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Sat 4th June – 4th XI v Banstead

DULWICH 132 (44) lost to BANSTEAD 146 (41) by 14 runs

Scorecard

The 4th XI stumbled to a “disappointing” defeat (my words, as the skipper’s more prosaic and accurate Anglo-Saxon description is best left in the changing room) at the hands of themselves Banstead on Saturday. As ever “squad rotation” led to five changes from the team that came third at Streatham and Marlborough the week before, although the captain professed to being happy with the team looking good on paper. Sadly, that judgment was badly misplaced as we were apparently playing on grass not vellum!

For the second week running Matt defied probability by persuading the opposition captain to call wrong and duly inserted the opposition. With the teams lined up to start, the skipper finally appeared having done battle with the lock on the changing room door for 15 minutes and took his position at mid-on. Thirty seconds later, the skipper vacated said location to go and look for a match ball, firstly in the back of his old man’s car and latterly back in the changing room before finally the game started.

The opening attack of Swain and Rutherford used their contrasting styles to good effect. Jack “skip to me Lou” Rutherford gently kissing the batting surface on the cheek and extracting movement in the humid air and off the seam and Swainy, charging in from the top end, clubbing the pitch over the head with a baseball bat. It was Jack who made the first break-through, the opener totally unimpressed by Jack’s pace mistimed a sweep which lobbed into first slip’s hands. Then a collector’s item. A genuine LBW that both batsmen and bowlers agreed upon giving Jack a deserved second wicket. This was quickly followed by another LBW that met universal Dulwich approval but sadly not with the man that matters, the umpire, which prompted Jack to be removed from the attack for bowling too well. 

The skipper rang the changes which saw Lawrence Taylor (who looks a little like Andy Bailey’s bigger brother) make his bowling bow for the 4th XI. Lawrence’s first ball drew appreciative purrs from the keeper and slip cordon being fast, full and well directed prompting a repositioning of the cordon a further three yards back. This unusual method of attack (unheard of at 4th team level) brought two quick wickets with middle stump uprooted. Sadly the promised fireworks from the newly acquired IPL style bails turned out to be more like sparklers on a wet bonfire night. At the other end, it was dibble time. The Vicar finally persuading the opening bat to stop using his pads in front of middle stump and use the bat instead lobbing the ball to cover. At 80 for 5, the innings was in the balance. The number seven was given an early life when Lawrence induced an edge that Julian could only parry into his face and then drop the rebound (better just to bowl at the stumps Lawrence!). He then defended extremely well in support of the left-handed number four bat who made a very useful 40 odd whilst hitting the ball adeptly to places you would never dream of putting a fielder and in some cases don’t have a name.

The introduction of Jonny “Pebbles” Stone led to the breakthrough with 120 on the board. Persuading the left hander to give him the charge, he was adeptly stumped by Ben “where’s my jumper” Trembath. Speaking of which, if anyone has seen a well-worn “fisherman’s style” cable knit cricket jumper then please contact Ben who is in mourning. The rest of the innings passed quickly the highlight being Will “Richard Hadlee” Burgass’s perfect run up, him running through his full repertoire of 27 different slower balls and Swainy returning to club a few more seals. The innings ended somewhat farcibly with the opposition skipper being given out caught behind with half of the Dulwich side believing he hit it but opposition skipper, wicket keeper and first slip equally convinced that he didn’t get within 3 feet of the ball.

After the as usual decent Turney kitchen fare, Pebbles and Julian “Bam Bam” Dean opened up proceedings. Dean flirted with the opposition fielders lobbing the ball just out of catching range twice in the first two overs before deciding a bit of long handle was required in taking 20 from the next two overs. With the score on 30, Pebbles got a leading edge which lobbed to mid-wicket to bring in James “Gressingham” Read to the crease. James has looked in fine form all season. The trouble being that he has been getting out first and second ball. Once again he looked in fine fettle and cruised into the 20s with minimum effort with the score ticking into the 70s with 15 overs gone. Taking a liking to the young leg-spinner, James played one glorious lofted straight drive before running past one trying to take the game by the scruff of the neck. Still at 73 for 2 with 34 overs left there should still have been only one winner.

Ben entered the fray hitting his first ball sweetly for 4. However, bereft of his jumper all his magic batting powers deserted him and he departed the scene somewhat meekly in the next over. The skipper didn’t last long too top edging a pull off the opposition’s skipper (or was it a sweep!) and 73 for 1 had become 80 for 4. The opposition bowled a nice tight length and line and extracted just enough movement from the surface to make batting uncomfortable. Swainy dug in and Julian nudged nurdled and moo’ed in his normal style to take the score to 110. Julian survived a strong LBW decision having immaculately middled a forward defensive and being accused of not playing a stroke, before chaos ensued. What happened next is the subject of debate. The authors view is that the ball was to the right of the fielder who had to move a fair distance to it, that Swainy was slow in responding to the call and not backing up properly and that Guy would have got there easily, Swainy’s view of it was @@!!@@@. Nonetheless, 5 down but with less than 40 required. Steve “not a Villa Fan” Walker arrived and went being completely bamboozled by a straight one leaving the Vicar to join Julian. 

Julian somewhat becalmed and not sure whether to stick or twist, picked up the returning opening bowler for a trademark extra cover drive heave over cow corner to bring up his well constructed and attractive 50, the beneficiary of at least four lives, to take the score into the 120s. With the introduction of the sixth bowler and with overs starting to become an issue, it was a time for cool heads and a measured approach - two things for which Julian is renowned. The opposition skipper, 40 overs in, now realising that the off-side field was a waste of good man power, posted a man to deep cow, who Julian promptly found whilst trying to push the ball gently to mid-off for a single smack the ball out of Surrey. The Vicar (whose nickname had somewhat confused Steve earlier) offered up a prayer for salvation. Sadly if he hadn’t been doing this whilst facing he may not have got bowled and we were down to Jack and Will.

Jack has pretensions to being a batsman (much like Gilo!) and with Will who gives the ball a good biff we still had a chance of getting close. Jack played the most immaculate clip off his pads second delivery, making sweet contact and sending the ball sailing towards the mid-wicket boundary. Sadly, the flight of the ball was rudely interrupted by the mid-wicket fielder who didn’t have to move. Enter Lawrence. A couple of ball survived and Will surmised that it was up to him to win the game and do it quickly. A few lusty blows took us to within striking distance but the need to farm the strike proved too much, with Will only able to lob the ball so short mid-off.

A disappointing end to a game that we were always going to win, until we lost and a salutary lesson from the opposition in never giving up, executing your skills to the maximum and building pressure.

Sat 28th May – 4th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 231-7 (45) lost to STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 318-4 (45) by 87 runs

Scorecard

On Saturday afternoon, two of the unbeaten teams within the 4th XI Premier Division went head to head. To add extra spice to the mix it was also a local derby as Dulwich 4th XI travelled to nearby neighbours S&M. Skipper Dixon uncharacteristically won the toss and with a road of a wicket with a short boundary and mid-day sun out choose to bowl……..!!

The intention of course was to limit S&M and then chase the runs down and both Dulwich opening bowlers, Constantine and Rutherford, backed their skipper up bowling tight lines and induced a number of false strokes from the S&M batsmen. Whilst the run rate was kept in check a breakthrough was not forthcoming as both edges and mishits just evaded the grasps of the Dulwich fielders until a Constantine induced a regulation edge to first slip which unfortunately was shelled and a chip to mid-on appearing to go straight through the stationed fielder’s hands (literally straight through without a finger being placed on the ball!!). Still, only conceding 60 odd runs from the first 16 overs left Dulwich confident that a couple of break throughs would really put the squeeze on the opposition.

However, the S&M pair had finally got their eye in and the change bowlers started to get some tap, with the short boundary regularly found. It was not until 178 was on the board that Constantine, brought back on, made the breakthrough, getting the S&M opener to chip another shot into the covers where this time it did find a Dulwich fielder and Walker took an excellent catch over his shoulder. There was no let up to the S&M innings and whilst the bowling and fielding remained positive boundaries could not be stopped, both S&M openers reached tons and the S&M innings finished on 318 for 4.

A fantastic tea was enjoyed at the interval, with the chicken wings being the highlight, although the mango and cheese sandwiches brought in mixed reviews. Bergh and Dixon opened for Dulwich, who were confident in being able to mount a serious run chase on what was a perfect batting deck but both found their way back to the dugout before 20 was on the board. The innings began to lift off when ‘Sachin’ Stone entered at 3, who serenely cut, pulled and whipped the S&M bowlers around the field superbly on the way to an entertaining and highly skilled 44 which was only ended when a full blooded cut was unfortunately directed straight at backward point who took a smart catch to end the little magician’s innings.

This brought the Inglis patient to the crease at six, being demoted in the line-up due to a twisted knee sustained in the field and the scoreboard on 74-4 after 20 overs. With singles being difficult for the patient and pace being taken off the ball, runs quickly dried up and the run chase as a contest was over. However, Dulwich maintained focus and with bonus points up for grabs mounted a strong second half to the innings with the patient anchoring (78 not out) around some strong hitting at the other end, notably Rhys Williams who bludgeoned 41 not out off the last 7 overs, leaving Dulwich at 231 for 7 at the end.

A tough day at the office for the 4th XI, but some very big positives to take away – notably being able to scramble some useful points form a very difficult position which could make all the difference towards the end of the season. Next week the 4th XI are back on their patch when they entertain Banstead.

Sat 21st May – 4th XI v Old Rutlishians

DULWICH 280-4 (45) beat OLD RUTLISHIANS 158 (38.5) by 122 runs

Scorecard

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.

Sat 14th May – 4th XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 164-6 (38.3) beat SUNBURY 161-8 (45) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

The 4th team travelled to old foes Sunbury on Saturday and came away with a deserved and eventually comfortable win in a very friendly encounter.

Matt resorted to type by calling wrong and Sunbury took first use of their excellent facilities. David Knightbridge took first aim and much to the surprise of his team-mates, himself and more to the point the opening bat settled into an excellent line and even more surprisingly length cartwheeling middle stump with his third delivery. This brought together two 13 year old bats with contrasting styles and heights. The next 15 overs saw some outstanding play by the two youngsters against some genuinely quick and accurate bowling from Knighty and Gilo. The right handed opener, shorter even than Andy Bailey, got resolutely into line and dealt with the odd short ball extremely well whilst the tall left-hander proceeded to unfurl a number of Gower-esque straight and cover drives and flicks off the legs with limited but precise foot-work. (For the younger readers, David Gower used to be the warm up act for Ian Botham on the pitch before fulfilling the same role in the Sky Commentary box).

The writer would like to point out at this stage that the catching was of the highest standard throughout. Rumours that the keeper, 1st slip and skipper all dropped the little opener are completely unfounded.

Cason and Sunil Issac replaced the first bowlers and kept the batsmen quiet with some fine accurate bowling before Cason pinned the opener LBW for a fully deserved wicket and Sunil removed the left-hander who seemed to lose concentration after getting a richly deserved and excellent 50 and under the pressure up the scoring rate. Both lads look to have a great future in cricket ahead of them.

By now, tight ground fielding was beginning to take its toll on the home batting who sensed that they needed 200+ to make a game of it.

Sunil bowled out his overs (9 overs, 3 maidens 1 for 25) and Darren was rested (7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 23) to be replaced by Rhys Williams who bowled with good pace and Paul Charlton who didn’t.

Two balls in to his first spell for the club, Paul is now the proud owner of the nickname “The Vicar”. For the rest of the innings, Paul raced into the wicket, whirled his arm over and propelled the ball forward with surprisingly little momentum at the waiting batsman. What happened between the ball leaving Paul’s hand and arriving at the batsman is open to conjecture and was the subject of considerable debate in the bar after, but whatever it was, it was clearly unplayable. Bowling mostly dibbly, Sunbury lost two wickets, both bowled middle stump in his first over and found themselves at 100 for 5.

Skipper Dixon then unleashed the nasty fasties at the other end for the last 10 overs. With Knighty picking up where he left off, 1st slip, who again shall remain nameless, proved no favouritism existed between the fast bowlers by letting an edge hit him in the chest in exactly the same place the first one did off Gilo. Knighty found a much better catching ally in Ben Trembath, who in true Cason style, nonchalantly caught a full-blooded cut at gully. Knighty ended up with excellent figure of 3 for 35 off his 9 overs, including eight from two exquisitely “middle” Surrey cuts in his penultimate over, one of which nearly made its way to the main square.

Dulwich had the innings under control. This is more than can be said for Julian who, relieving himself of not-catching duties and finding himself at third man, lost a very one-sided battle of wills with a Black Labrador. Having failed to persuade the dog that no harm would come of letting JD grab his collar, the dog willingly presented its tennis ball as an alternative method for removing the recalcitrant hound from the pitch. JD obligingly rolled the ball away to the boundary which the dog obligingly brought back. Prompted by team mates into throwing the ball into the pavilion rather than walking the dog off as any sensible person would do, JD suddenly forgetting the general range and accuracy of his throwing arm, heroically and selfishly threw the ball with all the strength that he could manage. The dog, who clearly hadn’t seen JD field before, haired off in the general direction of where it assumed the ball would land only, to the great amusement of team-mates and opposition alike, for the ball to fly backwards and upwards to land all of ten yards behind the now red-faced dog whisperer. The dog, sensing that it wasn’t going to achieve the requisite exercise in any throw and fetch scenario and no longer wanting to be associated with such an idiot promptly retrieved its tennis ball and wandered off of its own accord to find someone else to play with.

Back to the cricket and Paul chipped in with another wicket from a well disguised dobbly, well caught by Rhys, to finish with fine figure of 3 for 20 off his 8 overs and Gilo returned to finish with a very unlucky 0 for 28 off 8 accurate overs. This was an excellent performance by the bowling as a unit and was well backed up by the ground fielding and some of the catching.

Chasing a very gettable target, Andrew Inglis and Julian Dean set off in comfortable leisurely fashion, with Andrew despatching the bad ball effectively, taking the score into the 30s. Julian, slowly batted himself out of form before hitting a trade- mark skyer to mid-off and James Read nonchalantly pulled his first ball to square leg to make it 31-2. The introduction of left-arm spin ratcheted up the pressure and Andrew succumbed for a good 37 closely followed by Paul, after a few lusty blows, to leave us 80 for 4. Ben Trembath was by now looking settled and celebrated by removing his dapper retro sweater, the sort favoured by deep sea trawler-men which wouldn’t look amiss on Simon Peters. Gilo won the contest for how long it would take the skipper to deploy the sweep shot (third ball!! – everyone else having said first or second ball) and as the scoreboard started ticking over again, the happy hubbub of a stroll to victory could be heard amongst the watching Doggies. The skipper then departed – having unfurled his full range of shot, which brought in Knighty. Ben found his timing and played a number of cover drives and late dabs which raced to the boundary reaching his 50 and we looked to be coasting before he missed a straight one with 30 left.

Knighty then decided to use the long handle dispatching the ball hard and often and occasionally straight upwards, seeing us home with four wickets and seven overs to spare.

Next week Dulwich entertain newly promoted Old Ruts at home looking to maintain their 100% record.

Sat 7th May – 4th XI v SinjunGrammarians

DULWICH 222 (44.5) beat SINJUNGRAMMARIANS 137 (27.3) by 85 runs

Scorecard

As summer finally arrived on Saturday, Dulwich started the season with a home game against old friends SinjunGrammarians. Surprises always come in threes, the first being the sun was out, the second being that our old friends at Sinjun 4s are now Sinjun 3s, the opposition therefore being an unknown quantity and the biggest surprise of all… Matt won the toss. He must have been practising over the winter (if only you’d called right on the mud slide at Reigate – Matt!). So surprised and taken aback by winning one – Matt thought long and hard before opting to bat first on the new upgraded DSG Road.

As ever Dulwich started brightly with Guy Woodgate quickly into his usual mix of authoritative pulls strokes and copious amounts of playing and missing, Julian Dean tipping and running at the other end and sometimes not even bothering with the tipping. With 30-odd on the board in the first 6 overs, the enigma that is Guy inexplicably kicked one off the stumps playing no stroke to bring James Read into bat. James looked imperious cracking his third ball through the covers for 4 and carried on in similar vein, the two adding 50 in 8 overs before James got an unplayable delivery which he edged behind.

Matt came and went and Julian introduced debutant Rob Hawke to his esoteric style of calling and running to cut short his promising first innings by the small matter of 19 yards! Fellow debutant Paul Charlton (20) joined Julian and the two took the score to 170 for 4 off 27 overs with the home side well set for a score of 300 plus. To Sinjuns credit they remained lively in the field throughout and got a break when Julian walked past one to be stumped for a scratchy 68. Dulwich being Dulwich, do everything the hard way, so promptly collapsed to 192 for 9 through a series of injudicious shots. With the best part of 10 overs to go, enter Ubaid and Gilo. They batted intelligently to add nearly 30 valuable runs with most of them coming through the arc of 1st slip to 3rd slip. Gilo was unfortunately run out in the last over, 97 short of his hundred. Ubaid finished with a very valuable 18 not out.

222 felt like enough, though we know we should have got 300 and will be punished in other games if we don’t get there. The opposition just had the feeling that, when it came to batting, they were there for a good time rather than a long time and so it proved with Prasanna’s traditional first ball long hop being despatched by the opener over square leg. Gilo having injured himself during his extended batting stint hobbled through a steady first over and Sinjuns were 17 for 0 after 2. Prasanna then got into his stride rolling off 9 straight overs of precision line and length bowling, (not words you normally see in the same sentence), and had the opener caught behind by Shok. A collector’s item, Matt then caught the other opener off Gilo, prompting his dad to go home for his mixed grill (sadly missing Matt trying to catch one with just his stomach later!).

The wheels, if not off were at least punctured and deflating badly. Step forward third debutant Darren Cason. Fielding at 2nd slip, “Buckets” caught everything that went near him snaffling the next 3 batsmen – all stunning catches. At 30 for 5 it was game over and Matt sensed a quick victory so in came a third slip (or was it an attempt to find somewhere to hide Ubaid and Gilo). Sadly the next three slip chances were shelled by the erstwhile batting heroes as Sinjuns showed spirit and went on the attack. Prasanna ended with 4 thoroughly deserved wickets and Ubaid and Darren came on with some immediate success. Ubaid bowled well to pick up 3 wickets, two well caught by Rob Hawke and Darren and Rob himself picked up a debut wicket each too. A good win, despite some rustiness and plenty more to come from the Super 4s.

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