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