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Sat 23rd July – 1st XI v Worcester Park

DULWICH 180 (53.3) lost to WORCESTER PARK 183-3 (37.3) by 7 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich were thoroughly outplayed by Worcester Park, going down to defeat in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match by seven wickets.

Dulwich elected to bat and got off to a remarkable start as acting skipper Ed Stolle hit the first ball of the match into a neighbouring garden, necessitating a lengthy search for a replacement. He and Tom Savill then repeated their dominating form of the previous week, needing just 7.5 overs to post their fifth opening stand of 50 or more in seven attempts. This was to prove a false dawn. Savill’s dismissal for 25, scored at a run a ball, was soon followed by three more wickets, including Stolle for 35, also at a run a ball, to reduce Dulwich to 67-4 after 16 overs. Keeper Ed Hopkins and Jack Anderson then found runs hard to come by against the opposition spinners. They had added 24 in ten overs for the fifth wicket when Anderson was caught behind for 14 off 34 balls.

Stuart Ferguson now joined Hopkins, and played a staunch supporting role while Hopkins pushed the score along at the other end. The partnership had added 40 in 11.4 overs when Ferguson fell, having also batted 34 balls, with just three scoring shots for his 7. He was followed two overs later by Hopkins, whose 43 had taken 79 balls. Salaar Waqar fell for 7 to become the eighth wicket with the score on 143. Jon Lodwick then joined Naeem Iqbal in a spirited ninth wicket stand of 37 in 8.5 overs, before both were dismissed on the same score, having made 15 and 19 respectively. Dulwich were all out for 180 in the 54th over, leaving their opponents 46 overs to get the runs.

Lodwick and Kamran Munawar opened the bowling impressively, each removing one of the openers to reduce Worcester Park to 25-2 in the seventh over. But that was as good as it got. Iqbal also bowled aggressively but, with both the regular slow left armers unavailable, the spinners were unable to exert the same control as their opponents. As he had done in the first match skipper Rob Hill led the way. He added 87 for the third wicket with Danny Palmer, who was bowled by Stolle for 44, and 71 for the fourth with Charlie King, whose 43 not out came at a run a ball. Hill finished on 69 not out off 87 balls, to see his side to a seven wicket victory in the 38th over.

Dulwich gained just two batting points from this defeat, and slip two places to sixth. Next week they visit eighth placed Egham, who will be desperate for a win to lift them clear of the relegation zone.

Sat 16th July – 6th XI v Wimbledon Corinthians

DULWICH 123-1 (29.2) beat WIMBLEDON CORINTHIANS 122 (37.4) by 9 wickets

Scorecard

Buenos los camaradez dos Dulwich 6th's. Hombres y uno senora Esta victorioso. Capitano Gibsonez tacticiano extraordinare y batsmano de Mano. (This is for the Mediterranean editions, it's all they'll print, anyway) The rest is for domestic consumption.

With the absence of John Smith, Joe Moore and Lord Lucan the DCC selection committee were finally obliged to cast a wider net in finding a captain for this 6th XI fixture. For some inexplicable reason, they decided to ask the man who was the captain of the Dulwich 3rd XI when they won the Surrey Championship in 1993.

Having lost the toss, Dulwich took the field and made the best possible start: Luke Howard bowling the WC's opening bat with his first ball of the match. Gibson manipulated his varied and accomplished bowling attack in a manner reminiscent of Yehudi Menuhin's interpretation of Brahms Violin Concerto (a work which requires great agility of both mental and physical technique.) 9 bowlers were used in the careful and systematic demolition of the WC batting. The first 8 bowlers all stepped up to the plate with great skill. Luke Howard, Tom Scott Bowles, Lyndsay Morton, Alex Vinen and Justus Van Lare bowled with commendable accuracy. Van Lare finding himself on a hat trick at one point and ending up with 3 wickets and eventually the WC's succumbed to 113 for 8. At which point, logic and reason both took their leave as the  Captain brought himself on to bowl. In what has become something of a recent pattern, Gibson found himself summarily dispatched to most of the leafier parts of Raynes Park. At one point, he was humiliatingly reverse swept by the WC's number 11. Fortunately, the final wicket was taken at the other end and Gibson's team mates drew a collective sigh of relief.

The WC's finished with 122 all out. It must be said that this low total was due particularly to some excellent outfield catching: Jabarkyl Jumagul, John Comerford and Justus Van Lare all caught important and not easy catches.

Gibson, in the magnanimous style that has always characterised his captaincy, asked Griffiths to open with Owen. The solicitor was quick to point out that he had kept wicket and was feeling tired. After a careful consultation of his team sheet, the captain decided to open with himself instead. This proved to be a shrewd decision. Owen batted breezily enough but was bowled when the score was 32. A prodigy in the shape of Alex Vinen arrived at the crease, and from that moment, the result was never in doubt. Vinen showed a range of shots that far belied his years and he is clearly a player for the future. Punching the ball through the covers of front and back feet and pulling mercilessly any full toss or short pitched ball, Vinen ended with 69 not out. Such free flowing scoring was not evident at the other end, however, where Gibson prodded, nudged and nurdled his way to a prosaic 26 not out. One was reminded of Clive Radley being outclassed by the emerging Mark Ramprakash for Middlesex in the late 80's.

The finishing line was duly crossed with the pair still together and Gibson wears the mantle of being the only DCC captain with a 100 % record. P1 W1. 

Sat 16th July – 4th XI v Woking & Horsell

DULWICH 63-2 (15.5) beat WOKING & HORSELL 61 (31) by 8 wickets

Scorecard

A day of surprises for Dulwich on Saturday as they chalked up a comfortable win in a light hearted and friendly affair at Woking.

Where to start? Firstly, JD accidentally arrived at the ground at ten past 12 rather than five to 1 which meant there was a real danger of having to find numerous excuses as to why he couldn’t take part in the warm up and fielding drills. While Swainy practiced his newly discovered off-spin and Darren practiced diving full length on the floor, JD gave the wicket the low down and concluded, wrongly as it turned out, that it would play a lot better than it looked. Rigourous warm up completed by the four of us who had arrived by ten to 1, the skipper arrived, promptly won the toss and, correctly as the format requires, stuck the opposition in.

Knighty opened up and first ball, Darren fresh from his keeping warm up, let the ball through his legs for 4. The opening bowlers settled into their usual line and lengths with both Knighty and Prasanna hitting the same area of the pitch (a good length at the end Prasanna was bowling to). Runs were at a premium (although Darren quickly sprinted towards a double figure bye tally, which was highly unfair on him given the fact that he spent most of the time airborne down the leg side).

Zeeshan finally turned up about 45 minutes late (not that anyone had noticed he wasn’t on the field). With the score on 20 after 12 overs - a miracle! - Knighty, who admittedly had been building up an ill-directed head of steam from the top end, induced the opener to have a swing and the ball spiralled gently towards mid-wicket. Normally a regulation catch would ensue, but with all eyes following the trajectory of the ball hearts sunk as we realised the skipper was under it. Fortunately, the nay-sayers were proven wrong as the skipper hauled in the catch in a fashion that would never appear in the MCC coaching manual, and ended with him resembling someone reading the paper sitting on the lav.

Two balls later, Knighty, after the hallelujah moment, that if he pitched it up he might cause some trouble, won an LBW appeal (that WK and slips didn’t appeal for…) and followed it up with another LBW (which we gladly joined in for…). The hat-trick ball, which was decent and on target, was well kept out by the new batsman and Knight had a triple wicket maiden.

Lawrence replaced Prasanna (much to the relief of Darren, who had by this time lost about a stone from throwing himself around so much) and he settled into his usual full and straight methodology (reverse Knighty). Knighty picked up another bowler’s LBW in the next over (again no appeal from those behind the wicket), before Lawrence cleaned up 2 of his own to leave the hosts in big trouble at 40-6, which became 40-7 when Knighty cleaned up the number 3 who was giving himself room as the support from the other end ran out.

There followed a brief respite as the number 9 blocked everything Lawrence threw at him and Knighty tested out the middle of the pitch for no reason other than he’s Knighty. Knighty then won another LBW decision (jury split down the middle on that one, although reward for bowling that fuller length) and then had the number 10 caught at point by Will Burgass having “given himself room” (the batsman not Will). Knighty finally blew a gasket and had to be replaced by Will who cleaned up the opposition skipper off the last ball of his first over to see the home side all out for 62.   

A whole innings without any dropped catches, Knighty bowling full and straight and the skipper bagging one….we were living the dream. Knighty ended up with 7 for 31 off 15 overs and Lawrence 2 for 11 off 9.

After a decent tea with doughnuts (always a winner) Shok wandered off to watch the bowls match going on next door (or was it to get the phone number of the granny playing) whilst JD and Zeesh set about arranging an early trip home. JD got a leading edge in the third over which looped in the air and fell equidistant between mid-off, the bowler and extra cover and promptly got the trademark booming drive over mid-off out next ball to be dropped again. Zeesh, on the other hand did connect with a haymaker that cleared the ropes by some distance but not enough obviously for Prasanna who signalled a four. Cunning plan from Prasanna as it riled Zeesh so much he took 14 off the over which prompted a Red Arrows fly-past, which did seem entirely unnecessary. With 30 off the first 5 overs the game was pretty much won, so the two openers amused themselves by seeing how ridiculous the calling and running could get, the answer being very ridiculous.

The introduction of the home skipper’s decent leg spin (he could have been a handful if we were chasing 150) saw Zeesh conduct his own fly past to be out for 30, which was closely followed by Swainy coming in to occupy the pinch-blockers role. One close LBW shout later, Swainy departed the scene as the third time he touched the ball in the game was to deflect an innocuous delivery into his own stumps. Darren thumped his first ball over square leg to seal the win by 8 wickets.

It was a great performance from the seam department and credit to Woking who, although on the end of a hammering, played with a smile on their face and with good “bants” throughout. The game finishing at 5ish meant that we could head home with the hope that we could barrack the third or fifth team, in traditional 4th team fashion. Sadly, due to Lawrence’s car having a top speed of 37 ½ mph (downhill), we arrived back to discover that the threes had done a similar demolition job on their opposition and the 5s had lost a nail biter themselves. Sadly all that was left was for us to add some “beer fuelled atmosphere” to the proper game going on with the second team.  A decent attendance at the bar that evening and high spirits by all saw your reporter leave at midnight for his normal soujourn home. Being a responsible human being, your reporter had already jettisoned the car at Turney Road and being on something of a fitness drive at the moment / being too tight to order an Uber, set off on the 5 mile walk home. Having rescued the lesser spotted Matten from a ditch and safely escorted him home, your reporter carried on his way to reach his door step at 2 in the morning only to realise his door keys were safely stashed in his cricket bag in the boot of the car in the now locked compound at Turney. So one joyful night’s sleep on the doorstep of the reporters house later and a 5 mile walk back to the club later to be reunited with the door keys, but surprisingly zero hangover, I feel obliged to warn younger readers of the peril of being responsible drink.

The league is the most open ever this year and with Wimbledon and Sinjuns both looking stronger in recent weeks, there is a case for anyone of seven teams being victorious at the end of the season. The 4s are back up to third six points behind top placed Banstead.

Sat 16th July – 5th XI v Ex Blues

DULWICH 85 (32.3) lost to EX BLUES 88-8 (29.5) by 1 wicket (ten players)

Scorecard

Selection and availability obviously shaped the 5th team on Saturday. It seemed that there were lots of bowlers available but fewer batsmen across the club but the 5th team were confident that they had enough firepower to beat the Ex Blues team who were in a relegation spot in the table.

Simon won the toss and having decided to address the batting bowling balance by playing as an opening bat he set off with a long stride to kick off the innings with Tim Brown. Things went smoothly for the first nine overs with the pair running well and they had put on 31 for the first wicket  when Tim (17) was bowled by a good ball being just a tad aggressive. In came James Worley but he soon went bowled too.

Simon then built another partnership with Joe Moore but the fall of wickets had caused the run rate to slow and we moved to 65 for 2 before Joe was also bowled for 19.  Simon continued to be the resolute base around which we could build an innings as he defended, then attacked with lifted drives and deft square cuts. He was finally out for 24 but not before seeing Shabbir perish early swinging the first ball of a loopy off spinner straight to the fielder at cow and then the game moved on so swiftly that tea wasn't ready when we came in.

It didn't help that we were down to 10 men due to an availability miscommunication but the rest of the batting order perished in a tumble as Woods, Spencer Daws, Rutherford and Nava didn't make double figures and Kanak Patel was stranded not out! 65 for 2 had become 85 all out.

After tea we came out with confidence that if we could get early wickets, particularly the Ex Blues skipper Ashley Harris, then we would be able to make it a close game and so it proved.

Jack Rutherford kicked things off and with the first ball of the innings bowled the opener off an inside edge. Then Kanak Patel followed suit with the first ball in the 2nd over, A slightly low bounce counting for Harris as he tried to be too aggressive. Kanak continued with a great spell and soon Ex Blues were 8 for 4 and our 85 looked an imposing runs on the board sort of score.

Jack (6 overs 1 for 19) couldn't break through again and was replaced by Spencer Daws who bowled 4 overs for 16. At the other end Kanak was a delight to watch as he bowled his 10 overs in a row for the great figures of 6 maidens, 6 wickets for 6. We were trying to remember in the bar later how many scoring shots the opposition had from this spell and think there were two 2s and two singles. A masterpiece indeed!

Woodsy came on and bowled well but with no real luck and Tim came on from the President's end for two rather expensive overs (the aforementioned president actually causing controversy in the match by standing on the field having a conversation with Kanak as the game was going on). Simon soon got the right leg spinner on and Josh Nava took a wicket with a great ball. 

So 8 down, one man short and still a handful of runs to get. The Ex blues number 4 Barrs (46 not out) had batted well but was now joined by the last man Loughlin. As the scores were tied Simon brought the field in and left handed Loughlin tried to force Nava through mid wicket… The ball was in the air and straight to the normally safe hands of Tim Brown.  A thud into the chest and that chance of a tie had gone! Next ball Loughlin hit the ball harder and higher and got the runs they needed to win the game.

A great game of cricket, ultimately very disappointing. We had a few beers with Ex Blues who are always play the game in the right spirit and they certainly enjoyed the opportunity to play in the delightful Dulwich setting!

John Lawrence points
3 - Kanak Patel. Outstanding
2 – Joe Moore. Fluent batting and solid behind the stumps
1 - Simon Peters. Valued his wicket 

Sat 16th July – 2nd XI v Old Whitgiftians

DULWICH 225-9 (50.5) lost to OLD WHITGIFTIANS 226-8 (50) by 2 wickets

Scorecard

First and third in the league table clashed in a very tight encounter. Old Whitfigitians won the toss and inserted Dulwich into bat.  A hot day it was, and runs were flowing in both innings.

Dulwich got off to great start with Andrew Inglis and Fergie pilling up some runs in the first few overs. With Inglis playing effective stroke play which brought him boundaries and Fergie knocking it around, the bowlers had no answer.  There were some problems for Old Whitgiftians opening bowler Shahrayz Nazim – stand-in umpire Ollie Steward, with the most casual umpire attire and a rather old sunhat and shorts sporting an increasing amount of painful sunburn to his calves, was called into early action to signal several no-balls. The partnership between Inglis (64) and Fergie (34) had come to an end with Fergie going first and then Inglis shortly after. Zakir Rostami was also dismissed for 9. Euan “The Prince” Johnson was brought to the crease. The Prince had accumulated bulk of runs with some enterprising shots impressing spectating Grandmother and Mother.  Mid-way through the innings there was a dispute between two team-mates of the opposition. Amir Raza had told Old Whitgiftians opening batsman Vishal Khetia to up the ante in his fielding. This caused an outbreak between them, with other teammates and the umpire helping settle matters. The fall of Inglis brought the introduction of colts graduate, Will Deasy, playing his first game for the 2nd XI. 

Not long after a rather royal innings from The Prince, Johnson also fell for 31. This had brought another debutant, Sam Ellison, to the crease. Both new boys needed to rebuild the Dulwich innings but Old Whitgiftians struck breaking the partnership in quick succession as Deasy endured a short stay of 1 run as he was out LBW by Simon Yousaf and Ellison for a duck of the same bowler. Yousaf claiming 3 wickets in the match early on as he continued to bowl 21.5 overs in the innings. The falling of the two new boys had brought none other than the best wicket-keeper batsman in the league AJ Patanker and captain Bridgey to the crease. AJ scoring a fluent 41 runs before getting out having steered the ship brilliantly for Dulwich. Captain James Bridgland (7) and James Hirst (5) provided good support to AJ giving him most of the strike. Bridgland was dismissed first followed by Hirst had brought Patrick George (7*) to the crease. Unlike his bowling unit partners he decided he wasn’t going to settle for playing the support role and launched a big six down the ground which shocked the opposition, as well as his own teammates. Shortly after AJ’s innings of 41 had come to an end with one ball to spare, Dulwich had declared on 225 for 9 sending Old Whitgiftians in to bat 50 overs to chase the runs down.  Simon Yousaf claimed 5 wickets taking the wickets of Inglis, Johnson, Bridgland, Ellison and Deasy in his long spell of 21.5 overs.  Spinners, Amir Raza and Dinesh Yoganathan providing good support to the medium pacer taking two wickets apiece.

The Old Whitgiftians chase had begun with Captain Fantastic Bridgey and new boy Ellison bowling with the new rock. The pair had provided good control beating the bat countless amount of times. Sam Ellison was the first to strike taking the wicket of Sumit Jain with the skipper taking the catch at mid-off. As the pair continued Old Whitgiftians struggled to find their way into the innings. Vishal Khetia played some dazzling shots as he accumulated most of the runs in that partnership as the innings went on. The skipper had made changes at both ends bringing two thirds of the One Direction clan, paceman and newly qualified ECB Level 2 Coach Ian Toppin and the left arm orthodox of George. Toppin first ball was hit for four. His reply was a quicker straight ball which crashed into the pads of Amir Raza, resulting in his dismissal LBW for 14. Toppin’s celebration was rather animated after being hit for four off the first ball of his spell and had given the batsman the perfect reply in dismissing him. Toppin and George had bowled in tandem and took three wickets between them. Toppin dismissed Shahrayz Nazim for a duck caught by the veteran Fergie in the slips and George then dismissing Vishal Khetia for 37. This had brought Shaz Rana and Arun Ramamurthy to the crease.  Toppin struggled with direction but still bowled some testing deliveries to both batsmen as George put the ball in danger area. The introduction of Stuart Ferguson came shortly after and he provided some control in Dulwich bowling. 

Throughout the innings there was some rather good chat coming from Lanky favourite James Hirst and The Prince, who made frequent use of “be the hero mate” in a bad attempt to get into the batsmen’s heads. Shaz Rana played the anchor role by adding some healthy runs in the run chase. James Hirst was introduced into the attack and he had took the wicket of Ramamurthy with a rank long hop which he had decided not to celebrate. It was clear to see the chat had paid off. With Shaz Rana still in Raj Chatwal provided good support to make 26 runs in their partnership. Hirst then removed Shaz Rana with AJ taking an unbelievable catch behind the stumps. Wicket-keeper Rory Subba Row and Raj Chatwal had piled up some runs on the counter attack to Dulwich’s wicket taking bowling. Mid-way through that partnership a rather bizarre moment on the cricket field had occurred. Lila the Dog had decided to empty her bowels on the field as the crowd stopped and gazed over at the dog in laughter. Row was then dismissed for 37 after the introduction of George dismissing him LBW. Dinesh Yoganathan then continued the onslaught and put Old Whitgiftians in a good position. Soon after Captain Bridgey had brought himself back on dismissing Raj Chatwal for 26 with an excellent Yorker. Fergie was then brought on again for one more over – Dinesh Yoganathan dispatching this over for some boundaries which meant Old Whitgiftians needed 12 off the last over. The second last ball of this over proved an important part of match. At this point Old Whits still needed 7 off 2 to win the match. Yoganathan launched a big pull shot. Toppin at the mid-wicket boundary had set his sights on taking the catch. The ball was sailing over him and he tried to push the ball back into play to save the 6 but failed to do so with a brave effort. Yoganathan had scored the winning runs for Old Whits to end a good game of cricket all round, winning by just two wickets off the last ball.