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Sat 9th June – 6th XI v Beckenham

The 6th XI headed towards the county ground at Beckenham but came up about half a mile short on an astro pitch by a leisure centre. That wasn’t the biggest early controversy however, Julian Dean arrived at the ground fresh off the back of his decision to triple captain Beggsy only to find out he’d pulled out with an unsubstantiated knee injury, this created early friction between Julian and skipper Tim Brown, as Brown (just above Julian in the fantasy league table) had switched Beggsy just before the midday deadline!

Having lost the toss and been asked to bat, the fantasy scandal seemed to be playing on Julian’s mind as he struggled to get the ball off a rather small square in the first 10 overs, but with opening partner Tahsin (17*) and extras ticking along Dulwich made it to 39-0 off 10, despite Julian (4*) collapsing to the ground with a shout of “oh no” at the end of sluggishly run single following an atrocious shot that dribbled to short third man off his outside edge, this was not the only time Julian ended up in a heap on the ground! With the strain of trying to score for 2, Tahsin tried to play some shots but got caught at mid off for 19, 45-1, extras still comfortably outsourcing Julian.

Waqas joined Julian in the middle and immediately tried to get bat on ball prompting Julian to attempt some shots to avoid the embarrassment of being outscored by Waqas within only a few balls. The score moved along to 68, with some entertaining running, then Julian offered a simple chance to mid off which was gladly accepted, so he departed for 16 in the 18th over.

Sakib joined Waqas but before either could get going Waqas chipped the ball behind square sweeping one of Beckenham’s two young spinners for another simple catch. Simon Bailey then joined Sakib and the pair steadied the ship taking the score past 100 with reality ease, although the large quantity of grass cuttings on one side of the outfield meant batsmen rarely got value for their shots. Both Sakib and Bailey managed the odd boundary though, with a beautiful pick up over square leg for 6 the highlight for Sakib. After a stand of 66 at close to a run a ball, Bailey missed a slow straight one and departed for 26. Henry Entwistle came and went, before Brown strode at 7, four places too high according to Julian. Brown didn’t last long however and departed for 4 as he and Sakib tried to keep the score board ticking.

Julian had entered the game as an umpire at this point to get a closer look at how a batsmen would go about hitting the ball off the square and wanting to make his mark on things, called Sakib for one short when turning for two.

With Rhys “Serena” Williams now at the crease, Sakib finally fell 3 short of his 50, Beckenham holding on to another catch. At 154-7 the innings was stalling somewhat but cameos from Williams and James Worley gave the innings a little gloss. Worley crunched his first ball down the ground for 6, taking his batting efforts of the last 3 weeks to 11 off 72 balls. He then executed a charge, swat, ramp shot which had to be seen to be understood.

Dulwich finished their 40 overs on 181-9. A fairly satisfying effort, on a ground that didn’t offer much for the purist!

Into the second half and just 2 balls in the skippers plan to hide Julian at first slip fell apart. Will Palmer opening the bowling drew the edge but Julian, only reaching down by his ankles to tie his shoe lace, proceeded to drop the catch and destroy his thumb in the process. After several minutes collapsed in a heap on the floor, Julian declined Bailey’s kind offer of a cake and left the field.

Fielding with 10 didn’t seem to make much difference and runs where at a premium. Wickets however were just as hard to come by, despite Rhys and Will bowling with pace and accuracy. The break through came when Sakib took a smart catch off Will Palmer in the 9th over.

Julian returned to the field just in time for Waqas to hurt himself and have to depart proceeding. Beckenham’s stubborn resistance continued and at 50-1 at drinks they where behind the rate but with wickets in hand. Brown had a quick spell and troubled both the batsmen and air traffic control, but not the wickets column. It wasn’t until John Comerford and James “what in the world does he actually bowl” Worley bowled in tandem that things changed. Both provided their own unique variations and wickets started to fall at regular intervals. John took 2 and James 3, the skipper then sensed more fantasy points for himself and returned to clean up the tail (the young bowlers mentioned earlier!). His plan worked and 3 wickets from Brown and a Sakib run out finished off Beckenham for 106.

A comfortable win and enjoyed by all except Julian’s thumb. Special mention must go to Henry behind the stumps for his enthusiastic and high quality keeping. He was unlucky not be awarded a couple of stumpings but also entertained with several solo appeals for imaginary edges!

Sat 9th June – 1st XI v Walton on Thames

DULWICH 86 (51.4) lost to WALTON ON THAMES 90-9 (34.2) by 1 wicket

 

Scorecard

 

In a nail-biting finish Dulwich narrowly failed to defend a total of 86 in a low scoring Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Walton on Thames, and went down to defeat by one wicket.

 

Dulwich were put in to bat on a slow pitch, and found runs hard to come by against accurate bowling and a tight cordon of fielders. Skipper Ed Stolle was lbw to Matt Nichols in the third over, and Guy Skinner and George Pearson grafted steadily until both fell to the same bowler. Matt Marfani and Salaar Waqar thus came together with the score on 25-3 in the 17th over. They steadied the ship, adding 32 together in twelve overs. Nichols completed his spell with 3-16 off eleven overs, before giving way to former Surrey left arm spinner Mark Bainbridge, who proved equally difficult to get away. Waqar grew increasingly frustrated before skying a catch to the keeper and Marfani was disastrously run out in the next over to make it 60-5. Keeper Will Bancroft fell without scoring, and only four runs came from eleven overs as Jon Lodwick and Kamran Munawar dug in against Bainbridge and South African off spinner Eben Botha. Munawar faced 35 balls without scoring before getting off the mark with a straight six, but lost both Lodwick and Assan Crawford-Khan before becoming the ninth man out with the score on 74. Patrick George helped Alex Gledhill add 12 for the last wicket to take the Dulwich score to 86 all out in the 52nd over. Bainbridge finished his 14 overs with 4-25, and Botha bowled 11.4 overs while taking two wickets and conceding just seven runs. Waqar and Marfani were the only men to reach double figures, and the latter’s 19 would prove to be the highest score of the match.

 

In reply Lodwick proved similarly restrictive, with a first spell of six overs for ten runs. It was Crawford-Khan at the other end, however, who picked up the first two wickets, removing skipper Dan Roberts for 8, and the dangerous Botha for 13, to reduce Walton to 34-2 in the tenth over. Gledhill provided his usual brake, and was joined in the attack by fellow left arm spinner George. The third wicket pair were restricted to 15 runs off nine overs before Gledhill had opener Matt Harris leg before, also for 13. James Madoc-Jones and Sam Gorvin seemed to be cruising towards victory with a stand of 18 in 5.4 overs before both fell in successive overs from the spinners to make it 71-5 in the 26th over. Gorvin became the third Walton player to be dismissed for 13, while Madoc-Jones’s 15 proved to be the top score of the innings.

 

At this point Stolle made the inspired decision to recall Lodwick, and he responded by taking two wickets with his first two balls. Walton had lost four wickets for just five runs and at 72-7 were still 15 away from victory. Bainbridge and Jamie Mann added nine runs before Gledhill trapped Bainbridge leg before to make it 81-8. Three overs later Lodwick had Mann caught behind to give Bancroft his third catch and make it 85-9. Last man Luke Minshull took a single to level the scores, and hit the second ball of the next over to the boundary to secure victory for his side. Gledhill finished with 3-20 off 11.2 overs, while Lodwick had 3-18 off ten.

 

Dulwich thus finished with just three bowling points from this narrow defeat and slip to ninth, while their opponents took 24 points to move them to the top of the table. Next week Dulwich pay their first visit for many years to newly promoted Sanderstead, who are currently in fifth place.

 

 

 

Sat 2nd June – 1st XI v Kingstonian

DULWICH (135 all out) beat KINGSTONIAN (101 all out) by 34 runs.

Scorecard

Chasing Dulwich’s meagre total of 135, the home side collapsed from 100-5 to 101 all out as left-arm spinner Pat George took four of the last five wickets to fall without conceding a run.

Kingstonian won the toss and inserted Dulwich on a bowler-friendly wicket at Windsor Avenue. The move reaped an early dividend when visiting skipper Ed Stolle was dismissed by Shan for a duck. Fellow opener Guy Skinner was then caught behind off Aziz for 13, reducing Dulwich to 16-2 inside seven overs. Three of this season’s newcomers, George Pearson (24), Jonno Evans (18) and Matt Marfani (22), then steadied the innings but after reaching 112-5 the tail offered only token resistance and Dulwich were dismissed for 135 after 46.4 overs. H. Ahmed was Kingstonian’s most successful bowler, taking 4-21 off 12 overs.

Kingstonian’s innings also got off to a bad start when in the very first over Imran Khalid was caught behind by Evans off Kamran Munawar. Second wicket pair Haroon Ashfaq and Raza Sikandar immediately went on the attack and a flurry of boundaries took the score past the forty mark before pace bowler Assan Crawford-Khan removed them both, two more victims for wicket-keeper Evans. Number four bat A. Ahmed righted the ship and his knock of 31, the highest score of the match, guided Kingstonian’s to 100-5 and within sight of victory. But Ahmed’s dismissal, caught at square leg off Pat George, triggered an almighty collapse and the home side were all out for 101 in the 37th over. Pat George finished with figures of 4-10 off 5.5 overs, whilst fellow slow left-armer Alex Gledhill returned 2-23 from 14 overs and Crawford-Khan 2-12 from 7 overs.

Having got off the mark, Dulwich will be looking for further victories in the coming weeks to climb further up the table, but they face a tough task this Saturday (9th June) when they entertain second-placed Walton-on-Thames at Burbage Road (start 12.00 noon).

Sun 27th May – 7th XI vs Fonthill Park

Dulwich returned to the sylvan arboreal delights of Fonthill Park still nursing the wound they received from Josh White’s savage onslaught exactly 12 months ago. Those of you that were here, will remember how Josh dispatched the Dulwich bowlers to most parts of Hindon, Mere and most of the other small towns to be found on the A303 between Yeovil and Andover. Whereas last year’s game was played in primary garish colours of Red and Yellow, today’s game was an infinitely more textured game full of burnt umbers, vermillions, magenta’s and cobalt blues. An attritional game for the connoisseur that looked more as if it were being played between Ratcliffe and Nelson in Lancashire League, with runs being prised from parsimonious bowlers like gold teeth.

I will not linger over the opening 17 overs of the Dulwich innings which produced a miserable 31 runs and it was not really until Comerford arrived at the crease did Dulwich look like posting anything like as respectable total. Comerford cut carved and cleaved and the scorebook tells its own story 444161144. Even the 3 members of the Canine species decided to stop doing those things that dogs do on the outfield of a Cricket match and watch the match instead. But 113 for 9 off 35 overs still seemed an uneasily attainable target for Fonthill.

However, they had reckoned without the shrewd tactics of Jeff Mascarenhas who decided not to give Gibson a bowl. In addition, he displayed a shrewd tactical awareness which was most probably, directly attributable to his experiences as vice captain in Dulwich’s celebrated 1993 3rd XI Div. 3 championship winning team, where he was something of a sorcerer’s apprentice. But I digress, the fact is Fonthill toiled and laboured to attain Dulwich’s meagre total. It must be said Dulwich were greatly helped by Nick Rochford who managed to stop as many fours as he could as the square leg umpire. All five bowlers matched the Fonthill bowlers for miserliness. They could not remove Howard Smith who doggedly stuck to the task until he was brilliantly run out by John Cross. Rob Branch hung on to a good catch and Fonthill continued to lose wickets at an alarming rate, but some lusty blows from Nicole and Catarinella saw them home with an over to spare.

Sat 26th May – 7th XI vs Witham Priory

This game was particularly distinguished by the pre match politics that occurred within the confines of the Dulwich Camp. Most notable for his absence this season was President Smith (also known as Erdogan or Orban) the strong man in the Dulwich Cricket power structure. This meant that lesser mortals in the shape of self appointed Tour committee Pylas, Rochford and Gibson ran roughshod through the ancien regime of John Smith. Pylas had already abused his new found freedom to act by changing the start and length of the game in order to assuage his own selfish desire to watch a minor football match occurring some 2,500 miles away in the Ukraine. As a bribe to the electorate, Pylas removed himself from the team for today’s match.

The team was joined by tour debutantes Lindsay Morton and John Comerford who immediately got in to the swing of things by drinking pints of the Seymour Arms world famous Warthog Urine: a highly toxic brew which is also sold to the Gambian republic as fuel for paraffin stoves.

The team was led by Lord Blenchart, something of a faux aristocrat, given his predilections for junk food, pornographic literature and mass produced ice cream. He is also an Arsenal Supporter.

Departing from the custom in this fixture captain Blench decided to bat first. At first, this appeared to be a wise decision. As Blench himself and the allegedly incapacitated Cross dispatched opening bowlers Pritchard and Hyde to various parts of Witham Friary Parish. The good ship Dulwich then became becalmed in the Sargasso Sea of few runs and much flailing and wailing. The heavy artillery “biff bang merchants” Comerford and Branch were removed for a total of 6 runs. Rochford pitched in with a brisk 24, but at 93 for 4 off 21 overs the Dulwich innings was neither nowt nor summat. At this point, one was reminded of the series of Roger Hargreaves children’s books about the Mr. Men. Gibson entered the lists in the form of Mr. Lucky. Dropped no less than 4 times by a hapless Witham Friary he swashed and buckled his way to an improbable 17 not out including a towering and majestic 6 over Long-on.
Dulwich set about defending their total of 124 with all the miserly zeal of a Scrooge or a Shylock. Morton, Comerford, Both the poor man’s Matt Craig (David Hawes) and the rich man’s Matt Craig (Matt Craig) bowled with commendable parsimony, Friary found it hard to reach the required run rate until Gibson was introduced into the attack, at which point, the game looked as if it might slip away from Dulwich’s vice like grip as this luxury bowler served a delicious combination of Ferrero Rocher gift wrapped long hops, and wides. Not for the first time one, is reminded of his classification in the Playfair Cricket Annual. Not RFM or SLA but POF. Purveyor of Filth. Blench wisely removed him from the attack and entrusted the last few overs to Craig and Mascarenhas who efficiently wrapped the Witham innings up for 101 runs. Lindsay Morton asked me to mention her Run Out. And so we say thank you once again to Witham Friary for a truly splendid day out.

As a postscript, I am delighted to tell you that the best Greek Cricketer in SE23 was obliged to watch the match in the company of 10 Real Madrid Supporters all of whom were sporting the Spanish team’s official shirt. Surprisingly all 10 were from south east London and coincidentally, on a cricket tour.

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