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Sat 12th August – 2nd XI v Walton on Thames

WALTON ON THAMES 235-8 (50) beat DULWICH 233-9 (50) by 2 runs

Scorecard

This Saturday the 2s travelled to Walton on Thames hoping to build on last week's victory and help cement our bid for promotion. After a warm-up described as "not worth writing about", Dulwich lost the toss and were asked to bowl.

The match got off to a magnificent start with Kam taking a wicket with the first ball, snicked behind to Steve. This was immediately followed by the Walton No. 3 doing exactly the same thing. Unfortunately, this time the umpire appeared to have lost the use of his eyes and his ears, and it was not given. Still, Kam got his man in his next over, caught by Steve for 0 for the second time in the match. Dulwich kept the pressure up with some tidy bowling, and with the score at 16-2 off 10 even the opposition were muttering about an early finish. Alas, it was not to be, as the Walton 2 and 4 proved annoyingly tenacious, scoring well and making the most of any chances we gave them.  We needed something different, something they wouldn't expect, and up stepped the Prince of Dulwich. First ball, again taken by Steve, and the partnership of 124 was finally broken. Walton continued scoring readily, including a massive six off Kam which only bounced once on its way to the line, finishing on 235-8. Mention to Steve, who took four catches.

Following what can only be described as the Best Tea in the League, new opening batsman Rylan Clark-Neal strode to the middle with Ross Ewing to begin our biggest chase of the season. Rylan impressed immediately, scoring a single with his very first ball, however, after making a very rapid 7 off 25 balls, he was caught, and the Prince went out to join Rossco.  Ross was looking good, scoring quickly, but after 3 boundaries he too was caught. The Prince and Oli put on 50 odd for the third wicket before getting out on 23 and 46 respectively. Dulwich continued to chase down the target, with all contributing, but ultimately we didn't push for the second run enough, and were left stranded on 233-9, losing by two runs.

Special thanks must go to Cheese for turning up to annoy everybody umpire whilst sporting an injury sustained during a game of ultimate hopscotch.

With three weeks left, and third place Banstead next week, it is vital that we get back to winning if we want to keep our place in the top two at the end of the season. Come on Doggies!

Sat 12th August – 1st XI v Chessington

DULWICH 108 (45.2) lost to CHESSINGTON 109-7 (33) by 3 wickets

Scorecard

A top order batting collapse saw Dulwich go down to defeat by three wickets in a low scoring Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Chessington.

Dulwich chose to bat on winning the toss, and Matt Balch and acting skipper Tom Savill put on 12 off the first four overs with eccentric running looking more likely to take a wicket than the bowlers. This all changed in the fifth over as Savill and Kristian Williman were bowled by successive balls from Colin Watson, who followed up by having Assan Crawford-Khan caught behind and went on to complete his ten overs with 3-25. In the meantime Ronan Qazi had Henry Hazlewood lbw, and when Balch was also caught behind in Prince Singh’s first over, having resisted stoutly for 39 balls for 10, Dulwich were in disarray at 26-5 off 12 overs. Salaar Waqar and Will Bancroft now combined in a stand of 31 for the sixth wicket, with Bancroft defending staunchly for 39 balls for five, while Waqar was more aggressive, scoring 29 off 54. Skipper Dan Yarnley removed Bancroft with his second ball and bowled his ten overs straight through for just ten runs. Luke Barnard dismissed Waqar and Leon Sealy while conceding just 28 runs off his ten. Jon Lodwick and Patrick George thus came together at 68-8 in the 31st over. Both defended resolutely, with Lodwick scoring just one run off his first 32 balls before going on the attack. George gave him solid support for 46 balls for six. The pair had added 37 for the ninth wicket when George was bowled by Qazi. James Bridgland fell to Singh five balls later to leave Lodwick stranded on 30, off 61 balls. Dulwich were all out for 108 in the 46th over.

The Chessington batsmen didn’t find scoring any easier, and Lodwick and Sealy each picked up an early wicket to reduce them to 15-2 after five overs. Bridgland joined the attack for the 13th over, and maintained his record of taking a wicket in his first over, but had to come off after that one over due to injury. Rob Edmond and Karl Thorns thus came together with the score on 34-3, and Thorns went on the attack against George and Waqar to add 30 for the fourth wicket in just 4.1 overs. Waqar had his revenge, removing Edmond for 20 and Matt Alldis for 5 to make it 70-5. Thorns and Qazi added 18 before Sealy returned to dismiss Thorns for 29, and Waqar had Adam Lawrence stumped without scoring in the next over to make it 90-7. The match seemed to hang in the balance, but Yarnley had held himself back to number nine, and after playing himself in for nine balls he hit four fours off Sealy’s tenth over to see his side home by three wickets.

Dulwich take just two points from this match. They remain in seventh place, but are now level on points with Dorking and are just ten ahead of ninth placed Epsom. Next week they have a crucial home match against bottom club Bank of England, and will be looking to avenge their defeat in the first match between the sides.

Sat 5th August – 5th XI v Bromley Common

DULWICH 105-4 (30.5) beat BROMLEY COMMON 104-8 (35) by 6 wickets

Scorecard

Report 1

The mighty 5s – scored an impressive win against their fellow promotion chases, Bromley Common on Saturday in a pulsating – yawn – run fest at the DSG.

After a vigorous warm up game of push the covers on and off, Jack won the toss and sensibly inserted the opposition. The opening batsmen took guard against the express pace of KP and Captain Birdseye and the young opener promptly got his just desserts for disrespecting his elders by attempting to hit KP into the next postcode but only spooning a simple catch to Ramon at Mid-On. 

What then followed was a classic exhibition of what Sir Geoffrey has been asking the England top order to demonstrate all summer, where the wily old opener and young number 3 espoused playing any shots in the corridor of uncertainty or, in fact, any shots in any corridor anywhere. KP was at his miserly best and bowled a great spell of controlled in-swing whilst Captain Birdseye minced his pies at the other end to great effect.

Ringing the changes, the skipper brought himself on to replace the old sea dog and promptly removed the number 3 LBW, despite his unlikely protestations that he had hit it which earned him a traditional jovial send off. The introduction of Beggsy gave the opposition no respite and a score of 31-2 at the mid-way point would surely have had Sir Geoffrey purring.  Immediately after the break, Beggsy’s vicious spin induced a big heave from the number 4 which somehow ended up in Dean’s hand at first slip whilst he was waving to Chuds. 

The straight after probably the funniest dismissal ever. With Sakib replacing Jack, the opener decided that 24 overs of forward defensive prodding was plenty flailed at a short delivery. The ball flew high into the air with the non-striking batsman hurtling down for the single. Bails, conscious that the last time he was called upon to catch a skier whilst keeping wicket, ended up with his trousers around his ankles “Bailed” out of the diving catch and two converging fielders and the bowler also couldn’t get to the ball. With four fielders and both batsmen now within two feet of the popping crease the ball returned to earth, hit the seam and bowled itself the perfect off cutter to clip the top of off stump.   As Sakib immediately pointed out – it just says bowled in the book.

The anticipated late innings charge didn’t really materialise, despite Beggsy’s best efforts, and so the bowlers contented themselves with helping to accelerate the score by giving away 20 wides out of the final total of 104 for 8 off 35 overs.

After tea, the reason why Bromley Common are in the upper reaches of the league became obvious. The two opening bowlers were excellent, bowling with good pace and tight lines. Cook and Brown both perished early on and Bails was missed one to leave the Doggies 13 for 3 off 13 overs.  Enter James Worley to join Jules “the Wall” Dean.  James, as is his way, played and missed at the first 10 balls he faced and promptly creamed the next three over the top of cover to see us slightly ahead of the run-rate at the half-way point on a glorious 40-3.

Hardly a Worley innings goes by without the ramp shot coming out and Saturday was no exception with his charging down the wicket to the returning opening bowler and middling a  reverse ramp past the opposition skipper’s head at first slip much to the amusement of everyone bar  the oppo’s skipper.  This was promptly followed by a classical straight six to get the score board moving.

As is always the way, James then ran past the first ball he faced from the opposition’s Tim Brown impersonator to be stumped by about ten yards and with 40 about needed in 9 overs, when going at two an over had been pushing it all day, the game was back in the balance.

Deciding that it was time to squeeze hard, the skipper and young bowler agreed to bring the field up to the Wall who had by this time crawled into double figures.  Bringing in the cow corner fielder and deep mid-on laced with a few choice comments about JD’s ability to hit the ball off the square (fair comment really as Beggsy was saying much the same thing), was quickly filed under the “good idea at the time” category as the ball was twice despatched in the general direction of whence they came and whence they promptly returned.  Sakib then took a liking to the grenade thrower and we accelerated to the win with 4 overs to spare with JD 42 not out and Sakib with a well struck 17 not out.

A good win which puts our hopes of promotion in our hands now. All to play for in the next few weeks.

Report 2

Another Saturday and another top of the table clash, as well as another nervous day watching the showers

We started the day in 2nd place just ahead of our opponents Bromley Common who were in third 13 points behind us and with them having a game in hand. In order to keep things in our own hands we needed to play well and win.

With the overs reduced to 35 Jack won what was a good toss to win and decided to put Bromley Common in under cloudy skies and in damp conditions. Kanak opened the bowling from the far end at DSG (8.4 overs 1 for 16) and Simon Peters (8 overs 2 for 32) from the ‘Presidents’ end (also known as the Turney Road end). In these conditions a good opening attack to grind opponents down and so it proved. Tight spells from both backed up by good fielding kept Bromley Common under pressure and tight follow up spells from David Begg ( 1for 11 off 6) and Jack himself (1 for 9 off 4.2) continued with Julian taking a stunning catch at slip off Beggsy.  

At the drinks break at 18 overs they were 30 odd for 3. Further bowling changes to Raman Sarao and Sakib Rashid showed the strength of our bowling attack. The Bromley Common opener had been battling hard but not really troubling the scorers too much when he tried a more expansive shot off Sakib, the ball ballooned into the air and several Dulwich fielders started towards catching the ball. Chaos ensued as the batsman’s partner called a loud yes hoping to cross. The batsman put his hands over his head and was heard to cry “I don’t know where it is”. Fortunately no Dulwich fielder got to the ball as it bounced two yards down the wicket and then slowly span back to hit the stumps. Bowled, in what Julian Dean described as the best dismissal he had ever seen in his cricketing career.

Bromley Common accelerated a bit after this although the innings was interrupted by another storm. 4 overs 2 for 17 from Raman including a great catch off his own bowling and 4 overs 1 from 11 for Sakib backed up the previous bowling as they ended up on 104 for 8 in 35 overs. Kanak injuring his hip as he couldn’t finish an over. However – first part of the job done.

Their opening bowling was very tight and Dave Cook got done by a great ball. Julian joined Tim and they battled for a while before a drive from Tim and an edge resulted in a great catch at 2nd slip. Simon Bailey was soon bowled by another stunner of a delivery. The position of 13 from 3 off 11 overs suggested that it was game on. Just before drinks James Worley, who bats outside the Lord's Coaching Manual, hit three successive balls for 4. We were 40 for 3 at drinks so slightly ahead of where they had been but with much to do. Julian was giving us all a lesson in how to run (as he does every week, and one that continues well into drinking time). Eventually they pulled the field in to Julian and he hit over the top, then they put the field out and he hits singles. James got out for an interesting 28 including a ramp which was supposed to go to fine leg but ended up at third man. Sakib (17*) joined Julian and they finished the job. Julian on 42 not out in a really important innings that started off as anything but fluent.

The last few overs of the game had the padded up Raman Sarao, Jack Rutherford and David Begg all pacing. Looking at the scorecard it looked an easy win for us but it was tough. We are now 26 points ahead of Bromley Common (20 points for a win and they have a game in hand) so we have a good shot at promotion if we can keep up our availability and competitive form for three more weeks. Next week Catford & Cyphers away.

Sat 5th August – 1st XI v Worcester Park

WORCESTER PARK 186-9 (50) lost to DULWICH 180-4 (44.5) by 6 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich were set 180 to win in a rain-affected Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Worcester Park, and achieved victory by six wickets in the penultimate over.

Dulwich chose to field with rain showers forecast, and got an early reward when Leon Sealy struck with the first ball of the second over. He bowled his ten overs straight through, picking up a second wicket in his fifth over and conceding just 22 runs. James Bridgland also struck in his first over to reduce Park to 46-3 in the 13th, and also bowled his ten overs in succession for just 24 runs. Skipper Rob Hill and Connor Bliss needed 17 overs to add 45 before Salaar Waqar dismissed Hill in his second over to reduce them to 91-4 in the 30th over. Waqas Sagar now came in and played a typically aggressive innings of 45 off 55 balls. He had added 48 in ten overs with Bliss before Waqar bowled Bliss for a painstaking 35 off 85 balls. Waqar added his third wicket three balls later, and Sagar became his fourth victim in his last over as he finished with 4-47 off his ten. Assan Crawford-Khan had now joined the attack, and he maintained the pressure by conceding just 21 runs off seven overs for the wicket of keeper Ben Davies. Tom Savill ran out Gary Marshall, and the innings closed on 186-9 after 50 overs.

There had been two rain breaks during the innings, both lasting about 30 minutes. Tea was taken during the second, but four overs playing time were lost. Dulwich therefore had 46 overs to bat, with an adjusted target of 180 to win. Acting skipper Ed Stolle fell in the fourth over, having made 13 of the first 19 runs. This brought in Kristian Williman to join Savill, and the pair added 58 for the second wicket in just 12 overs to put Dulwich well ahead of the rate. The advent of spin brought about an abrupt change in tempo. Sagar had Savill lbw for 34 in his first over, and went on to bowl his ten overs straight through for just 18 runs. He was joined after four overs by left armer Mike Arundell. He also took a wicket in his first over, bowling Henry Hazlewood for 5, and ended with 1-32 off his nine overs.

Crawford-Khan thus joined Williman with the score on 97-3 in the 23rd over, and the pair proceeded mostly in singles until Sagar completed his spell. At this point 48 runs were still needed off 11 overs. Skipper Hill now brought himself on, only to see his first two balls sail back over his head as Crawford-Khan hit them both for six. With the shackles broken, the pair sailed steadily towards their target until Crawford-Khan was bowled in the penultimate over with just two runs needed for victory. The fourth wicket pair had added 81 in 22 overs, with Williman making his first 50 for the Club to finish with 62 not out off 126 balls. Crawford-Khan also made his best first team score (under any of his various names) with 40 off 69. Waqar calmly hit his first ball for two to bring his side victory with seven balls to spare.

This win lifts Dulwich two places to seventh, and their last two completed matches have now brought them victories over the first and third placed sides in the division. Next week they have a home match against Chessington, who are three places but only eight points above them in the table. Dulwich narrowly lost the first match between the sides, and they will be looking to gain their revenge in the return fixture.

Sat 5th August – 4th XI v Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON 133 (37.5) lost to DULWICH 184-9 (45) by 51 runs

Scorecard

If the likes of Paddy Power and William Hill took an interest in Dulwich 4XI, we would have already had their internal stat-geeks safely sectioned for their own good. How does this team defy the odds, at some point, in almost every game – from seemingly certain defeat to victory. How are we second in the league? Why does our top run scorer bat 8 and have a style so agricultural that he is in danger of losing EU subsides once Brexit kicks in…

This week’s win against league leaders Wimbledon was a perfect encapsulation of our form this year. A horrible batting performance from the top 6, rescued by some lusty blows down the order to set a target. That said, once we had 180-odd on the board, the result was never in doubt – We defend 130-150 every week. The confidence our team has in its bowlers is infectious and nobody ever lets the side down.

Arriving promptly at Wimbledon, skipper Dixon silently gave thanks that his pre-game duties didn’t regularly require him to assemble a B&Q gazebo. His opposite number Arthur Crocker, meanwhile, busied himself inserting pole B into point E, whilst ensuring the sides were perpendicular to the ground at all times.

While this was going on, our batsmen had a net and used all their runs up for the day. For a game as important as this, we had arrived with a strong side and 2 debutants, Henry Turner and Ollie Smith. We felt bullish about taking the game to the unbeaten Wimbledon side and dramatically closing the gap at the top. Losing the match would have given them a 40+ point lead at the top with 4 games to go and a likely second league title in 3 years.

Dixon lost the toss and unsurprisingly, the Wimbledon skipper asked us to have first go on a damp track, with multiple showers forecast. Under dark clouds, Siraj Durrani and Chris Stone ventured to the crease, only to run back to the shelter of the gazebo 5 balls later as the heavens opened. Unfortunately, in that time, Siraj had already been bowled.

The showers passed and we started again, only for Will Cooper to be cleaned up in identical fashion first ball. 2-2 off the first over. And for the next 90 minutes our batting effort didn’t get much better. Inglis made a decent 39, but there were few (no) highlights. With the two Wimbledon spinners, Whipple and Andrews bowling with pin-point accuracy and patience, the innings had wet-farted along to 102-8 by the time the covers came on again.

With the sun out and all bets off, Henry Turner and David Woods made a curious couple as they went back out to bat. Turner, powerfully built, with shoulders like Miranda Hart and Woodsy, wondering why he is the only man in the side with a forward defensive in his locker. However, over the next 30 minutes the two put on 62 for the 9th wicket and swung the game back in Dulwich’s favour.

Having seen Turner bat in the nets on Thursday, skipper Dixon knew he could clump a ball. And clump it he did, mainly for 4 or 6, with even a miss-hit shot clearing the rope. His clean-hitting power was impressive, demonstrated by one wince-inducing straight drive hitting the kneecap of bowler Andrews and bouncing all the way back to the wicketkeeper.

With a final 22 put on for the 10th wicket with rabbit Swain (2*), Turner had blasted 74 not out and destroyed the unbeaten Wimbledon confidence. The Dulwich bowlers smelled blood and knew there was only going to be one winner, looking forward to taking to the field with the luxury of 20 or 30 more runs to play with than normal…

With a very decent tea and some frantic prodding of an I-Phone calculator, a rain-reduced target of 172 off 40 overs was agreed. Leading wicket taker and chief odds-defier, Andrew Swaine took the new ball with man of the moment Turner. Opening up for Wimbledon were Josh Tallent and Rahul Desai. Tallent’s talent was no match for Swain, who despite delivering his usual shambles of an opening over had him caught behind by Durrani, slashing at a wide one. Turner soon got in on the act, removing evergreen danger man Husain and when Swain struck again to remove no.4 Pagett, the young Wimbledon side were under a ton of pressure at 19-3.

However, young opener Desai withstood everything Turner and Swain threw at him and will be a fine cricketer. He found support from ex-skipper Dan Peck, who seemed unconcerned about the rising run rate and the two of them ground out an attritional partnership of 20 before Turner caught and bowled Desai off a leading edge and scored himself 3 JL points with knowing such an honour existed.

Woods and Callaghan came into the attack and bizarrely both decided to bowl at the same pace. Prasanna, who was wearing the skipper’s spikes, had arrived earlier clasping only a small carrier bag of crumpled clothes and some sandwiches, in the manner of a pensioner who anticipated spending the day feeding ducks, instead of coming on as first change.

A rugged partnership of 48 had developed between Peck and Harry Thomas and although they were well behind the run rate, we didn’t want Wimbledon to go into the last 10 overs with wickets in hand.  Woodsy was the man to break the shackles, courtesy of a smart running catch by Ollie Smith. He followed this with a caught and bowled, accompanied by a slow-motion collapse to the ground, as if gravity had briefly been reversed.

Dulwich were firmly in control now, the field spread, happily allowing Peck the single and underarming the ball in from the boundary. Ben Lester picked up a couple of wickets and Woodsy claimed a third, before Prasanna took the final scalp capping a first-class bowling performance.

With Sunbury losing, it looks likely the league will be decided between Dulwich and Wimbledon. With 6 points separating the two teams, it is still theirs to lose. With both sides still having to play Spencer, Sunbury and Walton on Thames in their final 4 games, it is shaping up for another last day decider – What were the odds on that happening?

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