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Sun 12th June – Ladies v East Herts

DULWICH 132 (25 overs) beat EAST HERTS 26 (20.4) by 106 runs


The Ladies played a rain-interrupted match against East Herts at Burbage Road on Sunday.

Late morning precipitation delayed the start and the game was reduced to 25 overs a side. Dulwich lost Kira to the second ball of the match, but recovered well to make it to 132/4 off their allotted overs. Lyndsay scored a career-best unbeaten 34 and there were good contributions from Nikki (15), Darcy (13), Tracy (12 not out) and Jacqui (7).

In reply, East Herts lost two wickets in their first two overs, with tidy opening spells from Lyndsay and Kira. Dulwich continued to take wickets, and bowled out the opposition for a mere 26 runs off 20.4 overs. Lyndsay took 3 for 1 off 4.4 overs, Kira 3 for 7 off 5 overs, new player Zainab 2 for 6 off 5 overs and Jane 1 for 6 off 5 overs. Darcy took three catches behind the stumps.

The Ladies hope to build on this good performance in their next league match against Leeds and Broomfield on 26th June. 

Sat 11th June – 4th XI v Spencer

DULWICH 133 (42.5 overs) lost to SPENCER 134-4 (22.2) by 6 wickets


Dulwich 4s lost their third game on the spin on Saturday in a disappointing performance. Things looked ominous on Tuesday night when it appeared that the majority of bowlers in the club seemed to be drawn like a moth to the light to the football and fighting the Russians in France. The skipper with his hands firmly tied selected a team heavy with batting. Sadly, this included the same player twice, who ended up not playing anyway. We were grateful for the fact that he hadn’t written the team on the back of a fag packet as it may have featured a new opening attack of Benson and Hedges.

Copious team changes subsequent to the event meant that the team featured 8 (yes 8!!!!) changes from the previous week. In truth only two actually turned up on the day and credit must go to the Skipper and Simon Bailey for their sterling efforts. Matt must be hard pushed to award the third placed 1 point for the game – although I think I would award it to his dad for turning up to sit through the tosh that we served up and for his pre-match analysis of our performance the week before. He was spot on!

Having been inserted, Julian Dean gave his partner, Guy “Road Runner” Woodgate the benefit of his considerable experience of how to bat on the main square, explaining that the game would be won by adopting an attrittional approach and that getting a score on the board was paramount. Somewhere between that conversation and the end of the fourth over with no runs on the board, Julian forgot his Churchillian speech by slapping the first ball pitched up in the mooooo-zone straight up in the air. Caught Mid-on. 0-1.

Shortly after, Guy was bounced out by a brute of a delivery. The ignominy of being bounced out by our old friend and colleague, Rehan “the Prancing Horse” Malik. 2-2.

Sean “Buster” Keaton looked to be positive. Unfortunately, he too didn’t last long as he was pinned LBW. 4-3 and the opening bowler had the figures of 4-4-0-2.

Enter the skipper to join young Harry Chathli. They both rode their luck early on, picking the gap between keeper and first slip with regularity. The opening bowlers bowled exceptionally tidily and gave nothing away such that we had crept into the 30s in the 18th over. Harry, played one too many unorthodox shots and was comprehensively bowled and Shok went soon after 33-5.

Enter Simon “the Piano Man” Bailey. Until last week’s return to form Simon’ s batting stats since mid-way through last season had resembled a premium rate telephone number 0-8-0-0… Anyhow, a radical rethink of how to go about things has seen a return of confidence for the chunky (or reverse thin as we call it these days) left-handed stodge merchant. With Matt digging in and for once exploring the delights of the off-side, Bails unleashed and middled a couple of trademark short-arm pulls and we were at least off and hobbling…

A rain break with the score on 72 after 25 overs shortened both innings by 5 overs. On return, Spencer introduced spin at both ends. Matt conscious of his reputation for sweeping everything (which he did for the first 5 balls without connecting), unleashed an uncharacteristic cut to the sixth and was promptly caught behind for a well-constructed 30. Stick to the broom Matt. Knighty arrived and took the score beyond 100 with Bails, and a few lusty blows over mid-wicket / cow prompted the return of the quicks. Knighty had a look (for one ball) and then essayed a “metaphorical” mighty haymaker at Rehan and lost his middle stump.  This brought into the fray Stuart Gardner for an entertaining 8 over cameo. If Stuey had connected with only half the shots he offered he would have scored a 20 ball ton and the croquet lawn would have been cratered, but sadly just a couple of lusty blows materialised and a lot of swishing at thin air.

Meanwhile at the other end, Bails accumulated steadily and confidently playing some delightful shots including a back foot glide to the point boundary which seemed to gather pace up the hill. Simon brought up an excellent 50 (or reverse zero as it is called these days) shortly before Stuey was put out of his misery and the innings closed on 133. Respectable really and it was a good save from 4-3. Special mention should go to Rehan who bowled with good pace throughout with the ball occasionally beating his follow-through to the other end. The only bowler I know who could actually field at first slip to himself!

With the need to attack paramount, Dulwich unleashed Knighty to bowl what they hoped was a hostile spell to put the visitors on the back foot. Spencer had given away 5 extras in our innings, a total we had bettered in 1 legitimate ball as Knight generated maximum pace and minimum grouping (or reverse line and length as we call it ). Bails took an outstanding low catch at gully to make a breakthrough, but the score raced along to 50 off 9 overs with the bowling being somewhat erratic (or Knighty not being reverse Knighty). Two quick wickets got us back in the game, but the experienced heads of Spencer’s middle order then took the game by the scruff of the neck and took them home for the loss of 1 further wicket with about 15 overs to spare. The skipper gets another mention for taking a good comedy catch at Mid-Off despite the usual lack of hand-eye co-ordination and at no point looking like catching it! 

The skipper and Simon apart, I think we would all hold our hands up and say we weren’t very good. Hopefully, after two weeks where only 2 or 3 of us have turned up, we will get a grip next week and at least be competitive.

Sat 11th June – 3rd XI v Spencer

DULWICH 103-8 (42.5 overs) beat SPENCER 102 (43) by 2 wickets


The 3rd XI’s winning start to the season continued with a close, tense victory away at Spencer.  Having seen off the last week’s second placed team, this was yet another top two clash.  The once again much changed team assembled on time, with the exception of James Read who needed additional time to prepare his hair but arrived, well coiffured, soon after the start.  The ‘tails never fails’ thinkers have been proven right by skipper Graeme Hough winning his fifth toss out of five and proceeding to insert Spencer to bat first.  With the weather set fair at the start but rain forecast for later early in roads were required.  Was the captain’s risky selection of just two seamers and three spinners to be proved folly?

Jeremy Jones and Chris Hope opened up with the Lords-type slope providing assistance to both.  Despite a couple of early, whipped boundaries from Spencer’s opener the breakthroughs came thick and fast.  Jones cleaned up said whippy opener trying one too many extravagant flicks through square leg, and Nick Hudson snaffled a blinder at second slip off Hope.  This was soon followed by two regulation edges through to Andy Bailey off Jones.  Ex-DCC player Shaq Farooqi entered the fray at number 6 but Jones and Hope continued to grind out the overs, keeping a lid on the run rate at less than two an over through the first 20 overs.

With the skies darkening the inevitable rain fell – nothing much but steady enough to take the players off.  A timely half hour or so rest for the two seamers was welcome, as the rain threatened to render the captain’s reliance on spin a bit of a calamity.  But the skies cleared, the sun came out and, after a period of stalemate where the batsmen dug in and wickets proved elusive, the skipper turned to himself to start the Plan B spin attack.  He quickly settled and took the 5th wicket.  Leg spinner Dan Peters entered the fray also to replace Hope who had begun whinging, in true Yorkshire softie style, of a sore side.  Bristling with natural anger and aggression, Peters settled in to a good rhythm and rendered law 42.6 a distant memory.  Hough meanwhile captured a further two wickets as, in true Lancashire style, he defied medical opinion, a catalogue of injuries, old age, etc, to show the (much) younger DCC upstarts to just get on with it.

With 7 wickets down Hough turned to fellow Lancastrian Ben Lester (though he is from Blackpool which most decent Lancastrians disassociate themselves from) to replace Peters who had bowled without much luck.  Lester proceeded to bowl no better than Peters but seems to have a ‘magic arm’ and cleaned up the tail capturing three quick wickets and even, somehow, managed a collector’s item (for him) maiden over.  A good bowling performance resulted in Spencer all out for 102 – Jones, Hough and Lester all with three wickets.  This could have been slightly less without the higher than average number of dropped catches.  Special mention for one of these ‘drops’ to James Read who fielded brilliantly all day and almost held on to what would have been a stupendous catch at deep square.  – no one else would have got near it let alone almost catch it.  But this was off skipper Hough so Mr Read unfortunately still enters his rather full book of players who have dropped catches off his bowling!

After a decent tea, Hudson and Morris strode out confidently.  Facing tight early Spencer bowling they started without alarm until Hudson flat batted a pull shot straight down the wicket, bowler’s boot stuck out, Morris out of his ground, run out complete.  Unfortunate, but as Geoffrey would say, ‘that’s cricket’.   As Chris Stone, Andrew Inglis and James Read came and went in quick succession nerves began to fray.  But Hudson was looking solid and Bailey joined him to edge a partnership along.  More alarm when Hudson miscued for a well-crafted 37 and, with half the side out and little more than halfway to the total, the match was in the balance.  Peters joined Bailey, the latter a pocket battleship of focus, concentration, nudging and nurdling and the former rendering batting text books worthless.  But it was effective and the winning line was in sight – surely nothing could go wrong?  But this is Dulwich after all.

Bailey skied one to deep square (one six a season is really your limit), Jones ran himself out and Peters went for a big one… and missed.  With 8 wickets down, six to win, a rather nervous captain padded up, which way would it go?  Lester and Hope survived a couple of vociferous LBW shouts and saw things home, however.  A win is a win, 6 out of 6, but closer than it should have been.  The author refuses to name and shame but the list of unnecessary dismissals was rather long – lessons learnt it is hoped.

On to the final leg of the mini road trip sees the team take on Reigate next week.  Always a tough fixture but the team will travel with confidence hopefully to what has been, over the years, a less than happy hunting ground for Dulwich.

Sat 11th June – 2nd XI v Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians

DULWICH 148-2 (30.1 overs) beat TRINITY MID-WHITGIFTIANS 147 (40.2) by 8 wickets


On a day filled with international sporting magnitude, the 2nd XI caught the headlines with a convincing 8 wicket victory over Trinity Mid-Whitgiftians CC.

Skipper James Bridgland, still burdening repercussions from attempting to bat first in the previous week, was well goaded by fellow teammates to bowl on this occasion should the opportunity arise. Arise it did. Dulwich inserted Whitgiftians on what looked like a decent batting track but with looming showers overhead throughout.

Bridgland and Matt Quaife carried intensity and prowess into their opening spell with dot balls and play and misses aplenty from the Whitgiftian opening pair. The opening partnership reached 28 before Bridgland got the better of Breitenstein, trapped LBW for 11. Quiafe was accountable for the next three wickets, enforcing an edge that was well taken at second slip by James Hirst and a magnificent caught & bowled that saw the opening bowler into a Schmeichel-esc leap and one-handed grab. One soon became two, three and four with the Whitgiftian top order struggling at 36-4.

Early inroads were put at bay as Whitgiftian skipper Nick Cook and Graham Cobbett looked to steady the ship. Aided by some poor Dulwich bowling in the middle overs, the pair got themselves to 95-4 before the looming rain came to fruition.

With the rain set in, an early tea was taken, displaying popular continental delights such as Greek salad, cous cous, bhajis and samosas. Despite heavy showers throughout the tea break, play was able to resume in a slightly reduced overs affair.

The Red Arrows paid tribute to Bridgland and Quaife’s return to the attack and soon the wickets followed again. 95-4 at the break quickly turned to 112-8. Whitgiftians chanced their arm towards the end but were bowled out for 147 from 40.2 overs. The final two wickets were snaffled by Zakir Rostami (2-7), the last of which was an absolute beauty of a grab by Stuart Ferguson at cover. Bridgland finished with fine figures of 13-2-31-4 and was unlucky not to get a successive five-for, having had a chance dropped at slip. Quaife supported excellently with figures of 16-1-49-4 and etched himself the new nickname ‘Qurtly’.

Opener Tulsani was obviously not feeling himself this week and took all of five balls to hit his first boundary. Luke Cheadle can count himself unlucky, falling to a questionable LBW for 11. Tulsani looked to up the rate as the sky turned from grey to gloomy to morbid and eventually fell for a well worked 27 with the score at 43-2. Rostami and Hazlewood (who was fast building a reputation as a specialised TFC) looked to build a partnership as the Whitgiftian attack found new ways to kill time for rain. The pair took their opportunity well with a century partnership and fifties apiece to see Dulwich home inside 31 overs.

Dulwich go into next week’s top of the table clash with five wins from a possible six.

Sat 11th June – 1st XI v Purley

DULWICH 213-7 (40) beat PURLEY 99 (22.3) by 114 runs


Dulwich overcame both the elements and the opposition to record a convincing victory in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Purley.

Following the imposition of a four point penalty after receiving two reports of sub-standard pitches from their first three home matches, Dulwich decided to avoid the risk of further point deductions by transferring this match to the third team pitch at DSG, which had been playing well all season. A lot of hard work was done to make this happen, which was well rewarded as the DSG pitch gained high praise from both players and umpires.

Purley won the toss, and with rain forecast inevitably decided to field. They were unable to make an early breakthrough, as Ed Stolle and Tom Savill put on 41 for the first wicket in 7.3 overs. Stolle was first to go, having looked in good form while making 29 off as many balls, and Savill followed on the same score with 12 off 18. This brought together Ed Towner and Will Bancroft. The pair had taken the score to 136-2 off 31.4 overs when intermittent drizzle turned into heavy rain and drove the players from the field. By the time the rain had stopped and the Umpires deemed the outfield was dry enough for play to resume, 30 overs had been lost and Dulwich had just 8.2 left to post a defensible score.

Bancroft fell soon after the resumption without adding to his 43, but this brought in Naeem Iqbal, who proceeded to flay the Purley bowling to all parts, scoring 39 off just 17 balls with four sixes. He was out in the 38th over, and was followed in the next over by Towner, whose impressive 69 had come off just 86 balls. Two wickets fell in the last over as Jon Lodwick and Salaar Waqar both sacrificed themselves in going for ambitious second and third runs respectively. Four wickets had gone down in eleven balls, forcing numbers ten and eleven to frantically don their pads (and in one case his kit), but Leon Sealy and Levi Olver saw the innings to its conclusion without further mishap. The last 8.2 overs had yielded 77 runs, to lift the Dulwich total to 213-7 after their 40 overs.

With just 30 overs to bat, Purley needed to score at 7.13 per over for victory, or more realistically 5.33 to achieve 160 for a winning draw. Dulwich maintained attacking fields throughout, which enabled the batsmen to score at a steady rate but also had fielders in position for any edges or mishits that might come. And come they did! Iqbal took the first wicket, caught by keeper Bancroft, off only the third ball, and Kamran Munawar had the other opener well caught by skipper Alex Gledhill above his head in the second over. The innings was now led by Trinidadian OP Jason Batson, in stands of 28 for the third wicket and 24 for the fourth, but an excellent spell of 3-25 in seven overs by Lodwick destroyed the middle order. He was well supported by Sealy whose four overs for 16 runs included the wicket of opposing skipper James Scott, caught by Savill at second slip.

When Batson became Lodwick’s third wicket to make it 67-6 after 14 overs, there seemed to be nothing left for Purley but to bat out time, but the tail didn’t see it that way and indulged in a weird mixture of defence and attack. Olver was the beneficiary as he induced catches to midwicket (Gledhill), second slip (a superb low catch by Savill) and long off (Sealy), before finishing the innings by having the last man lbw. He had taken 4-9 off just 3.3 overs. Purley had been bowled out in 22.3 overs for 99.

This was Dulwich’s fourth win in six matches, but the two teams above them also won, so they remain in third place. Next week they will have their third consecutive home match, against Chessington who are currently in seventh place.