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Sat 30th July – 3rd XI v Walton on Thames

DULWICH 68 (34.3) lost to WALTON ON THAMES 147 (53.2) by 79 runs

Scorecard

The 3rd XI’s championship challenge was seriously dented with a comprehensive defeat to Walton-on-Thames at DSG on Saturday. You generally get what you deserve so no complaints at all as Dulwich’s bowling was generally below par and the batting capitulated against a surprisingly strong and disciplined opposition seam attack. But all credit to Walton-on-Thames who it is hoped avoid relegation as they were a good bunch who played the game in the right spirit.

Whilst not intended as an excuse in any way the batting line up was seriously affected by non-availability throughout the Club and late changes. But thanks to all those who stepped up, particularly those at the last minute. No one performs below par on purpose – it was just one of those days.

Skipper Graeme Hough won the toss once again (11 out of 12!) and inserted Walton on what looked the usual, good DSG wicket – something in it for bowlers and batsmen. Jeremy Jones and Ian ‘Level 2’ Toppin opened the bowling. However both were wayward as the opposition raced to 30 off 4 overs through a combination of wides and four balls. With a spin dominated attack, Hough persevered rather reluctantly with the openers and was rewarded by Jones snaring Walton’s dangerous looking opener, caught behind by Peters. Level 2 also began to find some rhythm and the captain’s faith was rewarded soon after with two excellent catches at first slip by Julian Dean off a couple of beauties from Toppin.

Despite Jones’s wicket runs were still coming too easily so Hough brought himself in to the attack early to try to bring some calm to the proceedings. As the runs were dried up at one end, Toppin found an excellent rhythm at the other and Dulwich began to exert some ascendancy. Hough got an LBW and, on drinks, an over the top bit of acrobatics from Andrew Swain at short midwicket meant Walton were 5 down at the halfway point as Hough bagged another. Toppin’s marathon stint (2-36 off 13) was brought to an end soon after drinks – an excellent spell apart from his first three overs.

Ben Lester’s more flighty off spin was introduced but he struggled for consistency, as did James ‘The Pickler’ Pickles when he followed. Meanwhile Hough continued at one end having snared another LBW. Jez Jones was brought back as Walton’s 7th wicket partnership began to take Walton to respectability. Despite runs continuing Jones took wickets on a regular basis and ended with the team’s first 5-for of the season, ending with 5-47 off 11 overs representing an excellent comeback in his second spell.

Meanwhile skipper Hough had just bowled… and bowled… and then bowled some more at one end to get through 23 overs for 3 wickets, conceding just 20 runs and including 10 maidens. Without this control things may have been a lot worse than Walton’s eventual 147 all out in the 54th over.

With 47 overs to chase 148 the task was not a daunting one, on paper at least. But Walton’s excellent early control with the ball and keenness in the field quickly had Dulwich in trouble at 3 for 3 after 4 overs with JD, Zeeshan and Dan Peters having departed. Suddenly 148 seemed a mile away. Imran Iqbal-Mian and Jonny Stone began to repair the damage with some solid defence but Walton offered few balls to hit and the situation warranted circumspection.

Having frustrated Walton for a number of overs Jonny Stone eventually departed for a hard-fought and patient 16. Andrew Swain joined Imran to inch the score forward but fell shouldering arms to Walton’s incisive and accurate change bowlers. The end was getting close and neither Lester nor Pickles offered much resistance and Imran succumbed trying to push the score along after the drinks break. Only pride remained and the fact that the watching 2nd team wanted some entertainment. However, they got little even though captain Hough struck a few late blows but both Jones and Toppin fell to Walton’s flighty leg spinner to end the innings on a pretty feeble 68 all out in the 35th over.

This loss – only the second of the season it should be stressed – pushed Dulwich back to the 3rd place with 5 matches left. There is time to repair the damage but better availability in the Club and performances by the team are required.

Thanks to Chris Reardon for umpiring at both ends once again and to John Lawrence for scoring.

Sat 30th July – 4th XI v SinjunGrammarians

DULWICH 237-7 (46.5) winning draw vs SINJUNGRAMMARIANS 200-8 (44)

Scorecard

Ok gang… quick quiz for you. Which of these ludicrous statements are true?

1. Prasanna Callaghan managed to arrive at 12.20pm for an 11.15am meet at the club and the skipper (im)patiently waited in his car for him to arrive.

2. Prasanna Callaghan channelled his inner Jayawardene to smack 10 fours and 4 sixes on his way to 97 not out.

3. Prasanna Callaghan spent the last 10 overs keeping wicket after Darren Casson broke a finger.

Following the old adage that fact is stranger than fiction, I can inform you that all three are true and joking aside, Prasanna’s innings drove the opposition, Sinjungrammarians, wild – reducing them to fighting and trading insults amongst themselves. But more of that later…

Starting the game six points behind leaders Banstead, skipper Matt Dixon took a much changed side to Wandsworth with 4th team debuts for Alex Irvine and James Worley. Arriving a few minutes before the scheduled start of play (due to you-know-who), he promptly lost the toss and was invited to have first go on a hard track that looked like it had a bit of

With no Julian and Zeeshan, Matt and newbie Alex Irvine opened up against the accurate Sinjuns opening pair of Murtaza and Khan. Both dug in and saw the shine off the new ball, running well between the wickets and with Irvine unleashing one gorgeously timed cover drive to see the score to 60 for no wicket. 

However, a bowling change brought about the wicket with evergreen maverick motor-mouth Roy Lawrence getting one through Irvine’s stoic defence. The skip went quickly after with a trademark LBW dismissal playing across the line and Stuart Gardner followed. Lawrence had three and 60-0 had quickly become 72-3 – We were having a classic 4th team wobble with Darren Casson and James Worley together at the wicket.

By this point Sinjuns appeared to have five captains on the pitch and the over rate slowed to a Charlton-esque crawl as each man re-arrange the field after ever ball. Darren then slashed a wide one to gully who clung on to a good catch whilst fully maintaining a full conversation with the slip next to him as he grasped the ball. 

The unlikely 5th wicket partnership of James Worley and Prasanna Callaghan then put on 51 for the next wicket, despite an ongoing verbal battle with bowler Lawrence to take the score to 144. After a nervy start Worley found his confidence but insulted the cricketing gods by changing his bat and they prompt ensure he was dismissed next ball. Rhys came and left in two balls and suddenly the innings was unravelling.

By this time skipper Dixon was umpiring to direct the final few overs from the middle. He instructed Prasanna and new batsman Sunil Isaac to get as close to 200 as possible. In response, the pair went nuclear, blazing 60 off the next 4 overs which prompted to the Sinjun’s captain to start abusing his team in a way that wouldn’t have been politically correct in 1985…

More misery was to follow as Prasanna and Alex Vinen took 36 runs off the last nine (legal) balls to take the score to an impressive 237-8 dec. A mighty effort considering 180 looked likely a few overs previously. A decent tea was enjoyed by all and Matt got the team out as quickly as possible to avoid finishing the game at around 10pm, given the painful over rate.

With a clear message to get stuck in and attack the Sinjuns top order from the outset, opening bowlers Reeve and Isaac proved effective and accurate. Reeve bounding in with plenty of pace and enthusiasm roughed up the batsmen, whilst Sunil exploited the overcast conditions and swung the ball prestigiously. The Sinjuns batsmen struggled and Sunil quickly had three wickets – two caught behind by Prasanna and Darren and their skipper caught by Matt at mid-off. Kieran joined the party bowling Thavam and the innings reeled at 8-4. 

This score brought together batsmen Zaheed Muneer and the obstinate Roy Lawrence who set about repairing the innings. Whilst Muneer looked to play his shots, Lawrence used every part of his body other than his bat. Muneer gave a chance a few overs later, but the Matt couldn’t hold a catch on the run behind the bowler’s head – a drop that proved costly later.

These two batsmen frustrated the Dulwich bowlers, putting on 159 for the 5th wicket. The skipper mixed it up with spinner Alex Vinen, Giles and Prasanna joining the attack but without any break though. Matt turned back to his opening pair and Sunil finally ended Lawrence’s stay at the crease, showing great focus to take a skied catch of his own bowling, whilst being simultaneously rugby tackled by James Worley.

We were back in the hunt – Keiran quickly bowled the new batsmen Khan to get his second wicket and Sunil followed this to claim his first five wicket haul for Dulwich, bowling Ali.

The game then took an unfortunate turn when keeper Darren Casson’s finger was badly broken. With no obviously replacements the skipper looked around the team for a volunteer and of course Prasanna was there with his hand up. Kieran was deployed as backstop and the game continued with Prasanna doing a great job behind the stumps.

Sunil picked up his 6th wicket leaving Dulwich needing 2 wickets from the last three overs. But alas, Muneer reached his century and then kept the strike to see Sinjuns home with a draw, intent on a red inker…

Although frustrated at not winning the game, there were some great performances in a much changed team that was only finalised late on Friday night. Alex Irvine and James Worley both played a part with the bat and Sunil’s 6-41 of 16 overs was a fine exhibition of controlled swing bowling. But the day did belong to Prasanna for batting, catching, bowling, sledging and keeping – it was almost enough for the skip to forgive him for being so bloody late.

News then filtered through that Banstead had lost, pushing DCC to top of the league with 5 games left. A top of the table clash with them is next with Dan Peters leading the side in Matt’s absence. The league is looking like a three horse race with Spencer certainly not out of it and all three teams still to play each other. We approach these games full of confidence and intent on securing the title.

Sun 31st July – Development XI v South Bank

DULWICH 117 lost to SOUTH BANK 153 by 36 runs

A young Development Team containing ten teenagers, including two U13s making their debuts in senior cricket, put up a gallant show but were beaten by an experienced South Bank side on a difficult wicket at Burbage Road on Sunday.

South Bank won the toss and elected to bat first in this ‘local derby’ fixture but they did not find runs easy to come by against the Dulwich opening attack of Henry Shine (2-18) and Robbie Matthews (3-25).  Alex Vinen (1-17 off 8 overs) bowled a teasing spell and his leg-spinners deserved better reward. The visitors’ lower middle order wagged, however, and helped by a hard-hitting 35 from their number eight they managed to compile a competitive score of 153. The other Dulwich wicket-takers were Gus Davies (2-41), Ben Hoffmann and Cormac Meade.

As with their opponents, the Dulwich batsmen struggled to contend with the low bounce and victory appeared a forlorn hope after the loss of four early wickets. Theo Chaudoir (18) and Henry Shine (25) steadied the ship with some fine shots in an enterprising partnership but when these two perished the writing was on the wall.  Robbie Matthews completed a good all-round performance with a knock of 20, but the home side were eventually dismissed for 117 to leave South Bank as reasonably comfortable winners.

Despite the defeat there were several encouraging performances by the Dulwich youngsters who were far from disgraced. This week’s Young Man of the Match award went to U13 Ben Hoffmann. Recovering from a loose opening over, he bowled with better control in his next three overs and took a useful wicket. He also batted confidently, despite scoring just eight runs, and shows much promise for the future.

Sat 30th July – 6th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 83 (36.2) lost to STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 134-9 (39.5) by 51 runs

Scorecard

In the Paleolithic era, the postcode SE21, was famed for its plethora of Cricket Clubs. Old Wilsonians, Lloyd's Register, Old Alleynians, Honor Oak, Marlborough 1870, Alleyn Old Boys, Griffin, Borough Polytechnic, Fern Lodge, Old Hollingtonians, Streatham and of course, DCC. There was even a team called Peckham Thursday (the clue is in the name). These clubs bestrode the leafy acres of Dulwich like so many Dinosaurs occasionally bumping into each other for yet another titanic clash. Then, as the Jurassic period was coming to an end, an asteroid struck the area (in the form of the College Estate deciding to "realise their assets" by raising rents and foreclosing on many of these rare breeds and the Cricketing landscape of South East London was changed forever.)

One classic fixture remains in the Calendar: the equivalent of Godzilla vs Tyrannosaurus Rex. Dulwich 6th's vs. Streatham and Marlborough. The last of the species slugging it out in a gory fight to the death, red in tooth and claw. Sadly, this year's morbid spectacle did not even take place within the hallowed confines of Dulwich, but was banished to the Kangley Bridge Road Leisure Centre. This institution was once known as the Britannic House and provided a gold standard in Cricket facilities for the employees of the Shell and British Petroleum Companies. Flat, road-like wickets were the norm. The outfield resembled the surface of the 3 full size Snooker Tables that were found in the pavilion. A sauna was available at the end of the game and a well subsidised bar provided an eclectic assortment of libations, including Brakspear's bitter. All this was demolished by Lewisham Borough Council, who acquired the unwanted facility from Shell and supplanted it with, arguably, the ugliest building found on page 128 of the London A-Z Street Map. The Sauna has gone and the bar has been replaced by a kiosk offering various "health" drinks and packets of Chorizo Flavoured Hula Hoops. Your correspondent's misery was complete, when he was informed the changing facilities were not available after 6.30 and that the 2 teams would have to change back into their "civvies" in full view of the residents of the overlooking tower blocks of Lower Sydenham.

Dulwich took the field and it was no surprise to find a pitch full of lightly rolled weeds and various other horrors which meant that no 2 balls bowled would bounce in anything like a predictable way. The outfield, to be fair, had been cut, but sadly, the gang mower had clearly missed all blades of grass less than 4 inches long. It resembled nothing less than one of those areas specially left in public parks to encourage wild life.

3 long paragraphs later, the match began: as is customary these days, DCC took the field with 10 men. Jabagyl Jumagyl, yet again absent. His absence was more than compensated by the excellent, tight bowling of Cormac Meade (2 for 28) and John Comerford (4 for 26). The mature Rochford kept wicket with not a little agility, Josh Nava and Kushal Patel kept the opposition batting in check and Jabagyl Jumagyl arrived at the 20 over drinks break. He was then brought on to bowl and did a creditable job as the "death" bowler. The S&M innings coughed and spluttered to to 134 all out in the final over and DCC hopes were high that such a modest target could be achieved. Gibson and Blench opened the batting and older spectators were reminded of Hobbs and Sutcliffe: the droughty opening pair who were still opening the batting for England in their 40's. When the pair had put on 14, however, Blench was dismissed and Owen sadly succumbed the very next ball, allowing himself to be dragged forward and then stumped, although (such was the interval of time, between Owen realising he was out of his ground and getting back to his crease) there was some debate as to whether he was actually run out attempting to run a bye. More crises were to follow: Jabagyl Jumagul hit the ball very hard to an empty space immediately above his head and was caught by the wicket keeper who was obliged to take one pace forward to take the catch. Other players essayed similarly ambitious shots: Captain Smith attempted to communicate directly with the aforementioned tower block residents by "hoicking" the ball in their general direction, but only succeeded in lobbing the ball to short mid wicket. Meade, Patel, Nava and Grimsey all played with some maturity but the hapless Gibson found himself beached like some stranded sperm whale on a sandbank in the middle of the Thames estuary on 22 not out. Not for the first time the most prolific scorer on the Dulwich side was Extras with 32. Dulwich limped to 83 all out and then revealed their genitalia to the watching multitude.

Sat 30th July – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

DULWICH 103-1(30.2) beat ADDISCOMBE 100 (45.4) by 9 wickets

Scorecard

On a fairly overcast day at the DSG, Dulwich welcome strugglers, Addiscombe. A game that looked on paper to be a good chance for the Doggies to extend their lead at the top of the table, but, rest assured, it was an anything but a boring affair…

The pantomime of James Hirst

Act 1, Scene 1- business as usual for a clenched buttocked Quaife

The first step forward came at the toss. Matt Quaife (who just the evening prior was laid up in bed with a poorly tummy), in as skipper to try and extend his long unbeaten run (played 2, won 2 and never allowing a side to get above 120), won the toss and invited Addiscombe to bat.

Act 1, Scene 2 – a tale of two Sams, and the villain emerges…

Opening the bowling with the hugely promising pair of Sams, Dulwich made a great start. Keeping the visitors to around 1.5 runs per over, as the One Man Chaos Engine continually reminded them. The first wicket fell to an excellent piece of bowling and a very good catch behind the wicket from Boom Boom Bailey (see earlier match reports for details of explosive hitting power). Moments later, the Chaos Engine was back to offer Addiscome opener, Babe Ruth, some advice regarding which sport we were playing. Some needle that it seems proved useful, as the opener was dismissed just a few balls after. This is one of three wickets taken by Sameer in what was an excellent spell of bowling admired from a far as Bridgland opted to “umpire on the one” (credit M. Balch) to get the best view of a bowler threatening to cut his career short. When the opening bowlers had come off, Addiscombe had managed to get to 25-3. Both openers had bowled very well and the spell would have been more prolific if the Raj-procaimed pantomime villain, James Hirst hadn’t dropped a tricky chance at slip off Sameer.

Act 1, Scene 3 – the master spins his web, and villan casts his spell

Following a brief and edge of your seat spell from the skipper, that included a wicket, it was then over to the spin twins – Hook Hirst and Patrick George. Both settled in quickly and bowled very well. George taking the role of controlling spinner, whilst wickets were being wheedled out at the other end with Gaston Hirst using all of his experience and full bag o’tricks to get himself 4 more. George was very unlucky to only get one wicket, albeit an LBW that was so out that the batsman walked. There was, of course, some very careful figure protection from the evil Hirst, as he ensured a returning Sameer wasn’t afforded his first ever 5 wicket haul by dropping a second catch at second slip. A drop that saw his summarily dismissed to third man by Tulsyarni (regardless of how Jafar Hirst may claim it was his decision to move). This drop of course, allowed the Wicked Witch Hirst to nab the final wicket. 

All of this left Addiscombe being bowled out for 100. A very good bowling effort.

Act 2, Scene 1 – Experience paves the way but the villain has his say

To attack this modest total, Dulwich sent out the formidable pair of Tulsearny and Morris. With a combined experience of 87 years, and more aerial options than the US airforce, surely this would be over in a flash. Well, it wasn’t. Some cunning bowling from the opposition, who opted to go spin at both ends in to the pads of the left handed, Tul-c-ar-knee, runs were hard to come by. The occasional boundary came, but with very little strike rotation in between. Not satisfied however with unjustly robbing our young opening bowler of 5 wickets, Bill Sykes Hirst struck again. His loud brogue so prevalent from the boundary that the agitated Toll-c had to call for quiet mid over. 

Frustration soon took its toll (mainly at the villain) with Tulsiani out caught with the score on 42. This brought Zaki to the crease, and he set about things in an all together different fashion, hoisting his first over from the off-spinner for 16. This then lead to a fairly quiet period of play as the two (now with combined experience somewhere in the region of between 70 and 90 years tbc) set about the chase in a reasonably stress free manner. 

Act 2, Scene 2 – John gets an early Birthday present and the villian’s day is done 

The only real moment of note, came with 6 runs required. A frustrated leg spinner opted to challenge the Mighty Morris, on his Birthday, by telling him to “get on with it”. Morris responded by saying “float the ball out there and I will”. Mid run-up, the spinner said he would do just that, hoping to force a mistake from the unflappable Morris. Would the spinner double bluff? Would Morris take him on? Would he end up trudging off to much laughter after being out thought by the cunning leg spinner? 

He did indeed toss it up. Morris did indeed take it on. The ball is yet to be found. A mighty 6 to win the game. 1-0 Morris.

Dulwich won by 9 wickets. Special praise goes to all of the bowlers, particularly Sameer for his excellent opening spell and The Evil Step Sister Hirst, for conducting the proceedings from wherever on the pitch he was relegated to and for a very good spell of spin bowling. Cue a few drinks at the bar, which gave The Chaos Engine a chance for a packet of smokes, and 1st XI pro SKINNER!! a chance to dust off his wallet and buy us all a thimble of beer to share. I’ve seen bigger jugs on our opening batsmen than that!

Next-up, Beddington.