DULWICH 81-0 (13.5) beat BEDDINGTON 77 (32.2) by 10 wickets
After winning three of the first four games of the season, the 2nd XI surged into a promotion spot and second place in the league with a convincing 10 wicket win over Beddington.
The first timed game of the season began with an extensive warm up, with newcomer Henry Hazlewood showing particular prowess on the football pitch to lead caps to a gritty 3-2 victory over their hapless hatless colleagues. There were early signs that the kickabout might be the top-order’s only exertion of the day, as ex-Beddington skipper Raj Tulsiani engaged himself in a rambunctious kickboxing warm up, highlighting his motivation to prove a point to his former club.
The disappointment of few low-flying aircraft was tempered by Dulwich being put into the field in overcast and humid conditions, a decision comparable Hussain at the Gabba. Skipper James Bridgland opened from the Sewage Works End and put in a devastating spell of medium-fast bowling from which Beddington never recovered. At 0 for 1, 9 for 3 and 11 for 5 the opposition top order was demolished in fine fashion by Bridgland, supported by Chris Hope (2/18) and Matt Quaife (1/10). Not to be kept out of the game Tulsiani took two excellent slip catches, whilst the Dulwich bowling performance was only tainted by a failure to convert any of three hat-trick opportunities.
A hint of resistance was provided by a partnership between the Beddington captain and keeper, however, Patrick George showed Aristotelian cunning to break the partnership through a sharp stumping by Ajmal Patanker behind the sticks. Bridgland returned to the attack for a third spell, removing his fourth off-stump of the afternoon to finish with the talismanic returns of 12.3-6-19-6.
Despite being required after just 33 overs, tea was a well prepared affair with a good hot and cold selection including crowd pleasing roast potatoes and a choice of doughnut. Determined to get their match-fees worth, the middle-order tucked in as heavily as the bowlers, whilst openers Tulsiani and Nick Hudson strode out past an expletive-filled Beddington huddle who seemed determined to not go down without a fight.
For the second week in a row, Tulsiani smashed the first ball for four and set the tone for the innings. At times floating like a butterfly (though only to farm the strike), the Croydonite was ruthless in an innings of 56 from 53 balls. Ably supported by Hudson (14 from 31), the opening pair broke the resolve of the opposition before calmly seeing Dulwich home without loss.
As news came in of successes elsewhere for Kamran Munawar and birthday-boy John Morris, the 2nd XI headed out for a team-building trip to East Dulwich with the heady scents of success and positivity in the air. They say that a strong 2nd XI makes for a strong club, and there are signs that success in the first timed game of the summer will set the bar for the rest of a promotion-chasing year.