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Sat 19th August – 5th XI v Old Elthamians

OLD ELTHAMIANS 182-5 (40) beat DULWICH 91 (39) by 91 runs


Another disappointing day for the 5th team in their quest for promotion. A second below par performance in a row and this week no real fightback.

Jack won the toss and we elected to bowl first and Kanak opening from one end got us an early wicket clean bowled. Simon Peters opened at the other end with his usual warm up consisting of racing to get ready to be on the pitch at the start. Simon bowled pretty well but was wicketless as the Old Elthamian numbers 2 and 3 both scored 30 and they worked the score to 70 at drinks. Raman Sarao had replaced the unusually quiet Kanak and was probably the best bowler of the day.  

We were well below par in the field with dropped catches, misfields and we never really felt we were on top. Raman took 3 for 35 and David Begg bowled close to his usual tight spell 1 for 34 off 10 but even he was slipping in a few too many bad balls. The 5th wicket partnership between a young kid and their left handed keeper took the game away from us and spells from Jack, Josh Nava and the returning Peters couldn't halt the flow of runs. They ended up on 182 for 5 as we picked up only two bowling points. They had followed the Tim Brown structure of a 40 overs innings almost to the letter 30-40-50-60 in each successive 10 overs and we knew we were going have to bat well.

We didn’t. Lord Blench went early leaving a rather good inswinger which bowled him and late call up Piran Legg fell the same way. Tim Brown started the innings with the phrase if you are going to slash slash hard in his head and proceeded to give first and second slip some catching practice. Three chances all resulting in runs. Eventually one flew to first slip, another drop but the rebound was picked up by the keeper as Tim departed for 13. Harry Chathli, James Worley and Raman Sarao all departed fairly swiftly the last two to the promising opposition leggy. Jack hung around for a while with a solid defence and a few strong blows to almost get top scorer but also fell to the young leg spinner for 12. Simon Peters provided dogged resistance for the second week in a row but the game was up. The only remaining highlight was an all run three from Kanak which had the team trying to remember the last time that happened.  

In two weeks we have gone from being favourites for promotion to being out of contention. We have one game left and are 3 points behind Bromley Common who have a game in hand. Barring a bizarre set of results we will not be able to take second place. A disappointing end to what was a pretty good season. Next Saturday we finish at DSG against Wickham Park.

Sat 5th August – 5th XI v Bromley Common

DULWICH 105-4 (30.5) beat BROMLEY COMMON 104-8 (35) by 6 wickets


Report 1

The mighty 5s – scored an impressive win against their fellow promotion chases, Bromley Common on Saturday in a pulsating – yawn – run fest at the DSG.

After a vigorous warm up game of push the covers on and off, Jack won the toss and sensibly inserted the opposition. The opening batsmen took guard against the express pace of KP and Captain Birdseye and the young opener promptly got his just desserts for disrespecting his elders by attempting to hit KP into the next postcode but only spooning a simple catch to Ramon at Mid-On. 

What then followed was a classic exhibition of what Sir Geoffrey has been asking the England top order to demonstrate all summer, where the wily old opener and young number 3 espoused playing any shots in the corridor of uncertainty or, in fact, any shots in any corridor anywhere. KP was at his miserly best and bowled a great spell of controlled in-swing whilst Captain Birdseye minced his pies at the other end to great effect.

Ringing the changes, the skipper brought himself on to replace the old sea dog and promptly removed the number 3 LBW, despite his unlikely protestations that he had hit it which earned him a traditional jovial send off. The introduction of Beggsy gave the opposition no respite and a score of 31-2 at the mid-way point would surely have had Sir Geoffrey purring.  Immediately after the break, Beggsy’s vicious spin induced a big heave from the number 4 which somehow ended up in Dean’s hand at first slip whilst he was waving to Chuds. 

The straight after probably the funniest dismissal ever. With Sakib replacing Jack, the opener decided that 24 overs of forward defensive prodding was plenty flailed at a short delivery. The ball flew high into the air with the non-striking batsman hurtling down for the single. Bails, conscious that the last time he was called upon to catch a skier whilst keeping wicket, ended up with his trousers around his ankles “Bailed” out of the diving catch and two converging fielders and the bowler also couldn’t get to the ball. With four fielders and both batsmen now within two feet of the popping crease the ball returned to earth, hit the seam and bowled itself the perfect off cutter to clip the top of off stump.   As Sakib immediately pointed out – it just says bowled in the book.

The anticipated late innings charge didn’t really materialise, despite Beggsy’s best efforts, and so the bowlers contented themselves with helping to accelerate the score by giving away 20 wides out of the final total of 104 for 8 off 35 overs.

After tea, the reason why Bromley Common are in the upper reaches of the league became obvious. The two opening bowlers were excellent, bowling with good pace and tight lines. Cook and Brown both perished early on and Bails was missed one to leave the Doggies 13 for 3 off 13 overs.  Enter James Worley to join Jules “the Wall” Dean.  James, as is his way, played and missed at the first 10 balls he faced and promptly creamed the next three over the top of cover to see us slightly ahead of the run-rate at the half-way point on a glorious 40-3.

Hardly a Worley innings goes by without the ramp shot coming out and Saturday was no exception with his charging down the wicket to the returning opening bowler and middling a  reverse ramp past the opposition skipper’s head at first slip much to the amusement of everyone bar  the oppo’s skipper.  This was promptly followed by a classical straight six to get the score board moving.

As is always the way, James then ran past the first ball he faced from the opposition’s Tim Brown impersonator to be stumped by about ten yards and with 40 about needed in 9 overs, when going at two an over had been pushing it all day, the game was back in the balance.

Deciding that it was time to squeeze hard, the skipper and young bowler agreed to bring the field up to the Wall who had by this time crawled into double figures.  Bringing in the cow corner fielder and deep mid-on laced with a few choice comments about JD’s ability to hit the ball off the square (fair comment really as Beggsy was saying much the same thing), was quickly filed under the “good idea at the time” category as the ball was twice despatched in the general direction of whence they came and whence they promptly returned.  Sakib then took a liking to the grenade thrower and we accelerated to the win with 4 overs to spare with JD 42 not out and Sakib with a well struck 17 not out.

A good win which puts our hopes of promotion in our hands now. All to play for in the next few weeks.

Report 2

Another Saturday and another top of the table clash, as well as another nervous day watching the showers

We started the day in 2nd place just ahead of our opponents Bromley Common who were in third 13 points behind us and with them having a game in hand. In order to keep things in our own hands we needed to play well and win.

With the overs reduced to 35 Jack won what was a good toss to win and decided to put Bromley Common in under cloudy skies and in damp conditions. Kanak opened the bowling from the far end at DSG (8.4 overs 1 for 16) and Simon Peters (8 overs 2 for 32) from the ‘Presidents’ end (also known as the Turney Road end). In these conditions a good opening attack to grind opponents down and so it proved. Tight spells from both backed up by good fielding kept Bromley Common under pressure and tight follow up spells from David Begg ( 1for 11 off 6) and Jack himself (1 for 9 off 4.2) continued with Julian taking a stunning catch at slip off Beggsy.  

At the drinks break at 18 overs they were 30 odd for 3. Further bowling changes to Raman Sarao and Sakib Rashid showed the strength of our bowling attack. The Bromley Common opener had been battling hard but not really troubling the scorers too much when he tried a more expansive shot off Sakib, the ball ballooned into the air and several Dulwich fielders started towards catching the ball. Chaos ensued as the batsman’s partner called a loud yes hoping to cross. The batsman put his hands over his head and was heard to cry “I don’t know where it is”. Fortunately no Dulwich fielder got to the ball as it bounced two yards down the wicket and then slowly span back to hit the stumps. Bowled, in what Julian Dean described as the best dismissal he had ever seen in his cricketing career.

Bromley Common accelerated a bit after this although the innings was interrupted by another storm. 4 overs 2 for 17 from Raman including a great catch off his own bowling and 4 overs 1 from 11 for Sakib backed up the previous bowling as they ended up on 104 for 8 in 35 overs. Kanak injuring his hip as he couldn’t finish an over. However – first part of the job done.

Their opening bowling was very tight and Dave Cook got done by a great ball. Julian joined Tim and they battled for a while before a drive from Tim and an edge resulted in a great catch at 2nd slip. Simon Bailey was soon bowled by another stunner of a delivery. The position of 13 from 3 off 11 overs suggested that it was game on. Just before drinks James Worley, who bats outside the Lord's Coaching Manual, hit three successive balls for 4. We were 40 for 3 at drinks so slightly ahead of where they had been but with much to do. Julian was giving us all a lesson in how to run (as he does every week, and one that continues well into drinking time). Eventually they pulled the field in to Julian and he hit over the top, then they put the field out and he hits singles. James got out for an interesting 28 including a ramp which was supposed to go to fine leg but ended up at third man. Sakib (17*) joined Julian and they finished the job. Julian on 42 not out in a really important innings that started off as anything but fluent.

The last few overs of the game had the padded up Raman Sarao, Jack Rutherford and David Begg all pacing. Looking at the scorecard it looked an easy win for us but it was tough. We are now 26 points ahead of Bromley Common (20 points for a win and they have a game in hand) so we have a good shot at promotion if we can keep up our availability and competitive form for three more weeks. Next week Catford & Cyphers away.

Sat 8th July – 5th XI v Old Wilsonians

DULWICH 154-6 (40) beat OLD WILSONIANS 153 (39) by 4 wickets


The ultimate finish in cricket, we needed 6 off the last ball to win and with a shortish straight boundary Raman Sarao batting at 9 hit a slower ball from the Ex Blues opening bowler into the trees. Cue screams of delight from the rest of the team. We usually have good close games w Ex Blues but this was ridiculous.

Six and a half hours Jack had lost the toss and we had been asked to field as travel difficulties delayed several of the side, Blenchy also needing to get a sandwich on the way. Late call up Mike Owen was last to arrive and we just managed to get 11 on the field in time. Kanak Patel and Raman Sarao opened the bowling and despite bowling well Ex Blues started pretty well. We had trouble on the sloping slightly strange shaped ground to get our fielders in the right place. Kanak up the hill managed to get an early wicket and the ex blues number three started a long dogged innings of 76. Raman bowled the other opener from down the hill and then Beggsy and Jack Rutherford were introduced to the fray. Jack bowled the tightest spell of his season with 5 overs for 17 and David was unlucky with three knicks flying through the slips where the single slip fielder wasn't! Josh then bowled a good spell to take 3 for 36 with two stumping by Young keeper Rahul Weston. At one point we even had leg spin both ends. Ex Blues continued partnerships and ended up with 191 for 6 off their 40 overs.

We knew that we needed to bat well and first came a small cameo from Richard Blench with his new bat bought from eBay. Aidan then supported Rahul well but got out when he was well set and beat himself up for the rest of the afternoon (he was pretty pleased we won). Rahul batted beautifully for his 41 before he got out to an experienced loopy spinner just as Aidan had. They had both been looking comfortable but when Nick Rochford joined them back in the pavilion we needed well over 100 with 4 wickets down and just over 20 overs left.

Tim Brown joined Mike Owen and they struggled w the indifferent bounce and the tight bowling but managed to put on a 30 partnership. The required rate was rising though and after skipper Jack perished first ball David Begg came in and added a bit of momentum with some inventive shots. Tim batted doggedly until out for 31 he just had trouble timing the ball but again a partnership of 30 plus was put on to just keep us in the game. Beggsy pulled a muscle for a second match in a row and required a runner and Raman managed son lusty blows including and audacious ramp in the penultimate over. David was bowled and we were left requiring 16 off the last over. An early six, a wide and three singles (two from the wily Kanak) left the final ball as previously described. Raman a brilliant 34 not out.

We remain in second place w top side Roebucks visiting DSG on Saturday.

Sat 24th June – 5th XI v Wickham Park

DULWICH 164-8 (40) beat WICKHAM PARK 116 (30) by 48 runs


Well the vagaries of selection hit again.  The week before we had strong teams (on paper, not in terms of results) in the 5s and 6s but all change for this week as only Begg and Peters retained their places.

Tim (standing in for Jack Rutherford) lost the toss and we were put in by Whickham Park. David Cook and Aidan Reeves opened both playing at this level for the first time in a couple of years and despite some early tight bowling from the opposition put on a fifty opening stand. Cooky fell caught and bowled for 21 and Nick Rochford soon followed. Simon Bailey and Aidan then put together a small partnership and we made it to drinks just two down with almost 70 on the board.  Aidan brought up a well deserved half century but lost his concentration soon after out for 51. Alf Grimsey playing as a specialist batsmen didn't get going so we were 99 for 4. Tim Brown then put together two thirty partnerships, firstly w Simon Bailey (26) and then with a slightly becalmed John Comerford (12). Tim also managed to escape injury as he top edged a short ball onto the peak of his cap before he was bowled to one that didn't bounce much at all. The innings sort of petered out but not before David Begg pulled a muscle in a scramble for a second run. We ended up 164 for 8 off our 40 which was sort of a par score.

After tea opening bowlers Kanak Patel (2 for a miserly 12 off 10, although a few too many balls were legside) and Simon Peters both bowled good spells and the opposition skipper also managed to pull a muscle and had to retire hurt. Beggsy dropped a difficult juggling catch at slip and then Tim took a similar one off Kanak where he was definitely heard to swear between parrying the first attempt and taking the second. The wickets continued to fall but most Whickham park bats continued to attack. There was a bit of a friendly fire dispute as Nick didn't dive for one stop in the field off Simon. Luke Howard got in a spat w the umpire and one of the opposition batsmen and the skipper had to get involved to calm down the fiery left armer. Luke used this anger to good effect bowling a clever spell of 4 for 22 off 7 including bouncing out the batsmen he'd had the slight disagreement with. 

David Begg, although struggling with his injury, bowled 4 overs from one end (the long legside boundary) and took a couple of wickets as the team continued to catch well. Davids last over went for a few runs as this time it was Simon Peters who was in the fielding firing line. He did dive just not in a way that stopped the ball. Their skipper returned with a runner but two balls later departed in agony having been snared by the wiley Begg.

In a clever tactical switch Tim managed to a) change ends for Beggsy b) got himself a one over fitness test after cracked ribs and with the aforementioned large legside boundary and c) saved Luke buying a jug as David finished the innings off. They had managed 116 all out and we took a win by 48.

With a bye next week all the other teams in the division play their game in hand but we are guaranteed to go into the second half of the season in second place. A title and a promotion challenge is possible if we continue the form we have shown so far.

Sat 17th June – 5th XI v Old Elthamians

DULWICH 201-9 (40) lost to Old Elthamians 224-7 (40) by 23 runs


Saturday's opponents Old Elthamians entered the day rooted the bottom of the table and, with Dulwich having gone top after a fine win against Catford last week, this top vs bottom affair looked to be stacked in our favour. With last week's star performers David Woods, Siraj and Cian all playing higher or unavailable, it was a much changed 5th XI but one with plenty of quality, reflecting strong availability across the club.

On a scorcher of day, with a good pitch, short boundaries and a lightening-fast outfield, the opposition jumped at the chance to bat first after winning the toss. Old Elthamians got off to a good start despite decent opening spells from Simon Peters and Sakib, with their opening batsmen pouncing on anything full of a length, dispatching it to the short straight boundaries. Sakib responded well, trapping one LBW and soon after David Begg came on and dismissed their no.3 with a regulation caught and bowled just before the first drinks break. Dulwich were arguably the happier side at drinks, with the opposition on 61-2 from 15 and vowed to continue the hunt for wickets thereafter.

The first ball after drinks provided a turning point in the match. The new batsman clearly edged Begg and was caught behind by Dan Peters. However, despite the batsman 'smashing the effing cover off it' (D Peters, 2017) with batsman refusing to walk and the umpire not giving the batsman out, Dulwich were forced to look for another way to get him out. The very next ball was smashed to the boundary over mid-off which, unfortunately for Dulwich, was a sign of things to come. The two set batsmen began to enjoy the conditions more and more and, despite several bowling changes, Rutherford was unable to stop the flow of runs, with the two adding 100 runs in 15 overs between the two drinks breaks.
In the final 10 overs, Simon Peters returned and bowled a very fine spell, taking five wickets and ultimately limiting what was moving towards an imposing total to 224-7, which we felt was just about par given the conditions. The only real disappointment for Dulwich had been a real lack of focus and intensity in the field during the middle overs of the match. Skipper Rutherford also lamented the decision not so set a more defensive field earlier, with the feeling being the combination of those two factors had probably led to Old Elthamians scoring 20-30 more runs than they perhaps should have.

Dulwich's reply got off to a strong start thanks to Dan Peters and Julian Dean who both capitalised on any loose balls. Old Elthamians made their intentions clear from the very first ball, electing not have a slip in place and continued to have a minimum of four sweepers in place (and up to six at times) throughout the innings. After Dean was given out LBW for 23, Tony Simmonds came in and continued where Julian had left off and, alongside Dan Peters who was batting nicely at this stage, got Dulwich up to around the 100 run mark at a good rate. Old Elthamians then introduced spin from both ends which prompted a flurry of wickets with Simmonds, Emery and eventually Peters all succumbing, Dan having made a score of 47 before being dismissed.

With both spinners bowling well, the runs began to dry up for Dulwich and, as a result, wickets continued to tumble with only Cormac Meade (25) able to keep the scoreboard moving. With the required rate climbing to around 12/over with 6 overs to go, the shot-making and running became ever more ragged and our chances of reaching the total were all but gone when Simon Peters conspired to run the captain out by refusing a second run, apparently oblivious to the equation we faced (or at least that's how the captain saw it). Begg & S Peters finally brought Dulwich up to 200-9 from their 40 overs, cementing a 24 run loss.

All-in-all, a frustrating day for Dulwich who were left to rue several factors in the bar afterwards. Still, there are plenty of points to play for this season and the 5th XI remain in the hunt at the top of the table.

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