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Sat 13th Aug – 6th XI v Old Colf’s

Dulwich 144-9 beat Old Colfeians 143-9 by 1 wicket

After successive defeats against Blackheath, Orpington, Old Elthamians and Sidcup, the 6th XI recorded their fourth win of the season at home to Old Colfeians.

Old Colfs won the toss and decided to bat, but were soon two wickets down thanks to good catches by Craig at mid-off and a stunning one-handed effort at first slip from Redmayne who was returning from long-term injury. Old Colfs’ no.3, Jagger, took the responsibility for the recovery, batting most of the 46 overs for his unbeaten 36. He blocked out for long periods but got his team to what proved a competitive total of 143/9 on a DSG wicket which was playing a bit up and down. Gratton at no.5 batted with him longest, timing the ball well through extra cover, until he was bowled by Ebert on 47. Witts was the pick of the Dulwich bowlers, with figures of 3-22 on debut. Craig and Ebert chipped in with 2-36 and 2-31 respectively.

Dulwich’s innings got off to a bad start: the top five all fell for single figure scores except Rice, but he soon followed Sealy (0), Ford (2), Redmayne (3) and Straker (1), scoring 13 before middling a long hop straight to mid-wicket. Old Colfs looked like favourites at this point but Witts at no.7 played a counter-attacking 29, hitting a series of huge fours over mid-wicket, to give Dulwich’s innings some impetus. With Witts in destructive mood, the pressure was off Ebert who passed 50 for the first time this season, the sweep being his most productive shot. After Witts was bowled, Ebert was well-supported by Wilkinson (8), with whom he’d shared wicket-keeping duties earlier in the day, although both were dismissed in quick succession and Hale (2) soon followed, leaving Dulwich nine down but needing only one to win. A one-wicket victory was sealed in the next over, an off-target delivery from mystery slow left-armer Pamment beating the keeper for Craig and JL to complete a bye which took the score to 144/9 off 41.1 overs. Skipper Hunt was the pick for Old Colfs with figures of 3-20, backed-up by Bahra (3-35), and Pamment (2-20).

Next week: Blackheath Select away.

Sat 4th June – 6th XI v Sidcup

Sidcup 198-8 beat Dulwich 163 all out

The sixth eleven were left to contemplate what might have been as they slipped to a third successive defeat  - this time against Sidcup’s fiths at DSG.  On a glorious early-June afternoon, skipper Craig called correctly for the first time this season and inserted the opposition.  Late call-ups weakened the batting a little, but saw sixth team debuts from Chris Ford and Joe Hale.

As has often been the case so far this season, dropped chances have been crucial in costing us games. Tevon Spencer (0-31) bowled a beautiful eight-over spell without any reward, though he was very unfortunate to see a good chance from opener Adrian Crust grassed when only a few runs were on the board.  He will bowl far worse spells for greater reward.

Matt Craig (1-21) bowled dependably, but was unable to make the breakthrough as both openers made themselves at home, apparently determined to cash in.  Newcomer Joe was introduced to the attack and bowled some good balls mixed with the odd wayward delivery which was punished – he was also unlucky as Crust tried to hook and hit it straight up in the air in the square as a transfixed fielder did not appear to want to move his legs a few yards to get in position before desperate urging from teammates seemed to wake him up, only for the ball to inevitably hit a bit of hand, then floor… sigh.

By drinks another 3 or 4 catches had gone down and the opposition were over the hundred mark with no wickets down at drinks.  Not ideal.  Scoring for the day, JL must have put something in the drinks as Dulwich mounted something of a comeback with Beechy (2-45) removing Crust for 68 and Stent for 40.  Tim Storey was next on to bowl and after an allsorts couple of overs bowled really well to rip out the next five batmen.  Dulwich even managed to start catching the ball, with 6 out of the 8 wickets caught.  180 was looking likely, but as Tim tired at the end of his spell, Sidcup punished some short stuff to finish on 198-8, with Tim the pick with 5-53.

The reply didn’t get off to the greatest start as Pratish Solanki was bowled for 4, but Chris Ford arrived at the crease and played positively.  Sadly, no one else was really able to stay with Chris who departed on 93-5, having made 48.  Sidcup used a number of promising youngsters along with the wily spin of Peter Newman who did most of the damage with 4-40.  Some lusty blows from Joe Hale and Matt Craig moved us nearer respectability, but in truth Dulwich were again well beaten, finishing 35 runs short.

With games against the top three sides out of the way, Dulwich will be looking significant improvement in the field and with the bat and to get some victories chalked up pronto!

Sat 21st May – 6th XI v Orpington

Dulwich 147-7 lost to Orpington 151-2 by 8 wickets

After a good performance last week against Bexley, Dulwich were well beaten by a strong Orpington third team on a glorious May afternoon at DSG.

Losing the toss for the third successive week, Dulwich were inserted onto what was hoped would be a better middle pitch (a rare privilege of not being the lowest home team). While the seven’s bowling attack was being dispatched to all corners of London by Natwest, the reverse was happening on the middle pitch as openers Rice and Ebert got us off to a steady start against some tight, competent bowling.  However, Tony was soon undone by some extra bounce and pouched in the slips.  Malcolm Persaud followed soon after with the score on 27 and Matt Leng was timing the ball sweetly before a rush of blood saw him depart with Dulwich in some trouble on 50-3.  Peter Rice fell for a patient 27, seemingly undone, by a little extra bounce.  Ralph Tomlinson looked in good form, dancing down the wicket to smash the spinner back over his head a couple of times before being pinned leg before by the opposition skipper, Game.

Steve Johns was unfortunate to fall to an excellent catch low down at gully, which would have befitted a much higher standard game and Rochy also fell cheaply. At 94-7 with 12 overs left, it was already looking like we’d be watching plenty of the second team from the bar, but Richard Beeching (30*) and Matt Craig (25*) batted very sensibly and purposefully to lead us to a still below-par 147-7 – something to bowl at least.

Tevon Spencer bowled a bright opening spell in his first game of the season, while the excellently named Orpington opener, Prince Sterling, took a liking to the usually parsimonious Craig.  With the opposition cruising at over 4 an over, JL turned to Beechy to reign in the scoring and look to make the breakthrough.  Ralph made a great diving effort to catch the opener Sterling in the twenties, then Beechy had the other opener Davis caught at slip after a ricochet off Rochy’s arm.  He was then unlucky to see a very fine nibble from Sterling go down before he had reached his fifty.

With Orpington seemingly strolling to victory, Matt switched ends and saw Ralph snaffle a catch to remove Smith and bring the score to 90-2.  After drinks, Steve Johns was introduced to the attack seeking to repeat his recent prolific wicket taking and a further catch went down in his second over.  However, he couldn’t weave a spell to beguile the batsman this time – Sterling (who has been playing in their first team this season) went on to score an unbeaten hundred as Dulwich were left to contemplate being comprehensively out-bowled, fielded and batted.

Sat 14th May – 6th XI v Bexley

Dulwich 185-9 beat Bexley 157-9 by 28 runs

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A much changed line up (including the welcome return of Richard Beeching after long-term injury), saw 6 changes from last week’s close defeat to Blackheath and the return of skipper JL to lead the troops against Bexley’s fifths at Waring Park. The predicted weather and the park keeper wanting to lock up at 7pm meant a 40 over aside game was agreed.  John proceeded to lose the toss and Dulwich were inserted on a reasonable looking wicket that proved to be unpredictable. Peter Rice fell early for a blob, but newcomer Matt Ball played a tremendous attacking innings, putting on 70 for the second wicket with Malcolm Persaud until the latter was unluckily adjudged to have been LBW for 25 just as he was accelerating nicely.

Another new player, Julian Dean played aggressively from the start and looked to rotate the strike, only to fall attempting to loft the bowler back over his head. He was quickly followed by Rochy who was undone by some low bounce attempting a pull shot.  Steve Johns and Matt kept things moving, putting on a nice little 40 partnership, before Matt was bowled for 73 trying to guide the ball to third man with 9 overs left. Steve played a couple of nice cut shots and moved on to 27 before some aggressive intent from Beechy and the lower order saw us to a healthy 185-9.

A rather blustery, but satisfying picnic tea was consumed before Matty Craig and Dave O’Higgins (5-1-16-0) took the new ball. Both bowled tidily without managing the breakthrough and the Bexley openers began to look increasingly dangerous. The introduction of Beechy provided the break through, bowling opener James for 32 with the score on 53. Dave ‘Foxy’ Hawes (6-1-27-1) then found some extra bounce to remove Dixon in the next over, with JL taking the looping catch in the slips.

Bexley continued to fall behind the rate as Beechy gave little away and bowled straight through to finish with 10-2-29-1 on his return. Following on from last week’s five wicket haul, expectations were high as Steve was introduced to the attack. After a first over that could generously be described as ‘profound filth’, Steve’s began to find his range – his gentle hand grenades cashing in on Matt (10 -2 26-1) ending a second fifty partnership with the score on 108-3. Rochy stumped the number 4 on the same score with another close stumping call and two catches being floored in the same over.

Several chances came, as the young heart of the opposition couldn’t resist having a go at the flight and guile proffered by Mr Johns. Rochy executed a second stumping to get rid of opposition skipper Griggs, an LBW followed and an excellent couple of catches were taken in the deep by Julian with another by Malcolm at mid-on. Steve helped himself to a successive five-fer, finishing with 6-49 while Bexley finished 28 runs short.

A good response to last week’s disappointment. Next up, Orpington 3rd’s!

Sat 7th May – 6th XI v Blackheath

Dulwich 138 all out lost to Blackheath by 3 wickets

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A new era dawned for the ‘new’ 6th team as Dulwich entertained rivals Blackheath for their first game in the Kent Regional League, Division 1C  (does anyone understand the league hierarchy?) at DSG.

Skipper for the day, Matt Craig lost the toss and was promptly put into bat on an even lower, slower wicket than normal, thanks to some unseasonably arid conditions.

Progress was slow and steady against some talented youngsters with a solid foundation being laid for what was hoped would be a competitive score.  Only Alan Edwards seemed to have the measure of the pitch and the bowling, combining solid defence with comprehensive punishment of anything loose.

Wickets fell steadily at the other end and Blackheath made the crucial breakthrough with Alan falling for 51 with the score on 104. The remainder of the batting succumbed disappointingly with a mixture of poor shots and a little bad luck, appropriately ending with an ill-judged single and a run out. The last 6 wickets falling for 34 to 138 all out in 41.2 overs  – this also gave Blackheath an extra 4 overs to reach the rather modest target.

Dulwich retired to the dressing room to formulate a strategy and then scoffed a massively improved tea over last year’s fare.  In reply Dave O’Higgins (1-35 from 11 overs) and Matt Craig kept things tight, with Dave bowling the opener for a duck.  The second wicket proved more troublesome and the captain called upon Steve Johns to eek out a wicket or two with his dubious off-spin (though he may have been expecting his very dibbly dobblies!).  This did however bear fruit as Steve removed the useful looking opener with a return catch off a leading edge for 25.  This was quickly followed up with the well-set number three, lbw for 21 and the number four was soon deceived into scooping to Malcolm Persaud at midwicket.  A fourth followed with a well taken edge to the Tony Ebert in the slips.  The five-wicket haul was completed with a drive to Peter Rice in the covers. Steve finished with 5-43 from his 10 overs.

However, from a position of relative strength, Dulwich struggled thereafter to finish off the tail.  After consolidation, their young number 7 began to take the attack to the bowlers – rather fortuitously surviving two dropped catches and a moment of controversy to make what turned out to be a match winning 56* to go with his 4 cheap wickets. Only Matt (1-30 from 11 overs) could make further inroads with an LBW – but Blackheath cruised home by 3 wickets with plenty of time to spare.

A good effort with an attack perhaps a little light on bowling, but plenty of room for improvement.  Roll on Saturday!