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Sat 14th May – 1st XI v Camberley

CAMBERLEY 286-4 (50) beat DULWICH 207 (48.4) by 79 runs


A target of 286 proved too much for Dulwich in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Camberley, and they went down to defeat by 79 runs.

Camberley elected to bat, and the openers had put on 26 in seven overs when Naeem Iqbal took the first wicket. Tim Burns then joined his skipper Max Shoveller and they had added 39 for the second wicket in just 5.1 overs when Leon Sealy dismissed them both in successive balls, Burns making 23 off just 16 balls, and Shoveller 35 at a run a ball. This brought together James Day and New Zealander OP Marty Kain, who added 180 together in 33 overs for the fourth wicket. Burns fell to Alex Gledhil, having made 77 off 88 balls, with the score on 245. Kyle Philander then helped Kain add 41 in 4.3 overs for the undefeated fifth wicket, taking the score to 286-4 after their 50 overs. Kain had survived an early life to finish on 120 off 126 balls, and Philander 13 off 12. Sealy, who took 2-29 off nine overs, was the pick of the Dulwich bowlers. 

Day and Philander then opened the bowling and Day struck twice in his first four overs to make it 16-2. Will Bancroft joined Ed Stolle, and the pair added 80 in 15 overs for the third wicket. The partnership ended when Bancroft injured himself while completing a sharp single. He called for a runner, but was then out next ball. His 37 had come from 48 balls. Stolle’s dismissal for 63, made from 83 balls, sparked a mini collapse in which four wickets fell in 9.3 overs for 24 runs. Sealy joined Iqbal with the score on 147-7 after 36.4 overs, and the pair had added 32 in eight overs when Sealy fell for 8. Levi Olver then joined Iqbal and the pair lifted the score to 197 before Iqbal was out for a well made 46, off 61 balls. He had almost seen the side to a third batting point, and Olver and Gledhill completed the job, taking the score to 207. Olver fell for 10, leaving his captain undefeated for a second week.

Dulwich have thus had one win and one defeat from their first two matches, and stand 7th in the table with 23 points. Next week they have a home tie against newly promoted Bank of England, who have lost both their matches and are currently one place below them.

Sat 7th May – 4th XI v SinjunGrammarians

DULWICH 222 (44.5) beat SINJUNGRAMMARIANS 137 (27.3) by 85 runs


As summer finally arrived on Saturday, Dulwich started the season with a home game against old friends SinjunGrammarians. Surprises always come in threes, the first being the sun was out, the second being that our old friends at Sinjun 4s are now Sinjun 3s, the opposition therefore being an unknown quantity and the biggest surprise of all… Matt won the toss. He must have been practising over the winter (if only you’d called right on the mud slide at Reigate – Matt!). So surprised and taken aback by winning one – Matt thought long and hard before opting to bat first on the new upgraded DSG Road.

As ever Dulwich started brightly with Guy Woodgate quickly into his usual mix of authoritative pulls strokes and copious amounts of playing and missing, Julian Dean tipping and running at the other end and sometimes not even bothering with the tipping. With 30-odd on the board in the first 6 overs, the enigma that is Guy inexplicably kicked one off the stumps playing no stroke to bring James Read into bat. James looked imperious cracking his third ball through the covers for 4 and carried on in similar vein, the two adding 50 in 8 overs before James got an unplayable delivery which he edged behind.

Matt came and went and Julian introduced debutant Rob Hawke to his esoteric style of calling and running to cut short his promising first innings by the small matter of 19 yards! Fellow debutant Paul Charlton (20) joined Julian and the two took the score to 170 for 4 off 27 overs with the home side well set for a score of 300 plus. To Sinjuns credit they remained lively in the field throughout and got a break when Julian walked past one to be stumped for a scratchy 68. Dulwich being Dulwich, do everything the hard way, so promptly collapsed to 192 for 9 through a series of injudicious shots. With the best part of 10 overs to go, enter Ubaid and Gilo. They batted intelligently to add nearly 30 valuable runs with most of them coming through the arc of 1st slip to 3rd slip. Gilo was unfortunately run out in the last over, 97 short of his hundred. Ubaid finished with a very valuable 18 not out.

222 felt like enough, though we know we should have got 300 and will be punished in other games if we don’t get there. The opposition just had the feeling that, when it came to batting, they were there for a good time rather than a long time and so it proved with Prasanna’s traditional first ball long hop being despatched by the opener over square leg. Gilo having injured himself during his extended batting stint hobbled through a steady first over and Sinjuns were 17 for 0 after 2. Prasanna then got into his stride rolling off 9 straight overs of precision line and length bowling, (not words you normally see in the same sentence), and had the opener caught behind by Shok. A collector’s item, Matt then caught the other opener off Gilo, prompting his dad to go home for his mixed grill (sadly missing Matt trying to catch one with just his stomach later!).

The wheels, if not off were at least punctured and deflating badly. Step forward third debutant Darren Cason. Fielding at 2nd slip, “Buckets” caught everything that went near him snaffling the next 3 batsmen – all stunning catches. At 30 for 5 it was game over and Matt sensed a quick victory so in came a third slip (or was it an attempt to find somewhere to hide Ubaid and Gilo). Sadly the next three slip chances were shelled by the erstwhile batting heroes as Sinjuns showed spirit and went on the attack. Prasanna ended with 4 thoroughly deserved wickets and Ubaid and Darren came on with some immediate success. Ubaid bowled well to pick up 3 wickets, two well caught by Rob Hawke and Darren and Rob himself picked up a debut wicket each too. A good win, despite some rustiness and plenty more to come from the Super 4s.

Sat 7th May – 3rd XI v Walton-on-Thames

DULWICH 195 (47.4) beat WALTON-ON-THAMES 176 (47.3) by 19 runs


As something more resembling cricket weather made an appearance, the 3rd XI ventured down by the river to Walton-on-Thames for the first league fixture of the season. A late departure and typical sunny weather resulted in traffic issues which meant the team assembled just in time for the start. Not a great beginning which put the always-on-edge Dulwich captain even more on edge, but not quite over it!

With a few promising league debutants, a strong (on paper) batting line up, the captain winning the toss and choosing to bat things looked good. However, it did not take long for things to turn less good. Openers Raj Tulsiani and newcomer Ed Towner started circumspectly against accurate bowling but both succumbed to full tosses, quickly followed by the unnecessary run out of John Morris. 20 for 3 soon became 50-odd for 5 as batsmen struggled for early season form.

Then followed a match turning and, ultimately, match winning partnership between newbies Guy Skinner (57) and Imran Iqbal-Mian (79). Skinner took a while to get in to his stride but proceeded to bat with some elegance and timing. Iqbal-Mian also batted sensibly but proceeded to punish any wayward bowling with some brutality, showing a particular liking for the pull shot as he unleashed a few tracer bullets to the boundary.

The tail did not quite wag as strongly as was hoped but enough players hung around with Iqbal-Mian to eke out runs steadily. 200-plus was the target but the team fell just short with Iqbal-Mian the last man out for 79 – an excellent start to his Dulwich career.

With the ball, early pressure and wickets were the key. The latter arrived as Walton’s top order batsmen also fell to that underrated wicket taking ball – the full toss! Despite the wickets there was a degree of early season rustiness and lack of rhythm in the bowling which meant that Walton continued to accumulate runs at a steady rate. Skinner’s day continued positively with a stunning low diving catch as Dulwich took control with half the wickets taken with just 59 on the board. Then followed a 50 run partnership between Walton’s veteran, but very capable, number 3 batsman and their hard hitting number 7. Spinners Dan Peters and skipper Graeme Hough were now in tandem and it was the latter who made the crucial breakthrough enticing a skier and Skinner taking his third catch of the match.

The victory was in sight but Walton’s number 3 continued to provide stubborn resistance and, on a slow wicket, wickets were hard gained. The captain looked for someone to bowl full and straight and up stepped reluctant bowler Ed Towner who proceeded to tie the batsmen down and take a couple of wickets. A more comfortable victory was in sight at 142 for 9 but a stubborn last wicket partnership, and some wayward bowling, delayed the inevitable. A run out in the penultimate over secured the victory by 19 runs.

Any win has to represent a good start, but room for improvement in many areas and for many individuals – exceptions being Skinner and Iqbal-Mian. The latter was clear man of the match with his 79 and 4 for 31. Champagne moment of the day probably goes to Skinner for his low diving catch.

Sat 7th May – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

DULWICH 253-6 (50) beat ADDISCOMBE 130 (28.5) by 123 runs


Whilst Edward Thomas remembered Addlestop, Dulwich 2nds will remember Addiscombe. The season began on a beautiful day with a comprehensive victory to which everyone contributed.

After winning the toss, Dulwich elected to bat. Ferguson and Hudson started positively, dispatching bad balls and sauntering slowly between the wickets. When Hudson departed for 18, Rostami took over where he had left off and the scoreboard rattled along. Ferguson rolled back the year with power and placement, especially through the cover region. He departed for a fine 38 of 48 balls, ensuring that the slip cordon would have one more strike rate to be informed about at length all season…

Whilst the pitch’s slope was reminiscent of Lord’s, the behaviour wasn’t. After edging to 4th slip Zakir stood his ground, resulting in a confrontation and a strange atmosphere: surely this was the first time that non-striker Balch had been the less antagonistic batsman of a pair?

The pair both batted well through the middle overs as the bowlers found their lengths, before both departing for 45. Munawar got off the mark for the season with a straight six before falling LBW for 15.

At this point, it looked like Dulwich might not capitalise on the strong platform established. However, Steward and Anderson navigated the 10 overs expertly. Steward, particularly, bullied anything short and both batsmen ran with real intent. Steward’s innings ended with an entirely unwarranted round of applause as he raised his bat, kissed the badge and lifted his helmet for a well-made 48 not out.

After a self-service tea with plenty of E-numbers we headed out into the field in the afternoon heat as spectators caught the sun on the boundary; Dulwich caught very little.

Skipper Bridgland was at his metronomic best early on, beating the outside edge regularly. Munawar was more erratic but got on the board first as a leading edge spiralled into the slip cordon. Bridgland began to draw edges which followed Balch around the slip cordon: one at first and one at second establishing a proud 100% catching record in the slips, just 100% in the wrong direction. The skipper, realising he was getting no assistance from the cordon, decided to do it himself and picked up 3 LBWs.

Ferguson, brought on at first change, began with a maiden, then another, then another. In combination with Hope, the bowling squeezed the life out life out of Addiscombe, nagging away at off stump relentlessly. Inevitably, cracks emerged and the wickets fell despite another drop at slip off Hope. The opposition were reduced to 77-7 with Ferguson sitting on figures of 5 overs, 4 maidens, 1 for 4 and Hope on 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 for 7.

Proud Yorkshireman Hope showed his county’s traditional charitable side to the new batsmen, 2 Afghani teenage refugees playing their first cricket match on a proper cricket pitch, by serving up length balls which were absolutely marmalised over his head. Channelling Ben Stokes, Hope was hit for 3 sixes in the over, one of which is still on its way up.

Turning to Hirst’s slow left arm stopped the rot as he was rewarded for giving the ball some flight with two good catches in the deep. The innings ended comically with a Balch drop at mid on which turned into a Balch run out as the batsmen scrambled for an improbable two.

An impressive first victory of the season with contributions from all.

Sun 8th May – T20 XI v Old Whitgiftians

OLD WHITGIFTIANS 166-7 (20) lost to DULWICH 170-5 (17.5) by 5 wickets

Dulwich completed a successful weekend by chasing down a challenging target of 167 at Old Whitgiftians in the Surrey Championship T20.

The home side chose to bat, and got off to a flier as Chris Thompson, a former Dulwich player who also represented England Under 19s and Leicestershire, smashed 48 off just 25 balls, taking a particular liking to the bowling of James Bridgland. His dismissal with the score on 80 after nine overs brought in keeper Will Page, who faced just 17 balls while scoring 28 of the next 33 runs, lifting his side to 113-3 after 13 overs. Spinners Levi Olver and skipper Alex Gledhill imposed some restraint, bowling their eight overs in tandem to take 3-54, but some late blows by skipper Luke Fisher, whose 17 not out came off just seven balls, took Old Whits to 166-7 off their 20 overs.

In reply Luke Cheadle fell in the first over, but this brought in Richard King, who proceeded to smite 34, comprising seven fours and a six, off just 15 balls. His partnership of 53 in 4.5 overs with Tom Savill set the momentum for the innings. After his dismissal Savill took over, taking his score to 67 off just 41 balls. Ed Hopkins fell for 8 (off six balls) to make it 62-3 after seven overs. Naeem Iqbal then played second fiddle to Savill, contributing just eight to a fourth wicket partnership of 57 in 5.2 overs. After Savill’s dismissal at 119-4 after 12.2 overs Iqbal took the lead, adding 32 in four overs for the fifth wicket with Matt Balch, who was run out for 9 off ten balls, and 19 undefeated for the sixth with Leon Sealy. Iqbal finished on 43 off just 27 balls, and Sealy on 5 off five, as they saw their side to an impressive victory with 13 balls to spare.