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Sat 1st June – 6th XI v Natwest

DULWICH 154-8 lost to NATWEST 156-4 by 6 wickets


With a strong mix of youth, experience and those somewhere in between, the 6th XIs took on NatWest seconds in a crucial, worryingly near the bottom of the table clash at the DSG. I say NatWest seconds, because they are actually the second team, although they call themselves a 4th team. Extreme modesty or a devious attempt to get weaker opposition when seeking conference fixtures?  

Anyway, we batted first after losing the toss and a made a positive start with Shahab playing with his habitual freedom against the new ball. However his LBW dismissal brought in Dean who called Rice for a very sharp single which led to an unfortunate run-out for Rice. Persaud and Dean then rebuilt the innings before Dean departed just when he was looking like going on to make a substantial score. Persaud batted well for the 6th’s first 50 of the season, rolling back the years with some well-struck boundaries. So far this season, Jordan Hancock has risen up the batting order from 11 to 5 on the back of some good performances and continued in this vein before offering a catch to NatWest. At the half-way point we looked like posting a testing total, but a sudden collapse left the innings in tatters, at 125-8, as Woods, Shine and Webster departed in quick succession. NatWest’s bowling was steady without being deadly; most wickets fell to mistimed shots finding fielders within 30 yards of the bat. Craig and Peters managed to take the score up to 154 at the end of 46 overs for eight down, which looked a good score on a wicket doing a bit.

Giles Constantine opened the bowling with Hancock and his highly economical figures of 1 for 15 off 11 overs could have been much better in terms of wickets. He beat the bat regularly and had a very confident LBW turned down by the opposition umpire. At this point we realised that far from being NatYes, as in its latest ads, this was the bank that likes to say not out. Or as the Arfur Daley would have put it, the listening bank copped a deaf ‘un to all appeals.   Hancock also bowled very well and had little luck. Dulwich’s failure to break NatWest’s second wicket partnership quickly was to prove costly, with Dolby and Lynch playing solidly. Dropping a total of six catches of varying degrees of difficulty, from easy to very hard, did not help either. Skipper Craig rotated the bowling in an attempt to pick up wickets, but despite tight bowling from all the bowlers used, the NatWest batsmen. Nevertheless, NatWest had to work hard and took 45 overs to make the runs they needed. Overall it was a frustrating game for Dulwich; one that slipped away but with some positive signs for rest of the season.

Mon 27th May – 6th XI v Bromley

DULWICH 140-6 beat BROMLEY 138 by two runs


The big advantage of an away Bank Holiday league game for the 6ths was the chance to play on Bromley Cricket Club’s main ground, with all the accoutrements of higher XI cricket present; a roller on the pitch when we arrived, scorers, umpires, an electronic scoreboard and a pavilion balcony to watch the action from. Surely this would inspire Dulwich players unused to such luxuries as they took on an unbeaten Bromley side?

Dulwich lost the toss and were asked to bat. The two Daves, Straker and O’Higgins, made a solid start, with Straker hitting a few over the top when seam gave way to spin on his way to 42. Bromley bowled tightly though and Dulwich had to work hard to get runs on the board, with Veryan Boscawen playing a mix of judicious and dismissive strokes for 24 not out, well supported by Jordan Hancock. Dulwich accelerated as the innings went on, with 60 off the last 10 overs enabling a total of 140 to be posted.

If Saturday’s tea at HSBC had been somewhat Marxist in its conception, Bromley’s showed all the benefits of unfettered globalisation, with a cosmopolitan mix of hot food (samosas, onion rings and even mini toad-in-the-hole), rice, pineapple slices and grapes, as well as the usual selection of sandwiches and cakes. Fortified by this smorgasbord of cricketing sustenance, which was almost as good as our own teas at the DSG, Dulwich took the field in good heart. Craig and Hancock both found a nagging length early on, with the latter removing both openers for not very many on the board. However, this brought in Bromley’s Pip France who after offering a difficult chance in the slips, proceeded to unleash a series of high quality shots to bring up his 50 off only 36 balls. At this point Bromley were cantering to victory, but with the score at 98 for 2 off not many overs, France was stumped off a perserving Tim Brown for 68. One run later danger man Thina Perera top-edged another Brown delivery which gave Dulwich a reprieve from chasing leather. With wily slow bowling from Ebert and Brown at both ends, Dulwich chipped away and picked up wickets as they gradually got back into the game. Bromley skipper Richard Matthews had batted soundly and seemed to be steering his team home, but then gave a tricky caught and bowled chance to Ebert. Bromley were now wobbling at 131 for 8. They might well have made it, but for a great catch by Alf Grimsey that turned a likely boundary into a wicket. Now it was the Dulwich team that felt the pressure as the game hung in the balance. Ebert and Brown were bowled out, so opening bowlers Craig and Hancock came back on. Dulwich jubilation then ensued when wicketkeeper Jamie Hall picked up his fourth dismissal of the innings, Hancock inducing a faint edge from the number 11 Kalupahana, leaving Bromley stranded, two runs short. 

So Dulwich somehow picked up a win in a game that had seemed totally beyond them an hour or so earlier. It was a great way for the 6ths to pick up their first league victory against a strong Bromley team, who will be looking for revenge when Dulwich play them again on June 8th.

Sat 25th May – 6th XI v HSBC

DULWICH 116-6 lost to HSBC 117-4 by 6 wickets


After not tossing up, Dulwich were put into bat. An explanation for anyone not used to the vagaries of the Kent Regional League rules; we didn’t have an umpire, they did, so we were asked to bat on what looked a decent wicket. 

The Dulwich 6th XI’s batting performances so far this season have been a case of déjà vu all over again in terms of a slow run rate and this tendency continued. Shahab produced some choice cuts early on, but his dismissal brought Rice and Persaud together for a period of consolidation against some accurate bowling. Most of their well-struck shots found the fielders and both batters departed after trying to up the pace. New boy Andrew Mottram works with Dave ‘Foxy’ Hawes, aka the Poor Man’s Matt Craig, at HSBC and is Australian but don’t hold either fact against him. He looked good before edging one behind, while Tony Ebert worked hard for his 21, which included one hook against their spinner’s quicker ball which bounced like a tennis ball. However the highlight of Dulwich’s innings was a dashing 26 not out from another new man at the club this season, Jordan Hancock, which included his first ever six in senior cricket. A towering blow over midwicket, it sailed over the ropes, took a big bounce off a path and rebounded off the groundsman’s house, a first ever KRL maximum to be remembered fondly. It must be said that at the other end of the age spectrum, several of the Dulwich 6th XI probably can’t recall their last six, due to either memory loss, or an inability to connect bat to ball with sufficient vigour. Consequently, a team total of 116 for 6 off 46 overs looked to have put Dulwich account against HSBC heavily in the red, as it were.

A word about HSBC’s cricket teas; capitalist bean-counter Hawes will be shocked to hear that socialist principles have infiltrated the catering department of his banking employer’s sports club. Has Jimmy Gibson inspired the kitchen workers with his fiery left-wing rhetoric, we wonder? How else can one explain why all the players were served an equal allocation of sandwiches, a mini pork pie and a mini scotch egg on a plate wrapped in cling film, instead enjoying the usual free market-style feeding frenzy. As would be expected with a centrally planned cricket tea, only one variety of cake was on offer, but it was very nice nonetheless. 

Back to the cricket. HSBC started with positive intent, but two quick wickets from skipper Craig pushed Dulwich’s balance slightly towards the black. However HSBC’s Hutton showed the Dulwich team how to hit sixes, as he took on the boundary fielders and cleared them, until a good ball from Hancock closed his account. Dave Woods at the other end kept things very tight, with 8 overs for 11 runs, and Deb Biswas bowled well once he got a bit of rust out of the way. But HSBC only needed 30.5 overs to pass the winning post for the loss of four wickets, leaving Dulwich without a win from three games and facing a tough Bank Holiday Monday trip to Bromley CC.

Sat 2nd June – 6th XI v Mottingham

DULWICH 170 for 8 (46 overs) BEAT MOTTINGHAM 139 (44.2 overs) by 31 runs


On a weekend when the nation celebrated the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, another momentous event took place just off Dulwich’s very own Mall (Turney Road, that is!), at the Dulwich Sports Ground last Saturday.  Peter Rice’s cricketing career at Dulwich may not quite match the longevity of Her Majesty’s reign, being five years shorter, but an innings of 56 against Mottingham took him past the milestone of 30,000 runs for the club.

Dulwich were invited to take first knock after the visitors won the toss, and Rice along with fellow opener Malcolm Persaud got the side off to a slow but steady start against some challenging Mottingham bowling.  They put on 48 before the junior partner departed for 22 in the 21st over of the innings.  A solid platform had been built, but the departure of Greg Bond and Tony Ebert, neither of whom troubled the scorers, either side of the drinks interval, threatened to dismantle the innings.  However, Rice then found a more than useful ally in Finbarr O’Connor and the pair not only regained the initiative but also stepped up the scoring rate.

Shortly after reaching his half-century, Rice past his historic landmark and the occasion was appropriately marked with generous applause, not only from his team-mates on the boundary’s edge but also the sporting fielders.

A few runs later Rice was bowled for 56, but young O’Connor continued on his merry way before being run out for a sparkling 45, an innings which included six fours and a six.  Vice-captain Matt Craig added a useful 20 and by the end of their allotted 46 overs, Dulwich had reached a commendable total of 170 for 8.

Mottingham made a good start to their run chase with opening bat Craig Stevens threatening a big score.  Joe Hale eventually made the breakthrough, having the other opener caught behind by Peter Rochford, the first of three catches for the veteran stumper.  Stevens then went for 28, also caught behind, after getting tucked up trying to pull a short ball from Finbarr O’Connor, and another youngster, Luke Connor, picked up a wicket during a tidy spell.  Batsmen numbers four to eight all got into double figures as the Mottingham innings progressed, but they fell behind the required run rate as the ever-reliable Matt Craig and spinner Tony Ebert tightened the screw.  Craig was unlucky not to claim at least a couple of wickets during seven economical overs, but it was Ebert who turned in a match-winning spell, taking 5-29 in 12 overs, four of his victims being clean bowled.  Pace bowler Rehan Malik returned to wrap up the innings, with two wickets in as many balls, to leave Dulwich victors by a 31-run margin.           

Sat 5th May – 6th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 65 lost to DULWICH 66-3 by 7 wickets


The 6th XI got their season off to a winning start with a comfortable seven-wicket victory over local rivals Streatham & Marlborough at an unseasonably cold Turney Road last Saturday.

After the wettest drought in living memory, both teams were pleasantly surprised to find a playable wicket at their disposal.  However, the start was delayed due to drizzle and, with further rain likely, the captains agreed to a reduced match of 80 overs.  On winning the toss, the visitors elected to bat.

Multi-layers of clothing were the order of the day as Dulwich’s brave souls took to the field in temperatures more akin to the winter months and one of their number was even spotted donning thermal gloves in between overs – wimp!

David ‘Foxy’ Hawes and Lyndsay Morton bowled steadily as the S&M opening pair attempted to come to terms with a slow-paced wicket.  With the score on 16, ‘Morty’ made the breakthrough when Moss tickled a catch to veteran gloveman Peter Rochford.  Another wicket followed shortly afterwards when the S&M number three lofted an injudicious pull-shot off Foxy straight into the arms of Rob Branch at mid-on.  S&M’s third-wicket pair then raised the score to 45 with what proved to be the highest stand of the innings before two more wickets fell in quick succession.

Midway through the innings, with the score 47 for 4 off 20 overs, the teams adjourned to the pavilion for an unusual drinks break – hot mugs of tea!!

By now, medium-pacer Matt Craig and off-spinner Tony Ebert had been introduced into the attack and after the break these two quickly polished off the rest of the innings, Matt finishing with 3-15 off 9 overs whilst Tony captured 3-9 from 6.4 overs.

Remarkably, on such a cold day, Dulwich held all their catches (five in total).  There was also the bonus of a direct-hit run out by the youngest player in the side, Laurie Davidson, who performed splendidly at cover-point throughout the innings.  Such a fielding display on day one could be setting a dangerous precedent!!

After a more traditional break for one of Jackie’s fine teas (plus more hot drinks!), Dulwich set about knocking off the runs.  Any thoughts that chasing a meagre 66 would be a simple task were quickly dispelled.  With only 13 runs on the board, messrs Johnson, Rice and Branch were already back in the hutch.

However, once S&M’s impressive opening bowlers were rested, the remainder of the attack failed to produce too many testing deliveries and Laurie Davidson took charge with several fine attacking shots, finding the boundary four times despite the slow outfield.  Trevor Griffiths lent valuable support and together the pair steered Dulwich to victory with Laurie finishing on 36.

Having bowled out the opposition, the 6th XI took five bonus points to finish with a maximum 20 points.  An encouraging start to the season, but no doubt there will be sterner tests to come.