DULWICH 158-7 (40) beat BEXLEY 159-6 (33.2) by 4 wickets
After months of roaming around the more obscure recreation grounds of suburban Kent, Dulwich 6th XI finally found themselves back at their spiritual home: pitch 3 of the DSG. Not for the first time this season, the Dulwich innings rather too closely resembled the Curate's egg: a phrase borrowed from George Du Maurier's cartoon in Punch magazine in 1895. The curate, anxious to find something positive to say to his ecclesiastical colleague about the bad egg that has been served to him says that it "was good in parts."
Owen was bowled on the fourth ball of the innings for 0. Shokoya Obafemi and Jim Gibson then set about restoring a semblance of order to the innings: both of them striking several sumptuous 4's ( Gibson's imperious on drive stirred memories of Peter May in the minds of many spectators.) In Farmer's next over, however, Gibson was dismissed: essaying yet another pugnacious back foot drive which only resulted in him dragging the ball on to his stumps. The sexagenarian walked disconsolately back to the pavilion, reflecting on yet another innings prematurely curtailed with his individual score in the teens or early twenties.
Like many cricketers, Gibson is a firm observer of ritual on match days. Those little superstitious habits that players think will bring them luck on the big day. For the past two seasons, Gibson has always worn the same DCC liveried purple and grey horizontally striped underpants on match days. (He does wash them prior to the following week's game). But he may abandon this custom next week, (if selected) in favour of a pair of terracotta coloured boxer shorts. The purple and grey pants have developed a small hole in the under crutch area and may no longer be fit for purpose. (Ed's note: I am not altogether sure our readers are that interested in this subject. PLEASE CONFINE YOURSELF TO DESCRIBING THE MATCH!)
Obafemi was joined at the wicket by Nick Rochford and the Dulwich innings continued on its way, coughing and spluttering like a vintage Daimler on it's annual run to Brighton in the veteran Car Rally. No batsman was able to assert himself till the uncompromising and forthright James Worley arrived at the crease. Supported by the comparatively pedestrian solicitor Griffiths, Worley was able to strike some handsome boundaries (including a 6) and ended with a well struck 54 not out. Dulwich finished with a total of 158 for 7 off 40 overs.
It is some time since any team has taken to the field with not one, but two leg spinners as the main "spearhead" of their attack. One has to think as far back as the 1950's when Lancashire played with both Tommy Greenhough and Bob Barber in their side, both of whom eventually played for England. For Dulwich, Josh Nava, proved to be more effective than Tim Brown, with the excellent figures of 4 for 40 from his allotted 10 overs. Nava and Brown's efforts were not enough, however. Sporting a pair of pads that were exactly the same colour as Sainsbury's "Taste the Difference" Wookey Hole Cave Aged Cheddar Cheese, Bexley opened the batting with the watchful but always dangerous, almost eponymously named Peter Bleksley who batted superbly to reach 107, before holing out to a good catch by Kushal Patel off the bowling of Worley. Liam Farmer and Harry Deppe, saw Bexley home in the 34th over. Bleksley's innings was decisive: he survived one difficult chance to Tucker in front of the Portakabins on the long on boundary but, by then, the damage had been done.
After the match, there was some speculation as to what might have happened had the veteran finger spinner Gibson been handed the ball, but few members of the Dulwich side were of the opinion that anything positive would have come from such a risky move. And so, Dulwich 6th XI continue in their quest for victory. Perhaps next week's final league fixture against mid table Beckenham will lead Dulwich to the promised land, but both Coral's and William Hill are yet to open a book on this eventuality