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Sat 30th July – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

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


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. 

Sat 23rd July – 2nd XI v Woking & Horsell

DULWICH 103-3 (20.5) beat WORCESTER PARK 101 (31.1) by 7 wickets


Dulwich travelled to deepest darkest Surrey to try and leave the narrow defeat of the week before behind. In fact they started off by leaving their leading run scorer and criminally under-bowled Zaki Rostami behind. Possibly an ageist thing – but more likely that, since his Beatles revival haircut, nobody recognised him at the club for the two hours he was there before the meet.

That said, the team assembled and got into some complex fielding drills courtesy of our own Level 2 coach Ian 'Straight Trippin'" Toppin – advanced throwing and catching was followed by the two lines drill. Matt 'Two Times' Balch – disrespected by not being in charge of the fielding drills or even being the one hitting the ball – proceeded to challenge the pro's drills. Suffice to say the quality of our warm up fielding was pants – which kind of explained how we caught everything and fielded well all day.

A lost toss meant we took the field on what felt like the hottest day of the year. The heat was evident from both ends. Samer Saleem playing his first Dulwich game of the year post terrorising the school circuit, terrorised the opposition's opening batsman with a good spell of fast bowling, grabbing a caught behind and adding to his reputation as a top prospect during his 6 over spell before succumbing to being a bit hot. 

At the other end skipper Quaife  bowled two foot out side the off stump and got a premeditated, instantaneous lbw with his only straight ball before succumbing to the heat after a lionhearted 3 over spell down hill.

At 9-2, despite the double change and obsessive sledging about footwork from Euan 'The Prince' Johnson things were looking good. A small partnership was broken by Trippin' Ian getting the Bailey-sized number three caught at slip off an attempted cut shot.

Their number four hung around for 45 balls for 18 which, constantly moving his feet towards Bauchy at square leg which only encouraged The Prince's efforts to coach him –  including a two over chat about keeping a strong base when attempting to hit the ball (see Johnson dismissal later). 

Wickets continued to tumble – generally all caught behind the wicket on the cut or chipped up to the ring with the batsman camped on the back foot.

The only other incident of note, as they were dismissed for 101 with Ian and Zaki taking 3 each, was our very own Mr Smiley 'Happy Face" Hirst throwing an absolute benny. After talking himself on for the cheap wickets, Happy took his customary wicket straight away – caught on the cut by Andy 'Baggy Pants' Inglis – and then settled in to bowl his customary line and length before being promptly taken of to allow skipper Quaife his 6th spell. He was later brought back, spitting feathers, and took a wicket caught on the drive with his first ball back. In between his two spells few were spared his wrath and liberal use of very rude words generally pointed at the captain and anyone else bowling, fielding, batting or in the vicinity of the ground. Dark side indeed.

After tea Dulwich had a shakey start with long on and long off posted back from the first ball. A single saw them brought in immediately much to the disappointment of opener Julio Inglis – who departed for a sparkling 6, all through point, taking issue with his dismissal by reluctantly trudging off after a humongous inside edge to the keeper.

Playing his 65th game of the year, run machine Zaki clearly was still angry at being left at the club so decided that evey ball should be played through mid on. After being missed at slip playing to mid on and then getting lbw doing the same, he walked off nodding his head in agreement with umpire Bridget's pre meditated instantaneous decision. 

At 16-2 some jitters may have started to surface, as we had 6 of the 3rd XI side soundly whooped by Wimbledon a couple of week, before and more importantly The Prince was on his way to the wicket – a one man chaos engine.

The Prince proceeded to get hit on the pad, play and miss and get all the sledging in a short innings that one might expect in a 100 over Croydon Derby. Much was made of his own 'Come Dancing' footwork – roundly scoring zero from the judges. An authoritative clip through mid on for four was followed by him telling the bowler that he could hit him there all day every day, for ever and ever. This increased the sledging until the ex captain of the colts and proud wearer of his 2007 London schools kit simply could take no more and finally folded with a tame chip to mid of – a shot which was he later  described, after smoking 18 of Hirst's fags and drinking liberally from the multiple jugs, as a mistimed hit for six brought on by the non-striker Tulsiani laughing uncontrollably when the oppo were calling him Elton John (still not sure why). #talkedoutprincey

This brought 'Skin Up' Skinner PhD to the crease, who played well for 21 not out including some lovely timing through midwicket. In the end the final result looked easy, Tulsiani finishing on 55 not out and also being the only person staying for a beer with the opposition – although that may have been to complain about something.

Dulwich enjoyed another win without some of our best players. With 124 points to play for, and Cranleigh and Old Whits still to play, the season has a long way to go.

Nice to be top though!

Sat 16th July – 2nd XI v Old Whitgiftians

DULWICH 225-9 (50.5) lost to OLD WHITGIFTIANS 226-8 (50) by 2 wickets


First and third in the league table clashed in a very tight encounter. Old Whitfigitians won the toss and inserted Dulwich into bat.  A hot day it was, and runs were flowing in both innings.

Dulwich got off to great start with Andrew Inglis and Fergie pilling up some runs in the first few overs. With Inglis playing effective stroke play which brought him boundaries and Fergie knocking it around, the bowlers had no answer.  There were some problems for Old Whitgiftians opening bowler Shahrayz Nazim – stand-in umpire Ollie Steward, with the most casual umpire attire and a rather old sunhat and shorts sporting an increasing amount of painful sunburn to his calves, was called into early action to signal several no-balls. The partnership between Inglis (64) and Fergie (34) had come to an end with Fergie going first and then Inglis shortly after. Zakir Rostami was also dismissed for 9. Euan “The Prince” Johnson was brought to the crease. The Prince had accumulated bulk of runs with some enterprising shots impressing spectating Grandmother and Mother.  Mid-way through the innings there was a dispute between two team-mates of the opposition. Amir Raza had told Old Whitgiftians opening batsman Vishal Khetia to up the ante in his fielding. This caused an outbreak between them, with other teammates and the umpire helping settle matters. The fall of Inglis brought the introduction of colts graduate, Will Deasy, playing his first game for the 2nd XI. 

Not long after a rather royal innings from The Prince, Johnson also fell for 31. This had brought another debutant, Sam Ellison, to the crease. Both new boys needed to rebuild the Dulwich innings but Old Whitgiftians struck breaking the partnership in quick succession as Deasy endured a short stay of 1 run as he was out LBW by Simon Yousaf and Ellison for a duck of the same bowler. Yousaf claiming 3 wickets in the match early on as he continued to bowl 21.5 overs in the innings. The falling of the two new boys had brought none other than the best wicket-keeper batsman in the league AJ Patanker and captain Bridgey to the crease. AJ scoring a fluent 41 runs before getting out having steered the ship brilliantly for Dulwich. Captain James Bridgland (7) and James Hirst (5) provided good support to AJ giving him most of the strike. Bridgland was dismissed first followed by Hirst had brought Patrick George (7*) to the crease. Unlike his bowling unit partners he decided he wasn’t going to settle for playing the support role and launched a big six down the ground which shocked the opposition, as well as his own teammates. Shortly after AJ’s innings of 41 had come to an end with one ball to spare, Dulwich had declared on 225 for 9 sending Old Whitgiftians in to bat 50 overs to chase the runs down.  Simon Yousaf claimed 5 wickets taking the wickets of Inglis, Johnson, Bridgland, Ellison and Deasy in his long spell of 21.5 overs.  Spinners, Amir Raza and Dinesh Yoganathan providing good support to the medium pacer taking two wickets apiece.

The Old Whitgiftians chase had begun with Captain Fantastic Bridgey and new boy Ellison bowling with the new rock. The pair had provided good control beating the bat countless amount of times. Sam Ellison was the first to strike taking the wicket of Sumit Jain with the skipper taking the catch at mid-off. As the pair continued Old Whitgiftians struggled to find their way into the innings. Vishal Khetia played some dazzling shots as he accumulated most of the runs in that partnership as the innings went on. The skipper had made changes at both ends bringing two thirds of the One Direction clan, paceman and newly qualified ECB Level 2 Coach Ian Toppin and the left arm orthodox of George. Toppin first ball was hit for four. His reply was a quicker straight ball which crashed into the pads of Amir Raza, resulting in his dismissal LBW for 14. Toppin’s celebration was rather animated after being hit for four off the first ball of his spell and had given the batsman the perfect reply in dismissing him. Toppin and George had bowled in tandem and took three wickets between them. Toppin dismissed Shahrayz Nazim for a duck caught by the veteran Fergie in the slips and George then dismissing Vishal Khetia for 37. This had brought Shaz Rana and Arun Ramamurthy to the crease.  Toppin struggled with direction but still bowled some testing deliveries to both batsmen as George put the ball in danger area. The introduction of Stuart Ferguson came shortly after and he provided some control in Dulwich bowling. 

Throughout the innings there was some rather good chat coming from Lanky favourite James Hirst and The Prince, who made frequent use of “be the hero mate” in a bad attempt to get into the batsmen’s heads. Shaz Rana played the anchor role by adding some healthy runs in the run chase. James Hirst was introduced into the attack and he had took the wicket of Ramamurthy with a rank long hop which he had decided not to celebrate. It was clear to see the chat had paid off. With Shaz Rana still in Raj Chatwal provided good support to make 26 runs in their partnership. Hirst then removed Shaz Rana with AJ taking an unbelievable catch behind the stumps. Wicket-keeper Rory Subba Row and Raj Chatwal had piled up some runs on the counter attack to Dulwich’s wicket taking bowling. Mid-way through that partnership a rather bizarre moment on the cricket field had occurred. Lila the Dog had decided to empty her bowels on the field as the crowd stopped and gazed over at the dog in laughter. Row was then dismissed for 37 after the introduction of George dismissing him LBW. Dinesh Yoganathan then continued the onslaught and put Old Whitgiftians in a good position. Soon after Captain Bridgey had brought himself back on dismissing Raj Chatwal for 26 with an excellent Yorker. Fergie was then brought on again for one more over – Dinesh Yoganathan dispatching this over for some boundaries which meant Old Whitgiftians needed 12 off the last over. The second last ball of this over proved an important part of match. At this point Old Whits still needed 7 off 2 to win the match. Yoganathan launched a big pull shot. Toppin at the mid-wicket boundary had set his sights on taking the catch. The ball was sailing over him and he tried to push the ball back into play to save the 6 but failed to do so with a brave effort. Yoganathan had scored the winning runs for Old Whits to end a good game of cricket all round, winning by just two wickets off the last ball.

Sat 9th July – 2nd XI v Oxted & Limpsfield

DULWICH 265-8 dec (47.5) beat OXTED & LIMPSFIELD 149 (47.1) by 116 runs


Dulwich travelled to leading promotion challengers Oxted and Limpsfield and were greeted not only by sunshine but a pitch that looked like an absolute belter for batting. The team arrived early, despite a detour to pick up Toppers’ spikes and the plethora of cyclists along the country roads. The warm up started well with a little footy, but quickly deteriorated when the fielding started. After a short game of “how far can you miss the stumps by”, we switched to “how far can you throw it over the vertically challenged wicket keeper”. The team nailed the drills only to be scolded by the opposition skipper as the balls smashed into the pavilion and spectators.

After 15 minutes in the naughty corner stand-in skipper Steward proceeded to lose the toss and Dulwich were inserted to bat. Tulsiani and Stoner strode purposely to the crease to start the innings and were getting the scoreboard ticking before Stone edged the opposing skipper behind, or so we thought. A helmet throw and a couple of solitary laps indicated that Stone felt a bit hard done to. Tulsiani (28) was starting to tick, with boundaries all-round the wicket and literally no singles, until he unexpectedly slapped a full toss to cover.

At 33-2, O&L felt well in the game, but out strode Hazelwood with his eye on a big score, caressing his first fall off the back foot through the covers. This reporter would like to say the following 35 overs or so were chanceless, but Hazelwood made the most of a couple of drops (of varying difficultly) like any good batsmen and deservedly went on to complete his hundred with a procession of boundaries. He was ably supported by Rostami, Ferguson and Munawar who all chipped in with 20s in a number of useful partnerships. Hazelwood eventually fell, “tired” (played on), but a late flurry from the ‘licence to swing’ lower order propelled the Doggies to 265-8 from 47.5 overs.

Tea was a solid affair with plenty of opportunity to overeat. A particular highlight was the home made chocolate brownie, which would have been all the more enjoyable if we had won the toss and were batting second.

Back of the field the mood was nevertheless positive with captain Steward even bringing out a lid in preparation for some time at short leg later in the innings (mistake number 1). Toppin and Munawar got us underway with some bowling resembling the ‘help yourself’ teas we had just consumed and the O&L openers tucked in greedily, dispatching anything loose to the boundary. At 49-0 off 8 overs the chase was well and truly on.

The opposing skipper (who gets full match-fee value by opening the batting and the bowling) by now was chirping positively about how he was disappointed Bridgland wasn’t in the ranks so that he could put him to the sword as revenge for the earlier fixture in the season. A lapse in concentration/decent nut from Munawar saw him on his way a few balls later. A couple more runs and suddenly all hell broke loose; Munawar first pinning the other opener LBW before nicking off the number four first ball via a smart catch from Hirsty at second slip. Munawar, keen to deliver his hat-trick ball, had to wait due to the crazy rule that you only bowl six balls an over, even if you are on a hat-trick…

Meanwhile first change veteran, and self-confessed most underrated bowler in the club, Ferguson (3-29) fooled the batsman at the other end into leaving one that nipped back to take the top of off-stump. Three wickets had dropped for no runs in eight balls and Steward went on the attack. Bringing everyone in for the hat-trick ball, and himself into third slip (mistake number 2), a carbon copy of Munawar’s second wicket was shelled by the skipper leading to a particularly nasty cut, “open dislocation” and fracture, for those that understand that sort of thing.

As Steward set off for A&E, vice-captain Ferguson stepped up to the plate and in tandem with Munawar reduced the home side to 97-7. The highlight of this passage being specialist sledger Hirsty participating in mind games with “Charlie”, who eventually tried to knock his head off at silly mid-off and only succeeded in giving a return catch to the bowler. Charlie did get a brief bit of karma when Hirst was eventually struck on the shin from a fierce drive later in the innings.

O&L then dug in, making it as hard as possible for Dulwich to collect full points. The eighth wicket partnership was eventually broken by Rostrami who hadn’t bowled this much heat since he was 21 – just over 20 years ago. The tail was eventually mopped up by a beauty from Munawar (5-47) and a ‘loopy’ from Hirst with just under six overs remaining.

A good all round performance from the team, although areas for improvement as always. The big downer being Steward’s injury which will see him miss a number of weeks – the boys wish him a speedy recovery and still expect to see him with a pint supporting/berating from the boundary edge. The team sit top of the table, thanks to Cranleighs slip up, but no complacency will be allowed as we host Old Whits on Saturday.

Sat 2nd July – 2nd XI v Esher

DULWICH 180-9 (50.5) beat ESHER 119 (30.1) by 61 runs


In a week of both political and sporting upsets, title chasing Dulwich were very aware of the threat of an Esher side at the other end of the table.

After a warmup overshadowed by Scott Styris Matt Quaife’s quite frankly horrendous ‘80s red Adidas short shorts, skipper Bridgland finally lost a toss and Dulwich were put in to bat on yet another wet afternoon at the DSG.

Tulsiani (or ‘The Tulsman’ as he likes to call himself on WhatsApp) started in typical fashion with his powerful hitting down the ground and minimal running between the wickets. Another week, another jinx from our skipper – “Raj never gets caught at mid-off” – rather predictably, two balls later Raj was out, caught at mid-off. Despite good resistance and stroke play from both AJ and Ferguson, Dulwich continued to lose wickets at bad times (are there ever good times?) and found themselves 80-7 and needing the lower order to fire in order to reach a defendable total. Bridgland, knowing the importance of his own wicket, decided to review his LBW dismissal and, after about two or three minutes of waiting, he was politely reminded by the opposition that we didn’t actually have a referral system and had to trudge off much to his dismay.

At 90-8 Dulwich looked to be heading for a well below par total. However, Trott Quaife and Hirst put on a game changing partnership. Despite two vastly contrasting styles – with Maddy Quaife’s textbook cover drives compared to the rather more inventive and agricultural James Hirst – both were equally effective in rebuilding our innings. Hirst, on his first opportunity to bat all season, made a vital 22 before falling victim to another LBW. However, Bopara Quaife was in an unrelenting mood and continued to attack the tiring Esher bowlers. He ended his fantastic innings of 57* by launching a straight six over the bowler’s head leaving Dulwich with a very defendable 180-9.

Dulwich carried the momentum of their tail-end partnership into the field. The opening bowlers, without the selfie specialist Kamran, continued their superb form putting Dulwich in complete control. Stevens Quaife’s day was getting better and better as he took three early wickets. Bridgland, keen not to be outdone, took two wickets in two balls, before injuring himself mid run-up. However, Esher, unperturbed by early wickets, persisted with their own game plan which involved attempting to clear the boundary every other ball.

Dulwich were getting increasingly vocal in the field, being led by chief cheerleader Oli Steward, before he was informed by the Esher skipper that he had a lot of chat for an ugly bloke… The ever-willing Stuart Ferguson Matt Quaife, making the most of his NUS rate £10 match fee, returned to the action with the opposition 8 down and removed their captain for his fourth wicket of the day. Unfortunately, he was denied his opportunity for a memorable 5 wickets and a 50 as James Hirst only required one ball to seal the team’s victory.

Dulwich secured an unlikely victory after finding themselves 90-8 but the partnership between Quaife and Hirst seemed to deflate the opposition and change the course of the match. 24 points secured, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for the team to celebrate their unlikely win out in Clapham…

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