DULWICH 228-7 (40) beat EX BLUES 125 (33.4) by 103 runs
Third game of the season and the weather was set fair. Despite a few changes post-selection with two players coming up and James Chudley switching down from the 4th XI to concentrate on his opening batting role we went into the game with a strong side on paper with a long batting line up, many years of experience and a lot of bowling options. Simon lost the toss and the opposition decided to give us first use of what looked quite a good wicket.
Guy Woodgate and Chuds got us off to a steady start, although Guy soon perished which was a shame as he was hitting the ball well – just straight to the fielders. Brad Burgh joined James and they put on 98 in fine time. We were over 100 at drinks and only one wicket down. They both made 50s – James 59 and Brad outscoring him by one. The opposition skipper confided with us afterwards that he thought we might make 280 to 300. However a few wickets fell soon after – Chudley and Simon Bailey bowled, Brad to an excellent catch right on the boundary and Tim Brown caught behind. At that stage we were looking as though we may waste the excellent start the top three had given us and we had to battle to first get to 200 and then in a flurry of late order hitting from Steve Walker (42 not out including two sixes from the first two balls of the last over) and some exquisite shots from Kanak Patel we managed to post 228 in our 40 overs. Will Burgass was also out to a great catch and Simon Peters to a direct hit run out although he had rather overestimated his ability to get through the 22 yards. We felt that if we bowled well then we should win the game.
Unfortunately in our innings and at the end of a lengthy spell of umpiring David Woods was struck by an errant throw and with a nasty cut and much blood had to be helped from the field. As we will see David is made of tough stuff and continued on to play his part in a good team performance.
I'm not sure how many of you know the Ex Blues ground but it has a distinct slope and skipper Simon Peters gallantly toiled up the hill to allow Kanak to use the down slope to his advantage. Both settled into a good line and length despite the unusual run up conditions. Both bowled solid 7 over spells Simon taking 1 for 26 and Kanak 1 for 27. We were always in a good position but the Ex Blues skipper Ashley Harris was hitting aggressively and we knew we needed to get him out in order to win the game. A double bowling change saw Matt Craig replace Simon and David Woods replace Kanak. Both bowlers also settled into a rhythm on a pitch that was just holding up a bit. Their bat continued to take the positive approach and at drinks they were a similar score to us but with 1 more wicket down. The rest of the Ex Blues line up are not of the same class and we had to remain patient. Eventually Harris played one expansive shot too many to Woodsy and holed out to an excellent catch by Steve Walker at long on. Matt did what he does and bowled straight – four wickets all bowled and a few near misses as reward. David ended up with 10 overs 3 for 38.
A strong side and, if we can keep something similar through the season, we should be competitive are currently in fourth place and play third placed Orpington at DSG on Saturday.