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Sat 4th June – 2nd XI v Beddington

DULWICH 81-0 (13.5) beat BEDDINGTON 77 (32.2) by 10 wickets

Scorecard

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.

Sat 4th June – 1st XI v Farnham

FARNHAM 112 (46.4) lost to DULWICH 116-6 (40) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

A depleted Dulwich side emerged victorious by four wickets in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Farnham.

Dulwich were missing six regular players, and gave first team debuts to three newcomers. Acting skipper Ed Stolle won the toss and elected to field. One of the newcomers, Kamran Munawar, fresh from taking five wickets for the second team last week, opened the bowling and produced a devastating spell of 4-11 off eight overs. With Naeem Iqbal also picking up a wicket, Farnham were reduced to 23-5 after twelve overs. Sam Powell and Ben Ungaretti steadied the ship, adding 55 in 16.2 overs for the sixth wicket. With the three regular spinners all missing, Stolle turned to the left arm spin of Richard King (who bowled seam in his previous matches) and the second newcomer James Hirst, and even had a rare bowl himself. All three had respectable figures, but it was King who made the breakthrough by bowling Ungaretti for 19 with the score on 78. Powell followed on the same score, run out by Iqbal for 33. The eighth wicket pair then took the score to the dreaded 111, when the recall of Iqbal brought the innings to an abrupt conclusion as he took the last three wickets in seven balls without conceding a run. Farnham were all out for 112, with Iqbal finishing with 4-23 off 9.4 overs.

The Farnham openers were unable to apply the same pressure as their Dulwich counterparts, and Stolle led from the front as he and Ed Towner added 30 for the first wicket in 7.4 overs. Stolle was the first to go, bowled by Ungaretti for 19, off just 30 balls, and Zakir Rostami went on the same score. King joined Towner, and together they added 32 in 11.3 overs for the third wicket. Both fell to acrobatic catches with the score on 62, Towner making a resolute 20 off 59 balls, and King 18 off 38. This was the fifth time in the match that two wickets had fallen on the same score, but worse was to follow this time as Will Bancroft went first ball. In just five balls Dulwich had gone from 62-2 to 62-5. Two of the wickets had fallen to left arm spinner Chris Terry, in the middle of an eleven over spell for just ten runs, and he followed up by dismissing Iqbal to make it 71-6. The match hung in the balance, but the third newcomer, Jack Anderson, now entered the fray, and he capped an excellent day for the debutants by seeing his side home with 26 not out off just 40 balls. He was well supported by Leon Sealy, who curbed his natural aggression until the game was almost won, finishing with 15 not out off 54 balls. The pair put on 45 in 14.4 overs for the unbeaten seventh wicket to secure victory by four wickets.

Dulwich have now won three of their first five matches, and climb to third in the table. Next week they will be looking for further success at home to Purley, who languish in ninth place having yet to win a game.

Sat 28th May – 3rd XI v Ashtead

DULWICH 252 beat ASHTEAD 133 (34) by 119 runs

Scorecard

After an unbeaten start to the season the 3rd XI entertained newly promoted Ashtead at the Dulwich Sports Ground on Saturday. The nature of the 3rd team meant a much changed team once again but the team was confident. Arriving with rain falling dampened this slightly as captain Graeme Hough fretted that his week-long plan of batting first if winning the toss could be scuppered. But the rain soon went and plans were back on track. In any case Ashtead won the toss and inserted Dulwich.

Andy Cornick and James ‘I am not a bowler’ Chudley strode to the wicket. Both started confidently until Cornick mistimed a pull shot to square leg. Strange, as said player then proceeded to tell everyone for the rest of the innings how he has never been able to play the pull or hook shot… as if we needed telling! Anyhow, out strode Henry Hazlewood for his first innings for Dulwich to join Chudley. These two proceeded to settle in but scored freely at five an over in a partnership of 123 for the second wicket. Hazlewood in particular unleashed some beautiful square cuts and pulls amongst many other good shots, whilst Chuds also punished anything wayward. The introduction of Ashtead’s young spinners put a bit of a brake on things as loose deliveries became rarer, particularly from their young left arm spinner who bowled an excellent spell.

Stamina and self-confidence are not things that come to Chuds naturally and so he eventually succumbed for a valuable 39. At 132 for 2 and with plenty of overs remaining things were well set. Will Cooper (11) entertained briefly and Hazlewood eventually departed for an excellent 93 with the score on 188. An impressive first innings indeed. DCC’s skipper, whilst pleased is also a Northerner and was quick to look for the negatives, so rued the fact that this may be Hazlewood’s one and only game in the 3rd XI as he is definitely destined for higher teams for the rest of the season. (Note to all of Henry’s team mates – he really does need a nickname!)

Andy Bailey entered the fray and lauded the fact that his strike rate was the best in the team as he scored 23 off 21 balls to keep the momentum going whilst Sam Hunt settled in to some crab-like batting but showed promise on his debut scoring 18. The run rate continued at close to 5 an over although wickets fell quickly towards the end. Dan Peters (18no off 21) kept thingstogether, Prasanna unleashed a corker of a cover drive for 4 first ball (but then reverted to type), and the captain forgot his age and attempted a quick single unsuccessfully. The innings came to a close off the penultimate ball – 252 all out.

On a good wicket and quick outfield there was no room for complacency as Jez Jones and Sam Hunt opened the bowling. Jones quickly settled in to his usual rhythm whilst Hunt showedboth promise and rustiness, though the fact he is a wicket keeper should be noted. The captain’s mid innings urgings for focus, concentration, energy and sharpness in the field quickly became a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ as he proceeded to let one through his legs for 4 early on! As the captain desperately searched for bobbles on the ground, he sought solace in the fact that, as captain, he would not have to face his own wrath as others would have done!

Jones made the first breakthrough at 34 and this quickly became 53 for 3 following a Callaghan wicket and a run out by Cornick. Dulwich were now in the ascendancy. After an excellent first spell of seven overs from Jones, Dan Peters entered the fray and proceeded to run through his full repertoire – low full tosses, knee high ones, waist high and chest high ones all interspersed by some balls of promise. Anyway, it does not say ‘rank full toss’ in the book and he snared a couple of victims, whilst encouraging more chat about law 42.6.

By this time Sunil Isaac had replaced the hamstrung Callaghan and settled in to an impressive spell of nagging, medium pace swing and seam and was rewarded with a (rather generously described) ‘tumbling’ caught and bowled, a couple of catches behind and a smart low slip catch from the captain to reap 4-37 off his 10 overs – an impressive 3rd XI league debut. With Peters having bowled more full tosses in one six over spell than captain Hough had bowled in his whole 35-year career of bowling spin he was duly replaced to restore some semblance of order as Hough, along with Isaac, brought things to a swift conclusion – Ashtead 133 all out off 34 overs.

So the impressive start to the season continues with four wins out of four. No room for complacency but signs are positive with the many team changes having little impact on overall performance or results showing strength in depth and genuine competition for places. The team begins its three match road trip next week starting at 2nd placed Malden Wanderers – one game at a time andall such clichés

Sun 29th May – Development XI v Primrose Hill Elephants

DULWICH 144-9 beat PRIMROSE HILL ELEPHANTS 123 by 21 runs

The Development Team recovered from an unpromising start in each innings of a closely fought game to record an excellent victory.

With schools on half-term holiday, there was a much better availability among the youngsters this week and we were able to field a team with eight players under 18. After winning the toss, Dulwich took first knock, but for the second week running were soon in trouble. Jonny Stone, Dylan Brook and Rordon Daws were all back in the hutch with only seven runs on the board. The opposition’s opening attack gave little away and a few overs later Harry Chathli was dismissed leaving Dulwich in the mire on 28 for 4. Much depended on the experience of Zakir Rostami at this stage, but he found a useful ally in the shape of U15 Kit Evans, coming in at number six, and together the pair rebuilt the innings. Making only his second appearance at senior level, ‘Kit Kat’ batted with an assurance that belied his tender years and was quick to attack any loose deliveries, hitting three fours in an invaluable knock of 28. When the youngster fell with the score on 105, Robbie Matthews came to the wicket and he made a useful 16 helping Zaki continue the recovery. Primrose Hill’s change bowlers generally lacked the accuracy of their predecessors and Zaki took full advantage, cracking four fours and an equal number of sixes in his vital innings of 68, scored off just 76 balls. After Zaki’s dismissal, Dulwich’s lower order batsman struggled to get the returning opening bowlers away and with the skipper feeling hungry he decided to declare with the score on 144-9.

After a leisurely tea, the Primrose Hill batsmen embarked on their run chase. They made a confident start against the Daws brothers, Spencer and Rordon, and punishing anything off line, they reached a total of 25 before the first wicket fell. An excellent throw by Dylan Brooks with a direct hit from the extra-cover boundary brought a second wicket with the score on 42, but the opposition’s numbers three and four batted very sensibly and advanced the score towards the 100 mark. Robbie Matthews then took a wicket with the first ball of his second spell after changing ends and along with the other bowlers began to restrict the run rate with some tidy bowling. Nevertheless Primrose Hill advanced their total to 112 with only three wickets down and victory was well within their grasp. However, Dulwich kept it tight in the field and, apart from one dropped catch which turned out to be nowhere near as vital as it seemed at the time, wickets began to fall. Lacking support from his colleagues, the opposition’s number four bat began to feel the pressure and he eventually lifted his head to a well-flighted delivery from Jonny Stone and was bowled, seventh man out for 42. Dulwich’s bowlers then turned the screw, employing a well-disciplined line and length to dismiss the remaining batsmen, and the Elephants were all out for a total of 123. Primrose Hill’s last seven wickets perished for just 11 runs, leaving the home side winners by a margin of 21 runs. Rordon Daws (3-18) was the most successful Dulwich bowler, but he was well supported by Seb Connor (2-17), Robbie Matthews (2-18) and Jonny Stone (2-21).

Kit Evans received the Young Man of the Match award for his all-round performance, but especially his plucky innings which helped the side set a challenging total. However, the entire team deserves a pat on the back, not only for never giving up, but also their attitude to the game which was highly praised afterwards by the opposition.

Sat 28th May – 2nd XI v Woking & Horsell

DULWICH 111-6 (27) beat WOKING & HORSELL 110 (39.4) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

The 2nd XI welcomed Woking & Horsell to Burbage Road for a big game following a loss the previous week to interest rate setters Bank of England. With Captain James Bridgland and VC Oli ‘The Brand’ Steward away on another Saga Holiday trip to Eastbourne, local hero and PHD student Matthew Quaife stood in to Captain the side

Zaki (aged 35) took responsibility for the warm up, taking the team through a complex fielding drill which the players struggled to adapt to, but shortly after, we won the toss and were bowling.

Quaife and Del Boy Munawar started well, bowling tightly with Del Boy in particular showing some good pace. Quaife had Bhade caught by birthday boy John Morris in the gully, and Del Boy took a couple more, using the consistent bounce of the pitch to full effect. Hope came on to bowl tightly from one end (had to get that in there), whilst Lancastrian James Hirst weaved his magic from the other end. Balch replaced Hope, and showed great control after his all day self-promotion to Captain Quaife, as the Woking and Horsell batsman went into their shell. The game came to life as a short delivery from Hirst was hooked into Zaki’s facial region – Hirst responded by an Afridi style bouncer which rocked the batsman and he soon sent him on his way with a classic Hirst dismissal… caught off the back of the bat.

The visiting batman were clearly rocked by the whole ordeal, and resorted to guerrilla tactics as number seven Khan came out to bat with his jock strap worn outside of his trousers. Khan was fearless, and the home side expected fireworks, however a full delivery from Hirst was hit straight to Zaki who made no mistake. The innings was wrapped up as Del Boy returned to bag five for and continued his push for 1st XI selection, as Hirst bowled with excellent flight and guile to finish with four wickets.

Veterans Tulsiani and Balch strolled out to the middle to begin the reply, and showed intent from the off. Tulsiani in particular smashed anything that was, well, bowled at him and Balch hit a couple of boundaries of his own. Balch soon fell however and Tulsiani followed, later blaming his lack of hangover as a factor in his downfall… a mistake he surely won’t make again. Wickets continued to fall, and when Jack fell for 18 following a gritty innings, it was left to Morris to step up and add candles to the cake. AJ stood firm at the other end, caressing the ball through the off side and showing nerves of steel, as the pair saw a much relieved Dulwich side home.

Following three wins from four games the 2nd XI move forward with confidence, with a big game next week against Beddington and an even bigger night out to follow planned.