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Sun 24th July – Academy XI v Ripley

After having three of their first four matches in the Surrey Trust League cancelled, the Dulwich Academy side finally got onto the field again at Ripley. However a disappointing batting display saw them dismissed for 73, and despite a late fightback they went down to defeat by 6 wickets.

Dulwich chose to bat but got off to a disastrous start when two wickets fell in the first 8 balls. Euan Johnson dug in, taking 33 balls to get off the mark, while three more wickets fell at the other end to reduce Dulwich to 13-5 after 10.4 overs. Johnson’s dismissal, for 12 off 48 balls, was quickly followed by Tom Barnard to make it 28-7 after 16.5 overs. Jamie Hall also dug in, with an uncharacteristic 3 off 35 balls before falling in the 24th over to make it 41-8. Zabeh Mohammad counter-attacked with a spirited 27 off 45 balls, adding 26 in 8 overs for the 9th wicket with Kieran Reeves, who sensibly blocked one end while his partner went for the runs at the other. Reeves still hadn’t scored when Mohammad was out with the score on 67, but then monopolised the strike before being last man out for 6 (the third highest score of the innings!) with the total on 73 after 33.2 overs.

Hopes of an early breakthrough were dashed when the openers added 31 for the first wicket before Paddy Haddow was bowled by Johnson off the last ball of the 6th over. The score had advanced to 46 after 8 overs, with Johnson and Mohammad each conceding 23 of them, before the first bowling change brought Reeves into the attack. He struck twice in his first 3 overs, at a cost of only one run, to reduce Ripley to 56-3 after 12.1 overs. Conrad Clarke also joined the attack and removed opener Justin Langen, who had dominated the scoring (and the strike) with 36 off 51 balls. Ripley were now 61-4 after 13.1 overs, but Dulwich were unable to effect a further breakthrough and the hosts eased to their target, the winning runs coming off the last ball of the 18th over. Reeves completed his excellent spell with 2-5 off 5 overs.

Dulwich were left to reflect that a little more application by the batsmen might have produced a more competitive score. Next week they will be hoping for a better performance when they visit Beddington.

Sun 3rd July – Academy v Sunbury

A new-look Dulwich Academy side performed well as a team to secure victory by 29 runs in their first match in this year’s Surrey Trust League, at home to Sunbury.

Sunbury put their opponents in to bat, but must have soon regretted the decision as skipper Tom Deasy and Brandon Kenlock, aided by an assortment of extras, raced to 61 in the first 10 overs. Hopes of a big score were thwarted by 14 year old Kieran Crichard, who took a wicket in each of his first three overs without conceding a run. Kenlock was first to fall for 13, off 32 balls, followed by Deasy for a well struck 33 off 37, and Sunil Mahey for a single. A quick 20 off 19 balls by Euan Johnson took the score to 95-4 after 19.1 overs. The scoring rate then slowed against accurate bowling, as Qaasim Hussain fell for 14 at 112-5 in the 23rd over, and Tom Barnard for 5 at 129-6 in the 29th. Zakir Rostami was joined by Jamie Hall, and together they added 31 in 9 overs before Rostami fell for 28, scored off 57 balls. Hall and Seamus Betts then added an unbeaten 23 off the last 17 balls to close the innings on 183-7 after their 40 overs, Hall finishing with 21 off 34 balls and Betts 13 off 9. The batsmen’s scores were boosted by the large number of extras, which top scored with 35, including 18 wides!

Sunbury openers James O’Neill and Rauri Crichard found scoring difficult at first against a torrid opening attack by Betts and Rostami, but survived to add 66 for the first wicket in 14.2 overs. O’Neill fell for 22 and Crichard for 29 as Kenlock, Johnson and Zabey Mohammad each took a wicket to reduce them to 84-3 in the 19th over. Dulwich then worked their way through the Sunbury batsmen while their exotically named skipper Rhythm Bedi accumulated steadily at the other end. Kenlock struck twice in the 24th over, having keeper Laurie Nichols brilliantly caught by Mahey at slip, and then bowling his son Matt with the next ball. Bedi’s brother ran himself out to make it 112-6 in the 26th, and Barnard, having kept wicket skilfully during the first half of the innings, now swapped keeping duties with Rostami and took the next 2 wickets with his off-spin. With the required run rate rising steadily Mohammad returned to remove Bedi for 41, off 57 balls, to make it 151-9 after 36.1 overs and remove any faint chance Sunbury had of making the runs. The innings ended with another run out off the first ball of the last over, to dismiss Sunbury for 154 and secure victory by 29 runs. Dulwich were equally generous with their extras, also conceding 35 while beating Sunbury’s wides tally with 25.

The Dulwich bowlers performed well as a unit, with Kenlock recovering well after a shaky start to take 3-39 off his 8 overs, Mohammad taking 2-26 off 8, Barnard 2-19 off 6, and Johnson 1-11 off 3. Betts, Rostami and debutant Alex Vinnicombe all bowled well without taking a wicket. Everyone contributed to a good team performance which should bode well for the future. Next week Dulwich are away to Lingfield.

Sun 8th May – 2nd XI v Dulwich Kingstone‏

The Sunday twos were weakened by several players being called up for the 1st team cup game and came up against a strong batting side in Dulwich Kingstone. 

The highlight of the day was the presence on the pitch of Dulwich legend and quiet man Stewart Harmer. Stewart had the misfortune to find himself at the bar on a Saturday night when JL and others were chasing players to fulfil our fixtures the next day. His resolve weakened by the location he was in Stewart eventually succumbed to the persuasive tactics. The final tipping point being that Sunday was the first day that the DSG bar was open. The tom-toms started and many from around the club were fascinated to see the rare outing.

Skipper Brown won the toss and decided that we should bat first and make the most of the experienced Harmer. Openers Jay Mahey and Trevor Griffiths did not last long and soon Tarun joined them back in the pavilion. Three down and Stewart was pacing about, padded up and preparing himself for the battle ahead. Two good innings from Imran Afzal and Umar Asif delayed the excitement but did get us back on the road to a defendable total. Eventually the moment came – some fine shots, some mistimed shots, an up and over slips dab, an all run three, a barge into the wicket keeper and many more exciting moments came and went as Stewart ticked up a score of 17 and went ahead of Brown, Blackford and Begg in aggregate runs for the season. Many people were rearranging their diaries and availability as Stewart brought the crowds back to cricket. 

Excitement over we steadily built up the runs with partnerships all the way down the order (Begg, Junaid, Brown all chipping in) as we finished on 195-9 off our 40 overs. Not bad given the 30 for 3 after 10.

We started bowling with confidence but after an early wicket the 2nd partnership took the game out of our reach with a 60 odd and an 80 odd they got the “other Dulwich” into a really strong position. Peter Beck bowled well and Umar Asif showed some pace although was a little down legside. Muhammed Junaid bowled reasonably tightly in the middle of the innings. David Begg is one of the biggest competitors in the club and it was only in a fine spell of bowling – 9 overs, 1 maiden 3 wickets for 17 that any pressure was put upon the opposition. He even managed to get an old rival out bowled with the Doosra! Despite a fine second spell from Umar and a smart catch by S Harmer we were always up against it.

Two very good bats but with our wayward bowling and loose fielding we did not make it hard enough for them as they won by 4 wickets. The Bar was opened.

Sun 1st May – Academy vs Long Ditton

The Dulwich Academy side started their season with a friendly match at home to Long Ditton on Sunday. After collapsing to 23-5 chasing 165, they achieved a remarkable victory with their last pair together.

The visitors chose to bat, but did not find it easy on a lively pitch. Good bowling by Mark Kelly, with 3-21 off 8 overs, and Zubi Mohammad with 3-16 off 7 overs, helped reduce them to 116-9 in the 32nd over, with only two batsmen making double figures. An unbeaten last wicket stand of 49 against a variety of bowlers provided unexpected resistance, and Long Ditton closed on 165-9 after their 40 overs. Their total was boosted by 50 extras, including 36 wides as several bowlers struggled with their line in the strong wind.

 Dulwich thus found themselves facing a more daunting task than had earlier seemed likely, but their target appeared ever more distant in the face of a devastating performance by Jimmy Chapple, who took 5-5 in his opening 5 over spell to reduce them to 23-5 after 10 overs. It fell to Richard Farrow to turn the innings around, which he did expertly, adding 63 for the 6th wicket with Rory Balfour, who made 14, and 44 for the 7th with Tom Barnard.

The score had reached 130 when Farrow fell for 72, scored at a run a ball, and Barnard was bowled by Chapple for 13 in the next over. With Euan Johnson absent due to an earlier injury, Dulwich found their last pair together at 132-8 in the 32nd over, still needing 34 to win. Once again the last wicket pair proved up to the task, and Seamus Betts (20 off 19 balls) and Sunil Mahey, batting at number 9 due to an injured finger (10 including a 6 off Chapple), saw their side home with 14 balls to spare. Chapple finished with 6-16 off his 8 overs.

 The young player’s match award went to Balfour, in his first match for the Academy, who recovered from a wayward first spell to come back to take 1-22 in his last 6 overs, and then helped stabilise the innings with his crucial partnership with Farrow.

Sun 17th April – 1st XI vs North London Muslims

On a fine sunny Sunday in South London a collection of cricketers gathered.  As is often the case early season not everyone knew each other and much time was spent getting to know who people were, did they bat or bowl and who had they played for previously.

The opposition were found at late notice by the fantastically efficient John Lawrence.  The Met Police were the original opponents but had to pull out as the demands on the boys in blue of two FA cup semis, a London Marathon, an Arsenal v Liverpool game and general capital criminals were high.    The replacements were the North London Muslims and they were capable, very keen and played good aggressive cricket all day.

Our warm up involved integrating with a commnity cricket day with a set of kids who delighted in telling us the rules and pointing out when we didn’t have a clue!  Particularly good to see Robbo being ordered about by a slight 10 year old.  The organisers are planning to put a video on you tube so when they do well put a link from the website.

Simon Leather won the toss to make it three out of three for teams over the weekend.  We batted and with 9 bowlers in the side Simon needed to make a few inspired choices in roles and batting order.  The first of these was to open with Tom Peacock who was looking mean and moody until he was given out lbw early. 

Amer Saeed (one of our real batsmen) started well and built a decent little partnership with Dave Robson against a succession of bowlers who just moved it around a bit.  Robbo with a glide straight to backward point and James Bridgland then fell.  Simon Leather went in and for a short while looked really good, a stylish cameo that brought him 19 runs. 

Amer continued on his way with Tom Barnard now in supporting him and the normally steady Amer started hitting sixes to move the game forwards.  Tom got into his teens, James Finch and Mustafa Kamaal went for single figures as we struggled to build partnerships.  Amer finally perished for 90 (caught) and the tail crept us up to 204 for 9 off the 40 overs.

Tea was a good taster for what we’ll get at both home venues this season. We’ll need extra training just to stay at the same weight.

Simon’s plans had been slightly hampered by the length of Tom Peacock’s innings. Tom opened the bowling with Prasanna and as we guessed the opposition were swinging straight away. The runs came quickly as well as a few balls in the air that on another day may have gone to hand.  To one of the openers we had two slips two gullys and a point and still we needed more. Tom bowled really well cramping the batsmen and Prasanna got the worst of the aggression and the luck. A wicket each and the three and four bats were just as aggressive.

Simon then changed things around and brought on James Bridgland from the Presidents end. Bridgey bowled with pace and bounce and kept jabbing the ball back in to the best of th e batsmen. The legspin of Tim Brown was the next weapon used (Bridgey coining the phrase anti-cricket due to the excessive use of flight and guile). Doesn’t he know cricket is an art form not just a show of brute strength!

A wicket from Bridgey and 2 from Tim and we had them in trouble. Their best bat was still at the crease however and while he was there they had a real chance. A very short and wayward spell from Mustafa and Prassana’s last over from the top was followed by a good spell from Dulwich’s fitness guru Jamie Hall.

James finch then replaced Tim at the Croquet end and bowled well to put their bat under pressure and took the wicket with a somewhat dubious leg before decision. Jamie and James the finished off the tail to have the North London Muslims all out for 171 (check) and a comfortable win in the end. 

Thanks to John Lewis for scoring and ladies keeper Sam Hulcoop for umpiring all day.