DULWICH 237-7 (46.5) winning draw vs SINJUNGRAMMARIANS 200-8 (44)
Ok gang… quick quiz for you. Which of these ludicrous statements are true?
1. Prasanna Callaghan managed to arrive at 12.20pm for an 11.15am meet at the club and the skipper (im)patiently waited in his car for him to arrive.
2. Prasanna Callaghan channelled his inner Jayawardene to smack 10 fours and 4 sixes on his way to 97 not out.
3. Prasanna Callaghan spent the last 10 overs keeping wicket after Darren Casson broke a finger.
Following the old adage that fact is stranger than fiction, I can inform you that all three are true and joking aside, Prasanna’s innings drove the opposition, Sinjungrammarians, wild – reducing them to fighting and trading insults amongst themselves. But more of that later…
Starting the game six points behind leaders Banstead, skipper Matt Dixon took a much changed side to Wandsworth with 4th team debuts for Alex Irvine and James Worley. Arriving a few minutes before the scheduled start of play (due to you-know-who), he promptly lost the toss and was invited to have first go on a hard track that looked like it had a bit of
With no Julian and Zeeshan, Matt and newbie Alex Irvine opened up against the accurate Sinjuns opening pair of Murtaza and Khan. Both dug in and saw the shine off the new ball, running well between the wickets and with Irvine unleashing one gorgeously timed cover drive to see the score to 60 for no wicket.
However, a bowling change brought about the wicket with evergreen maverick motor-mouth Roy Lawrence getting one through Irvine’s stoic defence. The skip went quickly after with a trademark LBW dismissal playing across the line and Stuart Gardner followed. Lawrence had three and 60-0 had quickly become 72-3 – We were having a classic 4th team wobble with Darren Casson and James Worley together at the wicket.
By this point Sinjuns appeared to have five captains on the pitch and the over rate slowed to a Charlton-esque crawl as each man re-arrange the field after ever ball. Darren then slashed a wide one to gully who clung on to a good catch whilst fully maintaining a full conversation with the slip next to him as he grasped the ball.
The unlikely 5th wicket partnership of James Worley and Prasanna Callaghan then put on 51 for the next wicket, despite an ongoing verbal battle with bowler Lawrence to take the score to 144. After a nervy start Worley found his confidence but insulted the cricketing gods by changing his bat and they prompt ensure he was dismissed next ball. Rhys came and left in two balls and suddenly the innings was unravelling.
By this time skipper Dixon was umpiring to direct the final few overs from the middle. He instructed Prasanna and new batsman Sunil Isaac to get as close to 200 as possible. In response, the pair went nuclear, blazing 60 off the next 4 overs which prompted to the Sinjun’s captain to start abusing his team in a way that wouldn’t have been politically correct in 1985…
More misery was to follow as Prasanna and Alex Vinen took 36 runs off the last nine (legal) balls to take the score to an impressive 237-8 dec. A mighty effort considering 180 looked likely a few overs previously. A decent tea was enjoyed by all and Matt got the team out as quickly as possible to avoid finishing the game at around 10pm, given the painful over rate.
With a clear message to get stuck in and attack the Sinjuns top order from the outset, opening bowlers Reeve and Isaac proved effective and accurate. Reeve bounding in with plenty of pace and enthusiasm roughed up the batsmen, whilst Sunil exploited the overcast conditions and swung the ball prestigiously. The Sinjuns batsmen struggled and Sunil quickly had three wickets – two caught behind by Prasanna and Darren and their skipper caught by Matt at mid-off. Kieran joined the party bowling Thavam and the innings reeled at 8-4.
This score brought together batsmen Zaheed Muneer and the obstinate Roy Lawrence who set about repairing the innings. Whilst Muneer looked to play his shots, Lawrence used every part of his body other than his bat. Muneer gave a chance a few overs later, but the Matt couldn’t hold a catch on the run behind the bowler’s head – a drop that proved costly later.
These two batsmen frustrated the Dulwich bowlers, putting on 159 for the 5th wicket. The skipper mixed it up with spinner Alex Vinen, Giles and Prasanna joining the attack but without any break though. Matt turned back to his opening pair and Sunil finally ended Lawrence’s stay at the crease, showing great focus to take a skied catch of his own bowling, whilst being simultaneously rugby tackled by James Worley.
We were back in the hunt – Keiran quickly bowled the new batsmen Khan to get his second wicket and Sunil followed this to claim his first five wicket haul for Dulwich, bowling Ali.
The game then took an unfortunate turn when keeper Darren Casson’s finger was badly broken. With no obviously replacements the skipper looked around the team for a volunteer and of course Prasanna was there with his hand up. Kieran was deployed as backstop and the game continued with Prasanna doing a great job behind the stumps.
Sunil picked up his 6th wicket leaving Dulwich needing 2 wickets from the last three overs. But alas, Muneer reached his century and then kept the strike to see Sinjuns home with a draw, intent on a red inker…
Although frustrated at not winning the game, there were some great performances in a much changed team that was only finalised late on Friday night. Alex Irvine and James Worley both played a part with the bat and Sunil’s 6-41 of 16 overs was a fine exhibition of controlled swing bowling. But the day did belong to Prasanna for batting, catching, bowling, sledging and keeping – it was almost enough for the skip to forgive him for being so bloody late.
News then filtered through that Banstead had lost, pushing DCC to top of the league with 5 games left. A top of the table clash with them is next with Dan Peters leading the side in Matt’s absence. The league is looking like a three horse race with Spencer certainly not out of it and all three teams still to play each other. We approach these games full of confidence and intent on securing the title.