DULWICH 280-4 (45) beat OLD RUTLISHIANS 158 (38.5) by 122 runs
Dulwich scored a convincing win against a very youthful Old Ruts side on Saturday which featured a monster partnership between newbie Will Cooper and Oldbie (but definiteiy on something at the moment) James Chudley.
The team featured more changes than a Jurgen Klopp side before a European mid-week match but still Christian Benteke was left on the subs bench. The game looked to be following the usual script with Matt losing the toss again and the Doggies being inserted. The visitors were obviously confused by the greenness of the wicket, whereas the locals know better. Julian Dean and man of the moment, James Chudley, strode confidently to the crease and calmly took 12 off the first over admittedly nearly all wides, byes and leg byes…
The two openers took a cautious approach for the first 6 overs, both queuing up to take small nibbles from one end whilst dodging some better directed fayre at the other end. Chuds was even sledged by one of the young opponents for turning down a single (that even Julian said no to) accusing him of being less than enamoured to face the more redoubtable opener. Dulwich had 34 on the board when the much anticipated comedy moment arrived. Having plundered the bowling last year, the oppo seem to have worked out Julian’s weakness to the leg-side, hip high Ginsters pasty. With the field up, and an entire collection of gardens, trees, football pitches and most of the South of England to launch the ball into, Julian selected the cautious approach and paddled the ball straight into mid-wickets hands.
Enter Will Cooper on debut. For the next 30 overs, James and Will batted beautifully taking full advantage of the great pitch and cruising along at 6 an over. Chuds, in the form of his - or for that matter anyone else’s life -, timed the ball beautifully with forward defensive shots racing all the way to the boundary and punching the ball through mid-wicket with great force. Will lost nothing by comparison favouring the punched drive over the top and a delightful nurdle sweep behind square, which was a rare thing of beauty for those of us brought up on the skipper’s variety. The opposition rang the changes with a variety of young bowlers coming and going. All bowled well, but couldn’t staunch the flow of runs with the two bringing up their inevitable 50s shortly before drinks and Dulwich were well set at 130 for 1 at the half way point. The inevitability of the partnership going on and on was now dawning on team-mates and opposition equally.
Next man in James Read alternated between attentive watching and sleeping under the scorer’s table. Equally bored, the rest of us set about this week’s sweepstake of whether Will on 96 or Chuds on 98 would make it to a ton first. At this point the prime opener marked out his run to return to the fray. The smart money was on Will (as he was on strike) who eschewing the old adage of having a look at the new bowler promptly smacked the ball straight down the fielders throat on the deep mid-wicket boundary, who took a good catch but didn’t have to move. As the batsman had crossed Chuds faced the next ball and miscued a pull shot to short fine leg who made a mess of the catch and managed to deflect the ball a further 20 yards enabling Chuds to come back for 2 and bring up a richly deserved ton. That wasn’t the end of the fun for the over as James Read pulled the last ball of the over straight to the guy who had just dropped Chuds who took the catch easily.
Chuds, who had been “tired” since the third over finally succumbed for 107 leaving the skipper and Rob Hawke to boost the score to 280 at the close. The skipper apparently played two scoring strokes on the off side although the writer cannot recall such a momentus occasion and would have scrapped all of the above prose to report such a once in a lifetime event in full detail. We will take his word for it. Fair play to the young opposition team who never flagged in the field played with great spirit and were just batted out of the game by a chanceless partnership of the very highest quality.
The weather just about held after tea for us to make a prompt start and the opposition’s openers made a good start against the pace of Gilo and Jack Rutherford. With 40 off the first 8 overs they seemed well set to make a game of it. Jack finally made a breakthrough with a successful LBW appeal – he promises no money changed hands between him and the opposition’s umpire (their opening bowler) to get it. Some of us, mainly the batting fraternity weren’t so sure and then remembered that this was exactly why Gilo scores for us rather than donning the white coat… we’d never get more than 20!
A double change saw Rhys “Bearders” Williams and The Vicar come on to bowl. Rhys “claimed” a breakthrough in his first over. I say “claimed” as the batsman, who looked in fine form, lumped a leg stump half-volley, flat and about 6 inches off the ground to James “L’Oreal” Read (we will come to that in a moment) who dived to his right to snare a fantastic catch. The Vicar, after last week’s heroics, saw his first Dibbley smacked back over his head for 4 so immediately switched to Dobbley. Having not warned Will of the switch the first ball smacked Will amidships. It was at this point that Will remembered a sadly missing piece of essential equipment as, well the ball, nestled momentarily in his essential equipment. Fortunately, it was the Vicar who was bowling and therefore no damage could possibly come from such an encounter in Will’s briefs. Bearders then benefitted from another bowlers union LBW decision from a long-hop (again opinion split down the middle between the bowlers and those that actually know the rules) and removed the number five with another wide long hop which was despatched to Lenin at mid-off.
The number three succumbed to the Vicar adeptly caught by Gilo at point and the game as a contest was dead and buried (words underlined as they will NEVER EVER appear in the same sentence again!). The tyrant opening bowler came and went, undone by the Vicar’s even slower ball and stumped by Will using gloves this time. Rhys having bagged three by “mixing it up well!!!!!” then bowled rather well without getting any further reward to finish with 3 for 22/ The Vicar dibbled and dobbled for 2 for 20 off his 8 overs.
With 7 down and 80 on the board Darren Cason (who is no longer known as buckets after diving over everything today) and L’Oreal joined the fray. L’Oreal quickly induced the opposition’s skipper to spoon a catch in his general direction. L’Oreal unsighted by his own hair, had to sweep the unsightly mop backwards, but still had time to put on make-up, varnish his nails, pose for the camera before taking the aforementioned dolly. Darren then won the third LBW of the innings bowling left arm over to a right hander - the cue for further discussion among Dulwich’s players on the vagaries of the LBW rule. (We should also at this point remember that our bowlers in their stint of umpiring gave four LBWs against our batsman in the first match of the season, so we are about even now!).
With the game won, Dulwich slackened off and number nine (who definitely looked like he was batting too low) and ten put on a good partnership of over 50 for the ninth wicket. Darren gave the ball plenty of air which led to the weekly discussion of the application of Law 42.6* to slow bowlers which would have carried on longer if JD hadn’t given “the benefit of the doubt” to the umpire (who in any event was bigger, younger, fitter and better looking than him) and absolutely more to the point, younger readers, the umpires is always right even when he is wrong. (Dear MCC – please change the laws to be consistent between club rules and first class cricket before we take a wicket from one of these!).
Gilo and Jack returned to bring some resemblance of order to proceedings. Gilo removed the number ten, Will quite rightly trying to pinch a catch off 1st slip punched it straight to Chuds instead, and bowling the number 11 to finish with 2 for 26 with the opposition out for 158.
Dulwich face local rivals and fellow unbeaten challengers S&M next week in a crucial encounter which, with habitual title challengers Wimbledon having lost again on Saturday, could go some way to shaping the 4s season.
*(today’s lesson) – Rule 42.6
Dangerous and unfair bowling
Bowling of high full pitched balls
(i) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.
(ii) A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.
p.s. Law 42.6 is disapplied by the ICC / First Class playing regulations and replaced by waist height – not a lot of people apparently know that.