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Sat 2nd September – Dulwich D!ckheads vs Pillockshire Pilgrims

D!CKHEADS 158-4 (40) lost to PILGRIMS 149-9 by one wicket

It is the custom these days to give Cricket teams nicknames. It is not enough to call Warwickshire, "Warwickshire" anymore. They have to be called the Birmingham Bears, Nottinghamshire are now known as the Outlaws. Presumably, Sussex will become known as the Inlaws owing to the fact that Max Miller, who came from Brighton, told a great number of jokes about his mother-in-law: "when she comes round our house, I cut the tail off the dog. I don't want no sign of welcome. She went for a swim in Loch Ness, the monster got out and picketed the lake …"and so on ad nauseam.
So I have decided to call today's game a battle between the Dulwich Dickheads and the Pillockshire Pilgrims. Or Dickheads v Pillocks for short. The selection of the teams itself was a dubious process conducted in smoke filled rooms from which the 2 captains Rutherford and Brown, emerged whitefaced and withdrawn. A pairing system was apparently in operation., where two players deemed to be of equal abilities (I am not sure who did the deeming) were placed as a pair and each captain was invited to choose one of the pair. An agonising choice I am sure.

And so to the match played on a sun kissed day where the cotton wool cumulonimbus clouds wandered across the sky as if they were all bit part players in a Poem written by Wordsworth.

In the late 1950's and early 60's the Dulwich 1st XI boasted a Cambridge blue, who also played for Lancashire and opened the bowling for the Gents v the Players (he also managed to design the Dulwich pavilion in his spare time),  a South African who played in 3 tests in the 1960 tour of England, a man who scored 79 not out for the Club Cricket Conference against the West Indies team of 1963 and a man who played for Kent whenever Colin Cowdrey was playing for England. None of these players was named Peter Rice, but, nevertheless, he was the first choice opening bat in this glittering array of talent. In 2017 he is not mixing with quite such illustrious co. But he was still opening the batting. Chivvying his way to 34 in his last ever game ably supported by Blench who one would like to describe as something of a renaissance man: A bass guitarist of some skill, a property tycoon and and a househusband. The meat and two veg of the innings was, however, the innings played by Rhys Williams who swashbuckled his way to 69 not out. A batsman who takes no prisoners. Simon Moore essayed some classic off drives at the end of innings and the Dickheads amassed 158 for 4 off their 40 overs.

One should also mention Farhad Ahmed's opening spell of 6 overs 6 maidens 1 wicket for 0 runs. It must be said that several of these overs were bowled against the septuagenarian Gibson. A player who, on occasion, has been known to "dig in" in a rather unnecessary fashion in a 40 over match.

During this innings Gibson found himself having an interesting if not enlightening conversation with the wicket keeper Kira Chathli, when her father, Harry, came on to bowl.

"What does your Dad bowl, Kira?"
"You know what, I haven't the first idea".

Sadly, Forhad Ahmed's analysis was vandalised in his second spell when he went for 14 in 2 overs. As Shakespeare once said : "O World thy slippery turns." Scholars are divided on whether he was talking about Stratford on Avon's off spinner of 1564, but your correspondent thinks it is highly likely. 

The Pillocks innings was an altogether more pedestrian affair. David Begg was treated with perhaps unreasonable respect by both Father and daughter of the Chathli family and Griffiths the solicitor played an innings which the scorebook eloquently described as ………2……………2……..1……. OUT

Only Rutherford with a commendable 63 was able to extract himself from the vice like grip of the Dickheads parsimonious attack. Grimsey managed to bowl an over full of event and Gibson produced a ball of such devastating originality that it succeeded in dismissing Matt Craig on the second bounce. The Pillocks held on to to 149 for 9 but one felt the result was never really in doubt. A great day out for all, and one I hope Peter will remember with fondness as his last game of cricket in a career which began in the halcyon days of 1958.

Sat 2nd September – 4th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 228 (43.3) beat STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH by 77 runs


With the league won by Wimbledon last week, Dulwich 4’s approached Saturday’s fixture in a relaxed mood, with one eye on the after-game shenanigans back at the club. However, with a strong side out, we were certainly not going risk losing the game, especially to local rivals S&M.

The game itself followed the demeanour of the team, played in a great spirit against a decent bunch of blokes. The S&M ground looked resplendent in the sunshine, with the church peeking over the trees and a delicious tea in-between innings. In fact, with nothing at stake, this report can be a gentle run through of the day, rather than the usual collection of salacious half-truths and sarcastic similes.

Losing the toss, Skipper Dixon was delighted to be invited to have first crack at a decent looking track safe in the knowledge that his bowling uber-attack was in place to dig the team out of the inevitable mess the batting would make of setting a target. With this idea in mind, he decided the bowlers might as well score the runs as well and so promoted Ben Lester, Ollie Tobin, Prasanna and Sunil up the order and put his feet up.

Unfortunately, his peace lasted only 30 seconds. With the game ready to start, Umpire Inglis was behind the stumps, but his square leg counterpart David Woods was missing. Bizarrely he was then spotted striding authoritatively out to the middle of Streatham’s main ground, accompanying two panel umpires, like a kind of odd lab-coat threesome, to officiate the 2nd Team match.

After a brief re-enactment of Alan Partridge (Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave, Dave……………..Dave… Dave), Woodsy was installed at square leg and the game started. Partnering Zeeshan this week was Ben Lester as the skipper’s original choice of a Prasanna / Zeesh open partnership would probably have led to an investigation and likely prosecution from the league.

And what an inspired choice he was. Against the S&M trundlers, Lester looked a class act with any number of supremely timed on drives. Coupled with the brawn of Zeeshan, the pair raced past 50 within 5 overs and on to 90-0 within the first 10.

Zeeshan was the first to fall, plumb in front to a donkey drop from high altitude from spinner Stephen Horlock, for a terrific 50 – he left the field furious as he knew a ton was his for the taking. He has been our most prolific batsman this year, with 306 runs for 4’s (plus the 151 he scored in his only game for the 5’s).

Tobin joined Lester in what must be the 4’s most athletic looking batting partnership – no obvious signs of arthritis, beer guts or venereal disease between these two… However, good looks can only get you so far and it didn’t take Horlock long to get Tobin, this time with his long-hop variation, miraculously caught by Bobby Iftikhar, somewhere in the tennis courts, without his feet crossing the boundary rope.

Pras came in at 4 and tried to play like a proper batsman, especially to Iftikhar who had now joined the attack. He obviously looked ridiculous and it was a relief to see him smack another full bunger from Horlock down the throat of the fielder on the cow boundary.

Ollie Smith joined Lester and for a while,the two knocked the ball around for 5 or 6 an over. Lester was looking the more fluent of the two, having played himself in and favouring the leg side, with flicks through mid-wicket and punches down to mid-on. He past 50 for the first time for Dulwich and went on to a fine 76 before holing out at deep mid-wicket.

The rest of the innings requires little coverage. In short; Ollie Smith contributed a gutsy 47 to see us past 220. He also ran a few players out to make sure we didn’t get 250. When he ran out of players to run out, he ran himself out (Got that?) Inglis got one of the few genuinely good balls of the day. Skipper Dixon though he had hit a straight six, whilst arrogantly holding his checked drive pose – only to see it just clear regulation mid-on. Woodsy managed to arrive to bat on the right wicket and got us through to 228. Should have been 280 really, but given our track record, the skipper was delighted.

Oh, and if any Dulwich talent scouts are reading – have a look at young S&M spinner Will Kay. He looks a real prospect and we should bribe his parents and bring him to Dulwich. In the words of Ben Lester, “his wrist makes a weird clicking noise when he bowls” No idea if this is a good thing, but let’s face it, Ben Lester knows a thing or two about high quality spin bowling.

Following the skipper’s simplistic attitude to bowling changes, our reply with the ball went like this.

Sunil and Swainy opened. Both bowled their nine overs straight off. Both must have beaten the bat 25 times before opener Paul Henly ran himself out for 7. There is little doubt they have been the best opening pair in the league this year and their performances in 2017, alongside David Woods, have contributed massively to the team being in the league position it is. Sunil ended up with 3 wickets to take his season total to 21 wickets, Swainy didn’t take any (which even I’ll admit was a travesty) but finished on 22 for the season.

Next up came Woodsy and Tobin. Again, both bowled their 9 overs straight through. For once Woodsy ended up wicketless, but has still take 24 this season and is the perfect man to come on once Sunil and Swainy have removed the top order. Tobin was a more than able partner and will be a huge player for Dulwich next season, although it is unlikely to be in the 4’s. He took 4 wickets on the day, to end the season on 9 for the 4th team off only 19 overs.

The Streatham innings was a bit of a bore frankly. They didn’t have the batsmen to make a game of it, although Horlock managed to swipe 40-odd at the end. With no pressure, skipper could share the last few overs around. Cormac Meade came on having not bowled for a month and was bang on the money straight away, Pras bowled a couple overs of spin-ish stuff, before the Chuckle Brothers Inglis and Chaudhry closed the season in a suitably ludicrous manner with 5 overs of pies between them.

So that’s it. All over for 2017. We came second to a very, very good Wimbledon side who only lost once all year. We had a batting collapse in every single game other than a 10 wicket win against Reigate. We ended up on a record points total of 284. To put this in context the league was won on 259 last year.

It has been hugely good fun, with team spirit that is off the scale. A big thank you to everyone who has played, to Swainy for stepping in as skipper, to John Howard for the wickets at DSG and to Jackie Howard for keeping us fed and watered.

Sat 2nd Sept – 1st XI v Old Rutlishians

OLD RUTLISHIANS 139 (49.5) lost to DULWICH 140-7 (48.5) by 3 wickets


Dulwich travelled to Old Rutlishians for the last match of the season in Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship, knowing that the loser of this match faced almost certain relegation. They emerged triumphant in a low scoring match, securing victory by three wickets in the penultimate over.

Old Ruts chose to bat, but lost their first wicket in the third over when Jon Lodwick had Salman Mohammed caught behind by Will Bancroft. Dan Wood and Rory Pemberton took the score to 44 in the 13th over when the same combination accounted for Pemberton, out for 23 off 35 balls. Lodwick went on to complete his ten over spell with figures of 2-23. Left arm spinner Levi Olver had joined the attack as early as the twelfth over, and his sustained pressure was rewarded when he had Chris Mude caught for a painstaking 2 off 26 balls in the 20th. Wood was now joined by former skipper Joe Riches, called up in desperation for his first match of the season after returning from an overseas secondment. Together they added 31 for the fourth wicket to take the score to 98-3 after 32 overs, seemingly well poised to accelerate the scoring rate.

At this point the wheels came off. Salaar Waqar had joined the attack and obtained prodigious turn from the start. In his fifth over he had Wood stumped for 53, off 77 balls, and four balls later bowled skipper Sonny Cooper for a duck. Olver returned for a second spell and took two wickets with his first three balls, to finish with 3-28 off his ten overs. In his last over Waqar took two wickets in an over for the second time, and completed his ten with the remarkable figures of 4-13. Ruts had lost six wickets in eleven overs for just 17 runs. Last man Alex Barnicott thus joined Riches with the score on 115-9 in the 43rd over, and together they eked out 24 runs for the last wicket before Barnicott was stumped off Pat George from the penultimate ball of the innings, to give Bancroft his fifth dismissal. George, as the third spinner, had maintained the pressure, finishing with the creditable figures of 1-22 off 9.5 overs.

Tom Savill, in his final match for Dulwich, opened the batting with acting skipper Ed Stolle, but was out after facing just four balls, caught off Cooper for 4. This brought in Matt Balch, who was still there at the end of the innings, more than three hours later. The second wicket pair had taken the score to 39 in the eleventh over when Stolle was surprised to be given out caught at slip off the off spin of Barnicott. A second off spinner Richard Woolland now joined the attack, and bowled with unerring accuracy, with only 11 runs coming off his ten overs. Balch defended resolutely against him, while Nick Hudson went on the attack at the other end. The pair had added 35 in 13.3 overs when Hudson was caught off the third off spinner, Ross Trimmings, having made 24 off 30 balls. Waqar went quickly, trying to sweep Woolland, to leave Dulwich on 77-4 after 26 overs.

Balch was now joined by Lodwick. Balch continued to defend against Woolland and Trimmings, while Lodwick attacked the other bowlers. The pair had added 46 for the fifth wicket in 16 overs when Aussie OP Tom Collett had Lodwick caught behind for 30, off 49 balls. Cooper had Bancroft lbw three overs later, and in the next over Ed Hopkins fell to a remarkable running and diving catch by Woolland off Collett. Dulwich had declined from 123-4 to 132-7, leaving eight runs needed for victory off the last 4.3 overs. With nerves jangling, Balch and Munawar inched towards their target until Balch had the reward of hitting the winning run with seven balls to spare. He had faced 147 balls for his 44, a crucial innings in the context of the game.

Dulwich thus climb two places to finish the season in seventh place, while their opponents suffer relegation for the second year in succession. Dulwich will be hoping to recruit some fresh blood over the winter to help launch a successful season under a new captain next year. 

Sat 26th August – 3rd XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 280-7 (50) beat SUNBURY 237 (44.5) by 43 runs


Following a straightforward and comfortable win last week at Walton-On-Thames, Dulwich 3’s welcomed fellow mid-table side Sunbury to the intimidating surrounds of the DSG. Dulwich were looking to make a strong finish to the season after some disappointing performances in early August; the players in the side from last week were pleased to wake up on Saturday morning to hot weather, knowing it would force Stingwray to shelve his new dog jumper, which gained plenty of unwanted attention from the team and in particular, John Morris.

The obligatory warm up took place, with plenty of ground fielding and catching exercises. The boys were impressive and showed the Sunbury players that they dare not even think about hitting the ball in the air. Captain Bailey steamed out to the middle and somehow won the toss, opting to take the first opportunity to bat on, what looked to be a decent pitch.

Dulwich opened up with Cian Scannell and James Chudley, with the latter taking the first ball. Sunbury skipper Birch came charging into Chudley, who nicked it with soft hands and ran away down to third man for four. The next ball, Birch dragged down a rank long hop, which Chudley top-edged to mid-on. Dulwich 4-1 after 0.2 overs. This brought Harry Chathli to the crease, who looked a little edgy early doors but soon got into his stride, rotating the strike well and put the poor deliveries away; in particular playing some lovely on-drives through wide mid-on.

The first round of Sunbury bowling changes, brought Lier and Bentall into the attack. Lier bowling with some away swing and Bentall bowling some loopy off-spin (off a c. 15 yard run up). Scanell was looking solid, playing a text book cover drive before launching Bentall for two fours down to long on. The pair put on 83 before Scannell fell for 25 at 87-2 after 18.1 overs. Chathli, equipped with his girlfriend’s trainers, and in the face of some smelly / below-average chat from the opposition, pushed on and was now joined by Andy Keen. Chathli brought up his 50 in the 25th over with an excellently guided four over the slips, much to the outright disgust of Lier; who was still seething from an LBW decision turned down in his previous over, only for Keen to hit a straight six over his head three balls later.

It would be Bentall who was to strike next. The loopy, flighty off spin appeared to be enough for Keen, who tried to hit the ball out of London, duly bowled for his stupid effort. Chathli soon followed for a well made 55 (5 x 4s). Cormac Meade came and went for 6, also bowled by Bentall. 87-1 had become 143-5. New batsmen Faizal Kassam and Andy Bailey set about re-building the innings to a total which justified the conditions. Faz looked in bullish mood, destroying any loose bowling and playing some excellent shots off his legs. Bailey played a strong supporting role, rotating the strike and putting away the occasional short ball (half volleys to men of normal stature). The pair progressed well and Faz brought up his 50 (7 x 4s) in the 40th over and, with the score on 185-5, skipper Bailey could smell the opportunity of bringing up the highest team score of the season for the 3s.

Faz continued to move through the gears and, aided by some strange field placings, preceded to cream the ball to all parts of the ground. Sunbury’s fifth change bowler, Pillai, bore the brunt of Faz, going for 21 off his only over. Bailey was soon to fall after top edging a pull shot off Lier for a good 25, with the score on 242-6 and a partnership of 99. Ben Lester came and went for 5 after risking his own wicket in an attempt to rotate the strike for Faz; who at this point would probably have sold all of his cricket gear for a toke on his e-cigarette, looked like he was going to make the big ton. Rordon Daws gave Faz the strike at every opportunity and he needed 2 runs from the final ball of the innings. Completely unaware of this requirement, Faz smashed the final ball into his pads and ran one, to finish agonisingly on 99* (15 x 4s) with Daws closing on 3*. An excellent innings from Faz and Dulwich ended on 280-7 from their 50 overs. Sunbury didn’t bowl with much discipline; bowling 20 wides (including Stingwray’s new favourite leg side wide rule) and 12 no balls. Although their wicketkeeper had a good game, only conceding 6 byes. The pick of the Sunbury bowlers was the young Lier, taking 3-60 from his 10 overs.

With the boys full up after a DSG tea, and with the confidence levels high, Bailey lead his team out to defend our 280 total. Rordon Daws and Will Palmer took the new ball for Dulwich with Daws striking immediately in his first over, trapping Hussain infront for 0. His opening partner Pillai, now joined by Finlay, immediately looked to play aggressively, dispatching any loose bowling  and the score rattled on to 40 before Daws clean bowled Finlay in the 9th over for 9. Wicketkeeper Rathore then looked to build a partnership with Pillai.

James Chudley and Josh Nava had now been brought into the attack; the latter bowling some good leg spin, bowling with plenty of flight in an attempt to seduce the batsman into something silly. Sunbury always ensured they were still in the game and kept the scoreboard ticking over. Nava was unlucky not to pick up one or two wickets as a couple of aerial shots didn’t go to hand. The score had now moved on to 114-2 after 25 overs and Bailey replaced Chudley with Lester, looking to break the partnership that was now worth 77. The change turned out to be inspirational as the big hitting Rathore (44) smoked Lester down to Long On where Will ‘Venus Fly Trap’ Palmer produced an excellent catch, engulfing the ball whilst diving forward; even prompting a rare thumbs up from Stingwray on the quiet. Lester was not finished yet, as he had Pillai adjudged LBW two balls later for 54. Lier was next to fall for Sunbury as Lester induced a big shot which was caught by Chathli, giving him the opportunity to provide a send off for his nemesis. With the score on 124-5, Dulwich felt like they were back in the game.

Ranjit and Bains looked to get the Sunbury innings moving again before Bains, holed out to Daws on the mid-wicket boundary for 20. The score was now 155-6 and Dulwich felt like they were in charge of the game. All this was to change as Sunbury skipper Birch strode to the crease and was caught behind first ball, only to find Lester had bowled a front foot no-ball. What became evident in the following overs was that Birch hits a clean ball. Lester and the returning Chudley bore the brunt of Birch’s hitting who was now building a solid partnership, with Ranjit playing the supporting role. Lester again appeared to have Birch’s wicket, Daws catching a waist high full toss at deep mid-wicket; only for the square leg umpire to call for a no-ball.

This partnership took Sunbury to 224-6 off 42 overs with many of the Dulwich fielders twitching. Will Palmer, bowling his second spell from the near end, had Ranjit well caught by Lester at deep square leg for 20. After the batsman crossed, Birch responded by blasting a monstrous six over long on. Desperate to get Birch out, Bailey searched around the field for the golden arm, but had to look no further than cover where Cian Scannell was already fancying his chances. A loopy off-spinner from Scannell induced a loose shot from Birch which was swallowed by Palmer at mid-wicket. The very next ball produced exactly the same outcome with Bentall mishitting a massive six into the waiting hands of Will Palmer at mid-wicket.

This brought Burrows to the crease, who had not played cricket before. Scannel was on a hat trick and the fielders were round the bat. Stingwray, who was attempting to ensure the fielding regulations were adhered to, was told to ‘Come on – I don’t even care’ by Burrows. Unfortunately Scannell couldn’t convert the hat trick and the batsman scampered through for a bye. Palmer took the final wicket, having Burrows caught at point by Keen. Sunbury were all out for 237.

A strong performance from Dulwich who closed the gap in the table behind Sunbury to four points. Dulwich welcome Sutton to the DSG next week in the final game of the season, hoping to close on three consecutive wins.

Sat 26th August – 1st XI v Malden Wanderers

MALDEN WANDERERS 299-7 (50) beat DULWICH 112 (32.1) by 187 runs


Dulwich travelled to Malden Wanderers hoping for the win that would ease the threat of relegation from Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship, but another wretched display saw them go down to defeat by the huge margin of 187 runs.

The home side chose to bat, and were lucky not to lose an early wicket as Jon Lodwick repeatedly found the edge of Aussie OP Jacob Wilson’s bat only to see the ball shoot between the slips to the boundary. With a third man posted from his third over onwards he was able to impose some restraint, and after conceding 17 off his first two overs, the remaining eight cost just 19. Nonetheless the 50 came up in the tenth over, and it took the advent of James Bridgland to secure the breakthrough, as he took a wicket in his first over for the fourth time in as many matches for the first team this season. Wickets for Lodwick and skipper Alex Gledhill reduced Malden to 81-3 after 20.2 overs, but this only brought in Will Sabey, who dominated a stand with Wilson that put on 143 for the fourth wicket in 23 overs. Sabey made 92 of these off 85 balls before being bowled by Kamran Munawar. Wilson had by now reached 90, and he continued past his century before also falling to Munawar for 116, off 132 balls. Wilson had been joined by James Wackett, who lived up to his name by smashing 40 off 22 balls, including three sixes off one Gledhill over, before being stumped off the last ball of the innings. This was Munawar’s second wicket of the over, and three wickets in his last ten balls had given him figures of 4-60 off nine overs. Dulwich thus claimed their second bowling point as Malden finished on a mammoth 299-7 off their 50 overs.

Ed Stolle and Matt Balch had advanced the Dulwich innings sedately to 14 after six overs when Michael Cottrell and that man Sabey each took two wickets in his fourth over. This left them reeling on 17-4, coincidentally the same score that they had been reduced to in the first meeting between the sides. A third wicket for Cottrell made it 26-5. Will Bancroft dug in, and helped Stolle double the score before falling in the 15th over with the score on 52, and Stolle himself went five overs later to make it 56-7. He had scored 44 of those runs, off 49 balls, while his first six partners had managed just nine runs between them. The eighth wicket fell at 67, whereupon Gledhill took part in two partnerships that added 45 for the last two wickets. He played second fiddle to Munawar, whose 21 (off 26 balls) was the second highest score of the innings, in a ninth wicket stand of 22, and then added 23 for the last wicket with Bridgland. Cottrell returned to remove the latter for 11 (off 12 balls) and finish with 4-32 off 9.1 overs, while Gledhill remained unbeaten on 14. Dulwich were dismissed in just 32.1 overs for 112.

Dulwich thus gain just two points from a match for the third week running, and have slipped back to ninth place after Bank of England secured their fourth consecutive victory. The final match is away to Old Rutlishians, who are just four points above them in eighth place. Victory for Dulwich would secure another year in Division 2, while defeat would almost certainly lead to relegation.

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