fell for 21 off 30. At 127-9 the last pair still had to hold out for 11.3 overs to avoid defeat, but had lasted just four when O’Brien was recalled. Four balls were all he needed to take his sixth wicket and secure victory for his side. Dulwich had succumbed for 134 in just 37.4 overs.

Dulwich gained just three points from a disappointing match and slip back to ninth place as Epsom gained nine points from a winning draw against Malden Wanderers. Next week Dulwich have a difficult match at home to runaway leaders Esher.

 

Sat 20th May – 1st XI v Esher

ESHER 268-4 (50) beat DULWICH 181-6 (50) by 87 runs

Scorecard

A depleted Dulwich side were thoroughly outplayed in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Esher, going down to defeat by 87 runs.

With the pitch starting damp and more rain forecast, Alex Gledhill chose to field on winning the toss. Leon Sealy produced an excellent opening spell, taking the first wicket in his second over, and bowling eight overs for just 16 runs. Matt Quaife, promoted to the first team after taking five for the seconds last week, could not repeat the feat, and was replaced for the 12th over by Sam Ellison, who removed the opposing skipper with his first ball and started with three successive maidens. Esher had reached just 38-2 after 16 overs, but Alex Martin and OP Shoaib Khan then launched a counter attack which saw the score start to mount rapidly. The pair had added 196 in 36 overs when Khan ran himself out trying to run a bye to the keeper, having made 88 off 104 balls. Nathan Roberts was promoted in search of quick runs and obliged with 28 off just ten balls, including four huge sixes. Sealy, having conceded just 21 runs off his first nine overs, went for 22 off the last, but was rewarded with the wicket of Roberts, caught on the boundary with two balls to go. Martin finished undefeated on 124, off 143 balls, having been dropped on 0 and 99. Khan had also survived a chance early in his innings, and Dulwich were left to rue their fielding lapses. Esher finished on 268-4 after their 50 overs, having added 78 off the last seven.

Roberts now opened the bowling in partnership with Khurram Irshad. Ed Stolle and Kristian Williman launched their reply without undue alarm, adding 28 together before Williman was caught behind off Roberts off the last ball of the eighth over for 12. Stolle was adjudged lbw for the same score in Roberts’ next over. He followed up with a wicket in each of his next three overs, as Ross Ewing, making his first team debut, Guy Skinner and Will Bancroft managed just 11 runs between them. All three fell to stunning catches, in sharp contrast to the first innings. Roberts came off after eight overs with figures of 5-20, having reduced Dulwich from 28-0 to 52-5.

With a win now out of reach, Dulwich’s best hope was to try and reach 150 for a batting point. Stuart Ferguson, making a rare first team appearance, was joined by Salaar Waqar. Spinners Ben Collins and Nick Winder kept them on a tight rein, bowling 20 overs between them for just 46 runs. Nonetheless they advanced steadily towards their target, adding 56 for the sixth wicket in 20 overs before Ferguson was caught off Winder for 28. Ellison joined Waqar and defended resolutely until the spinners completed their spells, but upped the tempo when the quickies returned. The 150 target was reached with 17 balls to spare, and the pair now launched a blitz of their own to add a further 30 runs and garner a second batting point. Ellison, having taken 21 balls to get off the mark, finished with 29 off 44, while Waqar’s excellent unbeaten 64 came off 96 balls and was his maiden half century for the club. Their unbeaten seventh wicket partnership had added 73 in 14.1 overs, to close on 181-6.

Dulwich once again ended a disappointing day with just two points. Next week they will be hoping to put in a better all-round performance when they visit newly promoted Dorking for their third successive away match.

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