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Sat 26th May – 3rd XI v Ashtead

ASHTEAD 78 lost to DULWICH 81-1 by 9 wickets


The unstoppable force, the cricket behemoth, the leviathan which is the 2012 Dulwich 3s (henceforth ‘The Machine’) came back home on Saturday to be greeted by a ten man (well, 8 men and 2 boys) Ashtead side that needed a win to kick-start their campaign. A fresh wind took the edge off the heat as slip fielder and Captain Leather tossed the coin without applying the correct amount of rotational force. Ashtead chose to bat. This left The Machine wondering if Ashtead had done their homework. But, casting such tactical musings aside, The Machine opened up with Rethinasamy and Jones taking the new ball. Despite prolonged slip practice in the pre-match warm-ups, both opening bowlers decided not to take a chance in the corridor of uncertainty and instead bowled wicket-to-wicket. The tactic paid off, and they picked up a pair of wickets each as the Ashtead top order proved unable to cope (a particularly nasty first ball yorker from Jones perhaps the pick of the early wickets).


After eight overs apiece Jones and Rethinasamy gave way to Peacock and Mr Anderson, who kept up the heat on the underwhelming batting line up. Ashtead’s 12 year old batting sensation put up some resistance however, hitting Peacock back over his head for a majestic boundary. A few overs later it became apparent that Mr Anderson hadn’t read the memo entitled ‘avoid the slip cordon at all costs’, and had the 12 year old batting sensation dropped by Leather at first slip. He proved a fast learner however, getting his man caught and bowled soon after on his way to a 3-for.


Ashtead then proceeded to crumble like an over-dipped rich tea biscuit (Peacock and Anderson sharing the wickets, with Taylor taking a particularly sharp chance behind the stumps off Peacock, although it must be said that the batting technique of the Ashtead lower order bore a resemblance to a drunk man trying to open a bottle of wine using only a fork), negating the need for The Machine to turn to the golden arm of Garthwaite, who was therefore able to work on his tan at backward point. When all was said and done, Ashtead had been bowled out for just 78.


Having tucked into some hastily prepared tea, The Machine then tucked into some underprepared Ashtead bowling, with the openers getting off to brisk start thanks to the bowlers’ inability to locate the short grassy stuff between the stumps (Peers taking to teasing the deep backward square leg fielder on more than one occasion). Some occasionally disciplined bowling led to a slight steadying of the run chase as Cornick and Peers were content to milk the runs without resorting to the risk-taking and showboating that some on the sidelines were asking for (which is not to say that they didn’t break out the odd bottle of class, Cornick uncorking a few from a particularly good vintage).


With 20 or so runs needed Peers boredom got the better of him and he missed a straight one, leaving The Machine to send in Tyler to help Cornick pick off the remaining runs. Beverages were being consumed by 4.30pm, and proved to be the only thing to cause The Machine to stutter, Peacock in particular casting a shadow long after the sun had set…


A 9 wicket victory then, and with confidence sky high, The Machine heads to Wimbledon’s new digs for what it hopes will be its first real test of the season.



Sat 19th May – 3rd XI v Sunbury

SUNBURY 132 lost to DULWICH 133-2 by 8 wickets


Dulwich 3's set off on a Bear Grylls like expedition to Sunbury in the hope of making it 3 wins out of 3 in an early onslaught for league supremacy.  Seasoned Dulwich stalwart Bobby Iftikhar  showed just how terrible his sense of direction was which led to an unexpected, and unwelcome glimpse of Twickenham on Heinekin Cup Final day. Never again letting Bob-nav on the loose.

Captain Simon Leather has proved himself quite the tosser this year winning 3 out of 3, the result of all three being Dulwich taking to the field.

Iftikhar and Ram 'Jones' Rethinasamy opened the bowling on what seemed a very flat and even wicket.  Iftikhar made an early breakthrough claiming the only wicket of his 10 over spell in the first over with Sunbury's opener Lochesi falling LBW for 0.  Fellow opener, Martin Miles, was dropped soon after by Oliver Steward at second slip off Iftikhar whilst in single figures, he went on to top score for Sunbury with an assured 59, eventually being caught in the ring off Rethinasamy after lofting a miscued shot, this time Steward decided to catch it. Rethinasamy finished with another solid bowling performance and figures of 10-33-2.

Sunbury's middle order were not allowed any breathing space as Jeremy Jones (10-26-1), Tom Peacock (7.3-15-2) and Dulwich's leading wicket taker and golden arm, Joel Garthwaite (6-25-2), strangled their young batting line up with some disciplined bowling. Another confident performance behind the stumps from Richard Reid, especially standing up, allowed Dulwich to set an aggressive field in the middle overs and Dulwich's ground fielding was superb all afternoon. Only 2 dropped catches by the USA's Alex Tyler, 1 sitter from Steward and 1 from specialist slip fielder Simon Leather tarnished what was a dominant fielding display, eventually dismissing Sunbury for 132 from 43.3 overs.

After a heavy tea Dulwich set about knocking off the underpar total, on an excellent track, in as quick a time as possible…it was getting cold and the champions league final was on!  Recently promoted from the 4th XI, Gareth Peers opened the batting with Dulwich weight loss guru Sunil Mahey.  Despite his 4 stone loss over the winter, Mahey still wasn't quite quick enough to turn 2 into 3 and was run out for just 2 runs.  Alex Tyler joined Peers in the middle and from then on the game result never looked in doubt, well after Tyler was dropped on 0 during his first over that is.  The American and Peers set about disposing of some wayward bowling by Sunbury's seamers and after a couple of early LBW scares for Peers the pair quickly took the total to 100-1.  Peers was eventually bowled for 42 but surely staked his claim for a regular place in Dulwich's 3rd XI.  Tyler eventually finished with 61* and despite being sickly, Oliver Steward chipped in with 14*, of which only 6 were off his gloves.

So, 3 wins in 3 for Dulwich's 3rd XI which saw them finish the day 10 points clear at the top of the table. Dulwich's 3rd XI have made a good start to the season but whilst confidence is high, all the players know that standards need to remain high and that they still have more to give, as sterner tests are undoubtedly to follow.

Sat 12th May – 3rd XI v Malden

MALDEN WANDERERS 93 lost to DULWICH 93-7 by 3 wickets


Dulwich 3rd team travelled to Malden Wanderers on Saturday  in the hope of maintaining their winning start to the season. The Earl of Dulwich was there to see the game and here is his report…..

The Earl predicted a high scoring game when he saw the boundary seemed to be touching the inner circle in places. How wrong he was….
Simon Leather won the toss and put a young Malden side in to bat. Richard Linfield making his debut for Dulwich and Ram Rethinasamy opened the bowling and kept things tight. Linfield took the first 3 wickets, including a sensational one handed diving slip catch by the skipper. The tight opening partnership was followed up by Tom Peacock and Jeremy Jones. Both followed up the good start and picked up 2 and 3 wickets respectively. Rethinasamy returned to the attack and picked up a deserved wicket. Joel Garthwaite wrapped things up with the final wicket.
This left Malden with a below par score of 93 who committed the cardinal sin of not completing their overs.
The Malden youngsters who seemed to be a bit distracted with the bat due to Dulwich's boisterous attitude in the field, performed much better with the ball. Dulwich opened the batting with Adam Parkinson (another debutant) and Andrew Cornick. Unfortunately for Parkinson, he went early and was replaced by Alex Tyler. These two got the score to 44 where they both went quickly. This brought Oliver Stewart and specialist slip fielder Leather to the crease.  Unfortunately, Leather's batting was not as good as his slip catching and he went for 2.
At 50 for 4, Malden sniffed an upset and went for the jugular. Unfortunately for Malden, Peacock back from injury and making his debut for the 3's was walking to the wicket. Peacock dropped anchor at one end to sure up the innings (looking every bit the opener who carried his bat in the U15 national final in 1994). Stewart scored freely from the other end until he missed a straight one and had to go. Peacock was joined by Garthwaite who scored a run a ball 5 before being trapped plumb LBW. An apoplectic Garthwaite let his team mates know of his disappointment.
Richard Reid who had been solid with the gloves earlier was next in the firing line. He went for 4 and Dulwich were now 7 down still needing 2 to win. A single and a wide were enough for Dulwich to claim the win. It was not a great batting performance and the Earl feels it will need to be improved for Dulwich to continue their winning start to the season.

Sat 5th May – 3rd XI v Reigate Priory

REIGATE PRIORY 119 lost to DULWICH 121-1 by 9 wickets

Dulwich 3rd XI got their Surrey Premier League season under way on the dankest of Saturdays against defending champions Reigate Priory.
Captain Simon Leather made a promising start to his campaign by winning an important toss. With the pitch and outfield resembling a scale model of the Battle of Ypres terrain – and one or two of the Dulwich contingent having played not entirely unreasonable rain cards the night before – conditions looked ideal for bowling first, getting the job done quickly and disappearing for anywhere with a roof. Or so Dulwich presumed before a glance at the scoreboard after 5 overs showed Reigate Priory had casually skipped to 36 for the loss of no wicket.
It was at this point the fielding side were kindly offered a cloth by the umpires to dry a ball that had picked up a degree moisture on its frequent dribbles through the aqueous outfield to roughly where the boundary rope was submerged. Debutant Ram 'Jones' Rethinasamy used his better grip on the sponge to quickly dispatch the top three batsmen, one of them bowled with a decent one that nipped away.
Pace off the bowl was to prove instrumental in dismissing Reigate for 119. James Chudley and Fitness First's Joel Garthwaite (4-26 from 9 eight-ball overs) rolled their arms over and a combination of the boggy pitch and some unfortunate cross-stroked shots saw several skied chances provided which were all either well caught or comfortably juggled by Leather, Prasanna Callaghan and Garthwaite.  Sam Adcock (2-25) with his leggies and Rethinasamy (4-37) finished off the innings.
A good effort in horrible conditions by Dulwich – though, sodden ball or not, wides second-top scoring with 20 was a little concerning. As were the three contracted cases of trench foot.
Chasing 120 to win in 45 overs, the reply was launched in style by Adcock. The left-hander showed good positive intent and used his feet against both quick and slow bowlers to push Dulwich's innings along at pace. With several nicely-struck 6s, he had raced to 53 out of a total of 83 before miscuing one high to midwicket.
The innings was eventually coaxed past the target by Andy Cornick (40*) and Oliver Steward (7*) with 18 overs to spare, to the delight of their freezing team mates.
With everyone else in the league sensibly deciding this was no day for a game of cricket, Dulwich have given themselves a handy 9 point head start after Round 1.

Sat 4th June – 3rd XI v Beddington

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Stephen Hale’s outstanding unbeaten century guided Dulwich 3rd XI through a comprehensive winning chase against Beddington on a scorching Saturday at the Dulwich Sports Ground.

With the temperature pushing 26°C, the day started unpromisingly as Dulwich captain Simon Leather struggled with the basic physics involved in the successful extraction of sun cream from its bottle – but showed greater aptitude at the toss and won it; a strong batting line-up dictating him in choosing to bowl first and chase later in the day.

The Beddington innings got off to a reasonable start before Prasanna Callaghan picked up the first wicket in the 7th over – his brutal yorker breaking through Zaman’s defences. At the other end David Gritton was exploiting an excellent line without due reward, not helped by a dropped chance by Oliver Steward at point. The second wicket arrived, however, when a questionable single was attempted to the same fielder and the run out completed with the aid of new ‘keeper Aled Griffiths. Callaghan was removed from the attack and Tom Gattenby given a go – and he was the next wicket taker, inducing a tiny edge from Austin which the Lector-masked Griffiths took superbly standing up to the stumps. Beddington were now 62/3 after 18 overs – Dulwich bowling well but the score still ticking over with the aid of a quick outfield and some sloppy Dulwich fielding.

 Sloppy soon would become a more than generous description of the fielding performance as four more catches were put down during the middle overs allowing each Beddington batsman to get settled, on what was proving a good wicket, and reach double figures. The unfortunate bowlers included David Woods – replacing Gritton who had manfully bowled 11 overs straight through in the sapping conditions without picking up a wicket – who eventually nabbed two of the middle order. Both were predictably caught by the luckless Gritton.

After a series of decent 20 and 30 run partnerships between the Beddington batsmen, Gritton was finally to get his reward as he came back to wrap up the innings, first removing Owen for 53 and then picking up three further tail-end wickets. He finished with 4-73 from 16 good overs. Callaghan added a further wicket to his figures at the end too, ending with 2-53 from 15. The Beddington innings, totalling 247 all out, had extended into the 53rd over – the last seven overs notable for captain Leather, necessitated by injuries to Dave Owen and Gritton, choosing to prepare his top 3 batsmen for the chase by having them complete long-on to long-on, long-off to long-off and cow corner to cow corner jogs respectively at the end of each over.

Retrospectively, this may have paid dividends as Dulwich’s reply was exploded into life by fired-up opener Andy Cornick. Unafraid to wantonly launch the Beddington bowlers aerially in the arc between mid off and cover, Cornick blazed to 51 within the first 13 overs of the innings, cleanly-striking some lovely shots. He surprisingly fell, however, as Beddington switched to some accurate medium pace – the Dulwich innings looking strong at 81/1, though.

A period of caution then followed as Steward joined Hale in the middle and only five runs were scored in the next six overs. The Beddington bowlers were by now feverishly wound up; the combination of Cornick’s assault, Steward’s monotonous forward defensive poke and Hale’s supposed unscrupulousness in not walking for a ‘nick’ he wasn’t really close to, resulting in some sub-par decorum ‘chat’. Being unable to sustain the pressure, though, the shackles soon fell off and Hale and Steward moved the score on to 149/1 in the 33rd before Steward fell to a sizeable edge behind for 21, looking to increase the rate. Hale meanwhile was really finding his touch after an introspective start and had brought up his 50 with a sublime cut through point. With the order re-jigged after Owen’s injury, Abu Arabi got a chance further up the order and struck a couple of pleasingly aggressive shots before super-crabbing down past one and getting stumped when on 16.

Leather was next to join Hale, the score well set at 194/3 – a further 55 runs required off of the final nine overs. This was achieved with some aplomb, as Hale smote a series of boundaries – including a glorious searing six down the ground – and Leather looked positive and ran hard for his 23 runs; Hale bringing up a magnificent, chanceless hundred in the process and finishing the innings unbeaten on 114. An excellent victory secured with seven wickets and eight balls to spare – a tighter margin than the actual ease of victory would suggest, but testament to a well-constructed and well-paced chase; Hale the chief architect.

Dulwich 3rd XI now sit third in the table and face top-of-the-table Sunbury next week; the manner of this comprehensive victory providing plenty of confidence ahead of that fixture, though the standard of fielding must improve if we are to give ourselves the best possible chance of victory.