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Sat 25th Aug – 4th XI v Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON 131-9 Lost to DULWICH 132-4 by 6 wickets.

Scorecard

With the end of the season approaching, away to Wimbledon presented the 4th XI with their first opportunity to claim a second league title in a row. The weather looked likely to play a part, so having won the toss Dulwich decided to bowl.
 
From the first over it was clear batting would be hard, and with Mangal Nasiri starting the game with 5 dot balls, the pressure was on. A loose drive from the final ball of the over saw an edge to keeper Bickmore who took a comfortable catch to get Dulwich on the board!
 
The legend KP bowled from the other end and soon had his own wicket, Wimbledon's captain edging onto his own stumps. Raj Tulsiani then got himself into the game taking 2 catches at slip, the second a diving one hander!
 
Wickets continued to fall,  Beechy bowling one of the balls of the season to get an edge through to Bickmore (who despite looking very young for 20, gets asked for ID far less than Andy Bailey!). Wimbledon struggling at 79-9 had a last wicket stand of 52 and finished on 131-9.
 
Rain during the tea break saw a slight delay to play, opening bat and long ball hitter Julian Dean decided to pop off to do a bit of shopping and returned to see Yogi Kemp taking his place as opener in the middle! Yogi and Raj got Dulwich off to a steady start but having struck some nice boundaries Raj decided to walk down the pitch straight past the ball without offering a shot, as the ball hit the stumps the only question was had the batsmen crossed!
 
Wickets fell at regular intervals, with only Julian digging in on what was still a tricky pitch. At 58-4, he was joined by Paulo McGowan and the pair started to take control of the game. The fact that Beechy was padded up at 7 gave the impression of a long tail so even Julian continued to show restraint.
 
After ticking the score onto 80, Paulo and Julian started to attack the bad balls with a little more intent. This brought a series of boundaries and as the score passed 100, Wimbledon began to lose hope. Paulo finished the game off with a flurry of fours, which not just won the game and the title but took him to 44n.o, 1 ahead of Julian on 43n.o.
 
So a 6 wicket triumph and a second league title in a row. With 2 games to spare it's been a fantastic effort by all those who took the field this year for the 4s, plenty of good cricket was played and lots of laughing was done.
 
Lets finish with another two wins and go for three championships in a row next year!

Sat 18th Aug – 4th XI v Cheam

CHEAM 162-8 lost to DULWICH 163-2 by 8 wickets

Scorecard

Hotter than the sun best describes the weather, and when skipper Bailey lost the toss, Cheam unsurprisingly elected to bat!
 
Jamie Hall and KP (allowed to play despite sending some dodgy texts to the oppo before the game!) opened the bowling and kept things tight, KP picking up the first wicket. Beechy then replaced Jamie keeping up the good work and Dulwich managed to keep Cheam to little more than 2 an over for some time.
 
After several drinks breaks and some good middle order batting Cheam made it to 162-8 from their 45 overs. KP 2-15 and Beechy 3-27 the pick of the bowlers. Paul McGowan executed and fine throw from the boundary to comfortable run out the Cheam number 8 after he shouted 'easy two' which amused both sets of players!
 
Tea came and went but the sun continued to beat as Julian Dean and Jesse James got off to a steady start, steering Dulwich to 25-0 from 10. The pair then accelerated and Julian passed 50 just before the partnership passed 100. Julian made it to 74 before offering a simple catch to gully, a stand of 123 more than made up for a couple of dropped catches! Jesse last a bit longer before being bowled for 47. Ross Bickmore and Tarun steered Dulwich home with 8 wickets and 5 overs to spare.
 
A good win which maintains the 4s position on top, massive game next week against the Dons, come on Doggies!
 

Sat 21st July – 4th XI v Ashtead

DULWICH 128-7 beat ASHTEAD 71 by 57 runs

Scorecard

Heavy overnight rain left some large puddles of water on DSG, with the pitch itself looking good everyone was keen to play so a 12pm meet became a 10.30am working party and work the 4s did. Sweeping, mopping, forking and ark building saw the pitch to a playable state.

Ashstead won the toss and decided to swim first, which left Chris "he likes a drive" Ford and Yogi Kemp with the difficult task of rowing out to bat first. Both openers got of the mark quickly and despite some good bowling they managed to take Dulwich past 50 at nearly 3 an over. Yogi Kemp was first to go trying to come back for seconds only to be turned away by ranger Smith, leaving Dulwich on 68-1, this quickly became 79-7 as the middle order collapsed. The rush of wickets took Steve Johns by surprise, leaving him dashing back to the pavilion for his pads. Unfortunately he didn't make it in time so skipper Simon "6 weeks holiday" Bailey moved himself up to 9 and went to join Rez Bopara at the crease. Both men dug in and guided Dulwich to 128-7 from 42 overs. Rez finished 33 not out.

Dulwich took to the field in confident mood and soon had the chance to celebrate with Kanak "the legend" Patel taking early wickets.  Beggsy even managed a diving catch at gully which saw him clutch the ball and then his sun glasses in 1 big heap! Wickets fell at regular intervals, and when Kanak delivered the ball of the season to see of Ashstead's skipper the doggies smelt victory. Kanak finished with 5 for 21, Beggsy chipped in with 4 for 17 and Ravi Haque took just 2 balls to finish things off. Ashstead all out for 71, giving Dulwich the 13 points.

A superb effort all round, especially the number of people who turned up early to help out. Great work fellas.

Sat 30th June – 4th XI v Normandy

NORMANDY 194-8 lost to DULWICH 197-7 by 3 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich 4s maintained their unbeaten record but it took a superb performance with the bat to do so. Normandy traveled to Dulwich with a mix of youth and experience, and after being put into bat by Dulwich lost some early wickets and at one stage could have been looking at a disappointing total. Mangal Nasiri was once again tight with the ball and he was supported by Phil 'The Power' Robinson, with both striking early. At drinks the talk in the huddle was keeping Normandy to not much more than 100 but that target had to be revised as 1 Normandy batsmen aged just 15 took the Dulwich bowlers on with some fantastic hitting, he rode his look at times with some sloppy fielding but passed 100 and finished with a terrific 122 not out, a real prospect for the future.

Normandy closed their innings on 194-8, a well deserved total but Dulwich left the field disappointed that they hadn't capitalised on their early dominance. 5 catches went down and some slow fielding gave Normandy more 2s than Dulwich would have liked. Wickets for Robinson, Begg, Chudley and Nasiri. 2 catches for Skipper Bailey (1 diving away at gully, with gravity seemingly absent for a moment as his sizeable frame left the ground to take a good catch off Chudley), 1 catch each for McGowan and Begg.

After tea Dulwich wanted to get off to a good start but a mixture of good bowling and poor batting quickly saw Dulwich reduced to 25-4 after just 8 overs. Paul McGowan and Rez Haque steadied the ship a little but when Rez fell for 15, Dulwich were 5 down and a long way from victory. Phil 'The Power' Robinson strode out to the middle to join Paul and the 2 quickly set about the Normandy bowling and began to claw Dulwich back into the game. As the boundaries began to flow victory began to look more and more likely. Both Paul and 'The Power' passed 50 despite Paul wearing a nasty looking low blow that saw him knocked to the ground for several minutes. Paul eventually went for 71 followed by 'The Power' for 60, but by this stage Dulwich needed just 20 runs from the remaining 5 overs. An unusual decision from skipper Bailey saw David Begg promoted from his usual spot at number 11 to 8. The gamble paid off with Begg's calypso dancing at the crease confusing Normandy into thinking he had more than 1 shot meaning he could sweep a couple of vital boundaires before the gap was plugged. It was too late though with Begg and vice-captain Chudley seeing Dulwich home with 6 balls to spare. 

The win keeps Dulwich top of the table at the half way stage but with local rivals Spencer away next week, there will be plenty more tests (although not the 5 day kind!) to follow.

Sat 23rd June – 4th XI v S&M CC

STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 100 lost to DULWICH 103-1 by 9 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich 4th XI travelled the short distance down Lordship Lane to Streatham and Marlborough – for a local derby. Following an 8 wicket win against Cheam the previous week, the 4s went one better with a 9 wicket win in this game. (Quick highlights from the previous week versus Cheam:- Prasanna Callaghan – 5 for 26. He could have had more if it wasn't for the No Balls

- All (well most) Dulwich batsmen taking a liking to the score of 18

- An amusing runout where Andy Bailey was outrun by Charlie Kemp

- Blowy conditions

- All in all, a good solid strong performance with few negatives)

So, onto S&M. A few changes in team makeup from the Cheam game. Paul Wilson in for Phil Robinson, Mangal in for KP, Tarun in for Jamie Hall. No sign of the regular keeper Andy Bailey either. Not busy revising for his GCSEs or grounded, he'd been promoted to the 3s. Fortunately, the multi-talented Bailey senior was able to step in and keep wicket.

Skipper Bailey tossed correctly again and put S&M into bat. Excellent work from Paul 'Bres' Wilson and Mangal as the opening bowling partnership. S&M plodded along at less than 2 an over pretty much up til drinks – Mangal and Bres both picking up a wicket. Change bowlers James Chudley and Rez Haque continued the good work. Perhaps without the same menace as the openers, they made up for with guile and were rewarded with 2 wickets each. Rez Haque recorded figures of 2 wickets for 1 run (3 overs).

Skipper Bailey punished him for conceding that 1 run, removing him from the attack. Bres returned, bringing back some fire to frighten the lower order of S&M. Beggsy was also introduced and continued his fight against the elements (after bowling into a Force 10 gale the previous week), his overs were interrupted twice with rain – one spell just being 1 ball. Beggsy the professional that he is, didn't let that bother him and picked up a beauty – a fizzing spinner clipping the top of off stump. However, bowling honours go to to Bres for a superb Herculean effort – 15.3 overs and 4 for 41. A five-for went begging as a result of some dodgy slip catching. Bres also wins the award for broadest shoulders in the team, Manish coming in a not very close 2nd. S&M all out for 100.

Early tea – S&M put on a good spread. Controversially, no sandwiches though! Charlie Kemp taught the rest of the team that sarnies could be made from the provided buttered bread and sausages, constructing himself an excellent sausage sandwich. Others followed: ham sandwiches and chip butties were also attempted.

With a 101 target, the Dulwich batsmen were confident without being complacent. S&M decided to open with spin from both ends. The Dulwich opening pair Charlie and Manish strode out; Charlie wasted no time with a four off the first ball. Both batsmen looked comfortable, scoring boundaries and rotating the strike. Manish departed on 12, failing to move his feet, he was bowled by the promising young legspinner – which brought Abu to the crease. 

The spin not being overly threatening, was replaced by seam after 6 or so overs. S&M's number 11 lacked direction starting with 3 wides, but made up for it with pace. Coming round the wicket, he found his line – but was unable to get through the defences of Charlie and Abu. The pair saw Dulwich home, Abu batting sensibly, determined not to give his wicket away; Charlie was rock of the innings with 67* – a classical half century (fuelled largely by that sausage sandwich).

The top 3 did the job – Tarun and Beechey had a quiet day at 4 and 5 – their services not required. With Sunbury losing this week, Dulwich 4th XI now top the division. Onwards and upwards!

Quote of the day: James Chudley "I have the longest eyebrow". I can't quite remember the context, so that's probably not very funny!

Stretch of the day: Beggsy for his bum stretch.