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Sat 21st May – 1st XI v Bank of England

DULWICH 196-9 (50) beat BANK OF ENGLAND 193 (50) by 3 runs

Scorecard

After a fluctuating match, in which all three results were still possible off the last ball, Dulwich secured a narrow victory in their Travelbag Surrey Championship match against Bank of England.

The Bank won the toss and elected to field first on a green pitch, and with rain forecast. The Dulwich innings was a curious affair with large stands for the first and eighth wickets and a horrendous collapse in between. Led by a pugnacious innings from Tom Savill the openers got off to a rousing start, posting 90 on the board in just 14 overs. The entry of Richard Rawlings and Sam Ferrick to the attack brought about an abrupt reversal of fortune. Rawlings had Ed Stolle caught by Damon Ridgway in the gully for 20, Ferrick bowled Luke Cheadle, and Rawlings had Savill also caught by Ridgway in the gully for a belligerent 56, off 54 balls. Two balls later Ed Hopkins got a nasty lifter which gave Ridgway a third catch. Dulwich had gone from 90-0 to 92-4 in just 14 balls. Zakir Rostami and Naeem Iqbal dug in, but both fell to Rawlings and were soon followed by Jon Lodwick who gave Ridgway his fourth gully catch, this time off Ferrick. Dulwich had lost seven wickets for 28 runs in 15.4 overs. The two bowlers then completed their ten over spells unchanged, with Rawlings finishing with 5-16 and Ferrick 2-19. Leon Sealy joined Salaar Waqar with the score on 118-7, and they put together a stand of 66 in 17.3 overs for the eighth wicket before both were caught behind in successive overs. Sealy fell for 32 off 61 balls and Waqar also made 32, having batted obdurately for 84 balls. Levi Olver and skipper Alex Gledhill saw the innings through to the close, finishing on 196-9 off their 50 overs. The innings was bolstered by 38 extras, of which 33 were scored as wides.

Rawlings launched Bank’s reply by seemingly trying to emulate Savill, but fell to a juggling slip catch by Stolle off Iqbal, having made 14 off 18 balls. Three overs later a direct hit by Olver ran out Ridgway for a duck to reduce them to 25-2. The momentum was now taken up by Josh Andrighetto, who scored 61 of the next 95 runs. By now a light drizzle had set in which lasted for about an hour and hampered the bowlers, and particularly the spinners. Nonetheless a wicket apiece for Sealy, Gledhill and Lodwick, and two for Waqar, reduced Bank to 141-7 in the 35th over. Skipper Janil Ramesh was joined by Jack O’Brien, and they had put on 36 in 10.2 overs for the eighth wicket to lift the score to 177 when O’Brien was bowled by Olver. The ninth wicket pair had taken the score to 186 in the 48th over when Waqar took his third wicket. The final over was thus reached with the last wicket pair together. Waqar was to bowl it, with five runs wanted for victory. But last man Justin Hunt was facing, and it took him five balls to get the single needed to put his captain on strike. With four needed to win off the last ball Ramesh charged Waqar but was beaten and stumped by Hopkins for 37. Dulwich had emerged victorious by three runs, with Waqar finishing with the creditable figures of 4-25 off eight overs.

This nail-biting victory lifts Dulwich to sixth, but they are one of six teams who have all won two and lost one of their first three games and occupy positions two to seven in the table. Next week they visit Worcester Park, who are one point above them having gained one more bonus point in the match they lost.

Sat 14th May – 3rd XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 216-8 (50) beat SUNBURY 91 (26) by 125 runs

Scorecard

Dulwich 3rd XI continued their winning start to the season as the reigning champions Sunbury were brushed aside at a windswept DSG.

A visit from the perennial title challengers is always a tough test, especially for a Dulwich team shorn of their skipper due to family commitments. Stand-in leader Andy Bailey got off to an inauspicious start with DCC's most promising colt losing the toss. After a moment of deliberation, Sunbury chose to field. Though a touch green, the pitch appeared to have few demons.

It looked like a sizeable total would be required as Raj Tulsiani and Andy Cornick strode to the crease. Tulsiani in particular began in confident mood. Collar up, sweating out the previous night's Chablis, he deposited the Sunbury openers to all corners as Dulwich hurtled to 60/1 off the first 10; the only blemish being Cornick's dismissal, LBW for 8.

With a monstrous total looming, Sunbury turned to spin and the decision paid off instantly. Tulsiani was bowled for a well-crafted 40, quickly followed by Ed Towner (17) and Guy Skinner (0). With the score at 74/4 off 20 some serious rebuilding was required. John Morris (34) and Imran Iqbal-Mian (29) showed admirable application as they negotiated the threatening spinners. Sati Lowme for Sunbury was particularly impressive, returning miserly figures of 2 for 9 off his 10 overs, including 7 maidens in a row. Having done much of the hard work, neither batsman could capitalise and at 130/6 with 10 overs remaining, a competitive total felt a long way off.

Enter the captain. Something special was needed and the diminutive Bailey knew, for the first time in his career, he needed to go big. He was trying…..oh how he was trying. He swung the bat with vigour – for a two scampered to mid-wicket. A full blooded cover drive… trickled to silly mid on. And then. The ball rose above his eye line, as it nearly always does for someone so vertically challenged. He cleared his left leg and swung his arms. The ball rose high towards mid-wicket; the crowd held their breath. The fielder set himself, but to no avail. This was the one he'd be waiting for. High and handsome. Bailey's first ever legitimate six (the only other witnessed was a top edge over the keeper’s head) cleared the 40 yard boundary comfortably. The innings was back on track.

Inspired by their skipper (27), the tail wagged ferociously. Powerful hitting from Jeremy Jones (23) and Chris Hope (14*) saw Dulwich surge to a competitive 216/8 from their 50 overs.

Sunbury's reply began in explosive fashion with 34 runs taken from the first two overs with Chris Hope, beginning as he finished last week, on the receiving end of some particularly brutal hitting from the Sunbury skipper. Like all Yorkshiremen, generosity does not come naturally to Hope. Aided by the excellent swing bowling of Jones (2-28), he bounced back with supreme skill, demolishing the Sunbury top order with figures of 10-3-31-4. From that point on, Dulwich never released the pressure, with Hollows (2-12) and Hirst (1-15) mopping up the tail to complete an easy victory by 125 runs.

A fine win in what could easily have been a tricky fixture. Two wins from two and top of the league (even if only on alphabetical order), a promising start to 2016 for the 3rd XI.

Sat 14th May – 4th XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 164-6 (38.3) beat SUNBURY 161-8 (45) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

The 4th team travelled to old foes Sunbury on Saturday and came away with a deserved and eventually comfortable win in a very friendly encounter.

Matt resorted to type by calling wrong and Sunbury took first use of their excellent facilities. David Knightbridge took first aim and much to the surprise of his team-mates, himself and more to the point the opening bat settled into an excellent line and even more surprisingly length cartwheeling middle stump with his third delivery. This brought together two 13 year old bats with contrasting styles and heights. The next 15 overs saw some outstanding play by the two youngsters against some genuinely quick and accurate bowling from Knighty and Gilo. The right handed opener, shorter even than Andy Bailey, got resolutely into line and dealt with the odd short ball extremely well whilst the tall left-hander proceeded to unfurl a number of Gower-esque straight and cover drives and flicks off the legs with limited but precise foot-work. (For the younger readers, David Gower used to be the warm up act for Ian Botham on the pitch before fulfilling the same role in the Sky Commentary box).

The writer would like to point out at this stage that the catching was of the highest standard throughout. Rumours that the keeper, 1st slip and skipper all dropped the little opener are completely unfounded.

Cason and Sunil Issac replaced the first bowlers and kept the batsmen quiet with some fine accurate bowling before Cason pinned the opener LBW for a fully deserved wicket and Sunil removed the left-hander who seemed to lose concentration after getting a richly deserved and excellent 50 and under the pressure up the scoring rate. Both lads look to have a great future in cricket ahead of them.

By now, tight ground fielding was beginning to take its toll on the home batting who sensed that they needed 200+ to make a game of it.

Sunil bowled out his overs (9 overs, 3 maidens 1 for 25) and Darren was rested (7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 23) to be replaced by Rhys Williams who bowled with good pace and Paul Charlton who didn’t.

Two balls in to his first spell for the club, Paul is now the proud owner of the nickname “The Vicar”. For the rest of the innings, Paul raced into the wicket, whirled his arm over and propelled the ball forward with surprisingly little momentum at the waiting batsman. What happened between the ball leaving Paul’s hand and arriving at the batsman is open to conjecture and was the subject of considerable debate in the bar after, but whatever it was, it was clearly unplayable. Bowling mostly dibbly, Sunbury lost two wickets, both bowled middle stump in his first over and found themselves at 100 for 5.

Skipper Dixon then unleashed the nasty fasties at the other end for the last 10 overs. With Knighty picking up where he left off, 1st slip, who again shall remain nameless, proved no favouritism existed between the fast bowlers by letting an edge hit him in the chest in exactly the same place the first one did off Gilo. Knighty found a much better catching ally in Ben Trembath, who in true Cason style, nonchalantly caught a full-blooded cut at gully. Knighty ended up with excellent figure of 3 for 35 off his 9 overs, including eight from two exquisitely “middle” Surrey cuts in his penultimate over, one of which nearly made its way to the main square.

Dulwich had the innings under control. This is more than can be said for Julian who, relieving himself of not-catching duties and finding himself at third man, lost a very one-sided battle of wills with a Black Labrador. Having failed to persuade the dog that no harm would come of letting JD grab his collar, the dog willingly presented its tennis ball as an alternative method for removing the recalcitrant hound from the pitch. JD obligingly rolled the ball away to the boundary which the dog obligingly brought back. Prompted by team mates into throwing the ball into the pavilion rather than walking the dog off as any sensible person would do, JD suddenly forgetting the general range and accuracy of his throwing arm, heroically and selfishly threw the ball with all the strength that he could manage. The dog, who clearly hadn’t seen JD field before, haired off in the general direction of where it assumed the ball would land only, to the great amusement of team-mates and opposition alike, for the ball to fly backwards and upwards to land all of ten yards behind the now red-faced dog whisperer. The dog, sensing that it wasn’t going to achieve the requisite exercise in any throw and fetch scenario and no longer wanting to be associated with such an idiot promptly retrieved its tennis ball and wandered off of its own accord to find someone else to play with.

Back to the cricket and Paul chipped in with another wicket from a well disguised dobbly, well caught by Rhys, to finish with fine figure of 3 for 20 off his 8 overs and Gilo returned to finish with a very unlucky 0 for 28 off 8 accurate overs. This was an excellent performance by the bowling as a unit and was well backed up by the ground fielding and some of the catching.

Chasing a very gettable target, Andrew Inglis and Julian Dean set off in comfortable leisurely fashion, with Andrew despatching the bad ball effectively, taking the score into the 30s. Julian, slowly batted himself out of form before hitting a trade- mark skyer to mid-off and James Read nonchalantly pulled his first ball to square leg to make it 31-2. The introduction of left-arm spin ratcheted up the pressure and Andrew succumbed for a good 37 closely followed by Paul, after a few lusty blows, to leave us 80 for 4. Ben Trembath was by now looking settled and celebrated by removing his dapper retro sweater, the sort favoured by deep sea trawler-men which wouldn’t look amiss on Simon Peters. Gilo won the contest for how long it would take the skipper to deploy the sweep shot (third ball!! – everyone else having said first or second ball) and as the scoreboard started ticking over again, the happy hubbub of a stroll to victory could be heard amongst the watching Doggies. The skipper then departed – having unfurled his full range of shot, which brought in Knighty. Ben found his timing and played a number of cover drives and late dabs which raced to the boundary reaching his 50 and we looked to be coasting before he missed a straight one with 30 left.

Knighty then decided to use the long handle dispatching the ball hard and often and occasionally straight upwards, seeing us home with four wickets and seven overs to spare.

Next week Dulwich entertain newly promoted Old Ruts at home looking to maintain their 100% record.

Sat 14th May – 5th XI v Ex Blues

DULWICH 228-7 (40) beat EX BLUES 125 (33.4) by 103 runs

Scorecard

Third game of the season and the weather was set fair. Despite a few changes post-selection with two players coming up and James Chudley switching down from the 4th XI to concentrate on his opening batting role we went into the game with a strong side on paper with a long batting line up, many years of experience and a lot of bowling options. Simon lost the toss and the opposition decided to give us first use of what looked quite a good wicket.

Guy Woodgate and Chuds got us off to a steady start, although Guy soon perished which was a shame as he was hitting the ball well – just straight to the fielders. Brad Burgh joined James and they put on 98 in fine time. We were over 100 at drinks and only one wicket down. They both made 50s – James 59 and Brad outscoring him by one. The opposition skipper confided with us afterwards that he thought we might make 280 to 300. However a few wickets fell soon after – Chudley and Simon Bailey bowled, Brad to an excellent catch right on the boundary and Tim Brown caught behind. At that stage we were looking as though we may waste the excellent start the top three had given us and we had to battle to first get to 200 and then in a flurry of late order hitting from Steve Walker (42 not out including two sixes from the first two balls of the last over) and some exquisite shots from Kanak Patel we managed to post 228 in our 40 overs. Will Burgass was also out to a great catch and Simon Peters to a direct hit run out although he had rather overestimated his ability to get through the 22 yards. We felt that if we bowled well then we should win the game.

Unfortunately in our innings and at the end of a lengthy spell of umpiring David Woods was struck by an errant throw and with a nasty cut and much blood had to be helped from the field. As we will see David is made of tough stuff and continued on to play his part in a good team performance.

I'm not sure how many of you know the Ex Blues ground but it has a distinct slope and skipper Simon Peters gallantly toiled up the hill to allow Kanak to use the down slope to his advantage. Both settled into a good line and length despite the unusual run up conditions. Both bowled solid 7 over spells Simon taking 1 for 26 and Kanak 1 for 27. We were always in a good position but the Ex Blues skipper Ashley Harris was hitting aggressively and we knew we needed to get him out in order to win the game. A double bowling change saw Matt Craig replace Simon and David Woods replace Kanak. Both bowlers also settled into a rhythm on a pitch that was just holding up a bit. Their bat continued to take the positive approach and at drinks they were a similar score to us but with 1 more wicket down. The rest of the Ex Blues line up are not of the same class and we had to remain patient. Eventually Harris played one expansive shot too many to Woodsy and holed out to an excellent catch by Steve Walker at long on. Matt did what he does and bowled straight – four wickets all bowled and a few near misses as reward. David ended up with 10 overs 3 for 38.

A strong side and, if we can keep something similar through the season, we should be competitive are currently in fourth place and play third placed Orpington at DSG on Saturday.

Sat 14th May – 2nd XI v Oxted and Limpsfield

DULWICH 115-8 (46) beat OXTED AND LIMPSFIELD 114 (47.3) by two wickets

Scorecard

When asked to describe the definition Total Football, the late, great Johan Cruyff described it as the tactics where “attackers could play as defenders and defenders as attackers. Everyone could play everywhere.” Last Saturday at Burbage Road, the Dulwich 2nd XI channeled the legend of Cryuff and gave Oxted & Limpsfield a lesson in 1970’s Dutch flair.

With ears still burning following a pathetic fielding display the previous week, skipper Johan Bridgland Cryuff decided to take things back to basics with a game of shorts vs trackies football and some kamikaze team fielding. Having survived all activities unscathed and injury free, the toss took place and we were in the field.

After a brutal opening spell last week in which he could have easily bagged a ‘Michelle’, the skipper was again revved up from the Turney Road end, beating the opposition skipper's outside edge at will whilst roughing up his partner. Both struggled to cope with the pace and aggression of both Bridgland and a return to form Kam Munawar until the 9th over when some frank and honest advice from the square leg fielder saw the captain trapped LBW by Bridgland. Two balls later and Bridgland was at it again, this time bowling their number three. With Oxted and Limpsfield on the backfoot, Dulwich strapped in for 15 overs of attrition from the brains trust of Ferguson and Quaife. Whist the opposition batsmen struggled to cope and the corden struggling to stay awake, the boys ushered themselves into drinks with two overs of fun at the expense of Matt 'Colly/Dimi' Quaife, and a would-be-partnership-breaking over courtesy of the baby-faced Ben Lester.

Coming out for the second half with the score at 4/52, Ferguson completed his spell with the absurd figures of 2/11 for the second week in a row, before Munawar came back to blast out the middle order with his finest spell of 2016 and close out with 2/35. With Quaife’s (0/18 off nine) face looking redder than Angus Fraser’s into the wind at Barbados, the skipper (2/18) decided nine overs was enough for the young PHD student and so decided to bring himself back on for a second gallop to see whether we could polish things off for an early tuna sandwich. Despite not adding to his first spell two-for, runs were still at a premium and so it was left to the pin up Lancastrian Ben Lester (3-18 off five) to wrap things up with a fine spell of tweakers, mixing things up expertly with a bowled victim, a stumping courtesy of AJ (who had a fine day behind the sticks) and a chip up to Screech at mid-wicket. Arguably the most improved player in SE24, the young Vernon Kaye seems set for a huge 2016, despite the threat from a team littered with talented (yet unused) off spinners. Despite 20 runs in wides and no balls, we were pretty satisfied bowling Oxted out for 114.

Unfortunately, the response didn’t go plan. In what we can only hope was our worst two hour spell of the season, emerged a performance by two stalwarts of Dulwich that will long live in the memory, as skipper ‘Johan Cruyff’ Bridgland and Matt ‘Johan Neeskens’ Quaife together played a partnership of Total Cricket that will send shockwaves around Cranleigh, Roehampton and Croydon. At 7/74, Quaiffey entered the fray with the wicket crowded and Oxted on top. Unperturbed, the scholar was quick to counter, dancing down the track at will to punch straight whilst defending resolutely with discipline unseen previously by his colleagues. It was a batting masterclass that will surely be drawn upon throughout the year in loftier batting positons. At the other end, AJ was cool and calm, playing a counter punching innings of his own before some well earned praise from his team mates on the sidelines delivered the mocker's curse and his downfall via a slash to point. 8/82 off 35. Enter skipper Bridgland, all shoulders, chaffe and determination. On his first trip to the middle since August (so fresh that he forgot he wore glasses when batting), the skipper looked every bit a top order batsmen as he too mixed perfect defence with sharp footwork and counter attacking drives. As confidence grew, he was soon taking on throws where he knew the keeper was unsighted by the sun. Fluke, stupidity or genius? Soon there were three on the fence, as the experienced Oxted and Limspfield lineup had no answers for our Dutch masters, who put on a masterclass in discipline, strike rotation and stroke play. It was Total Cricket at its best. Running out of bowling options, the Oxted leader turned to his 15 year-old opening bowler and destroyer of the Dulwich top order. Would he produce another stunning return catch? Or another straight gazunder? In the end, as the Dulwich heroes glided and clipped him around – from 6/58 and 7/74, the doggies were home in a canter. Top of the league. Easy! Easy (ahem – not quite)!

Next stop Mark Carney’s Bank of England and some of the finest sarnies in the Surrey.