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Sat 20th Aug – 2nd XI v Old Whitgiftians

DULWICH 130-7 (40) beat OLD WHITGIFTIANS 133 (44) by 3 wickets (rain affected)

Scorecard

After The Chaos Engine had single-handedly seen off second placed Cranleigh last week, Dulwich entered the final three games requiring just one win to secure the Division 2 title.

First up a trip to Old Whitgiftians, who had inflicted a rare defeat on the Doggies earlier in the season. This was a chance to put that right – a fact that captain Bridgland was keen to emphasise as the 2nd XI left Dulwich at 6.45am for the 30 minute trip to Croydon(1).

As the team entered their fourth hour(2) of intense fielding drills, it was clear to see that this was an outfit at the top of their game. Not a catch was dropped nor a throw mis-directed; a theme that would surely continue throughout the day. With confidence high, the team were buoyed when Bridgland won the toss and, as ever, chose to field.

With most of the regular squad present – but Paddy George missing, whinging about how much he does for the club in sunnier climbs – it seemed like an ideal time to take the team photo. A league winning photo can proudly adorn a bar wall for decades and our readers will be pleased to see that it went as well as the rest of the match:

The Sam twins opened up tidily, well supported by this exceptional fielding side. Runs were hard to come by as the pair restricted Old Whits to just 18 runs off the first 10 overs.

Sam Saleem (7-0-10-1) was the first to strike, frustrating the opener into chipping straight to the experienced Ferguson at mid-off.  The very next over, Sam 'McLovin' Ellison, who had bowled a typically penetrating line, found the edge. Moving quickly to his left, Jonty Hirst executed a miraculous palmed stop to save 4 runs.(3) His effort did not go unrewarded as Bridgland – in anticipation of the leg stump line he intended to bowl – promptly swapped his gun(4) fielder to the specialist catching position of square leg.  Wicketless maybe, but McLovin put in a fine shift, bowling tighter than a[REDACTED](5) as he returned figures of 7-2-15-0.

After the strong opening, Old Whits threatened to make use of a flat batting track and boundaries began to flow. However, the Dulwich fielder had different ideas. The Old Whits opener flicked medium-pacer Hansie Cronje Matt Quaife(6) up to Hudson, who produced an exception two-handed diving slap-stop at mid-wicket to save three.(7) The very next ball, Fleming Quaife trapped the number three LBW.

Buoyed by the breakthrough, Bridgland and Hirst paired up to produce the standout cricket of the season so far. Bridgland, correctly identifying the batsmen's weakness as the leg-stump half volley, probed an accurate line. At square leg, Gary Pratt James Hirst put the batsmen under severe pressure.(8) First – a sprint round to mid-wicket to bring down the ball quickly in order to attempt a run out. Second – a flying leap to his right to save three. Third – he grasped in vain as he flew through the air like Simone Biles to get a finger tip to a thunderbolt. Inspiring stuff.(9)

At the other end, Butcher Quaife was on fire. So much so, that Bridgland allowed him to bowl all 10 of his spells at once. Attacking the stumps at a terrifying pace, he ripped through the top order. Another LBW and two bowled as he finished with an excellent 4/22.

With Dulwich on top, Thirsty and Fergie took up the reigns. The bowling may have changed, but the fielding was still tip-top. Some excellent chest-work from Julio Inglis save two certain boundaries whilst Quaife, anticipating his likely role with the bat, wisely saved his energy when the ball looped six inches in front of him. Housewives-favourite(10) Ferguson saved another 4 above his head(11), before showing his class with the ball as he found his way through defence after defence to finish with 5/30. As you can imagine, he looked delighted as he left the field! What an effort from the Doggies, keeping Old Whits to just 133/20 on a good batting track.

With a rain-adjusted total of 130 needed for the title, Playboy Raj Tulsiani and Enrique Inglis(12) began in belligerent mood; boundaries flowed and the target was soon down into double figures. No title is easily won though, and three quick wickets fell. First, the Asian Hugh Hefner was adjudged LBW for 20, quickly followed by Nick “Screech” Hudson (0) and the Spanish Sledger (19) as Dulwich tumbled to 40/3.

Cometh the hour, cometh the (ladies) man. Dulwich felt safe in the gentle hands of McLovin (24) as he caressed the ball around, even stroking it a little harder now and again as he lifted it over the top. At the other end, elder statesman, Zakir Rostami (29) bludgeoned the ball to all parts like a man half his age.(13)

But again quick wickets fell, bringing last week’s match-winning partnership back together at the crease. Steve Patankar eyed the legside boundary greedily. So greedily in fact, the Old Whits skipper swapped the young colt positioned at deep mid-wicket for a man with extra height. But Big Steve was not perturbed by the skipper’s mind games – “Lad. You’re the best keeper batsman in the league!"(14) he repeated to himself under his breath as he bludgeoned the ball in that direction. It was high – higher than The Prince on a Friday night. It was handsome – more handsome than the DILF himself. It was straight to the man. Gone for 2.

At the other end, Fergie had his game face on. This would be his first title since being crowned Most Eligible Bachelor 1989 by Nottinghamshire Weekly and he wasn’t going down without a fight. He nudged and nurdled, he flicked and forced his way to 19, but then – disaster! – he nicked off!

Dulwich only needed 20. But 20 seemed a long, long way off. The tension was palpable – Thirsty went to his trusty leg-side shuffle(15), Quaife showed off his lofted leave(16), Bridgland delivered his best Houghy impression as he paced the boundary.(17)

Then a four! The shovel connected. Then another! The lofted leave morphed into a lofted drive. A squirt through the slips and Dulwich were home with three wickets to spare. Victors! Champions! And what a way to do it. A faultless performance.(18)

EDITOR’S NOTES

(1) There are a number of inaccuracies in this article. Apologies to readers, and we hope that these footnotes provide sufficient clarity for a true reflection of the day’s events.
(2) Although the quality of the warm up was high, its length has been exaggerated. Exaggeration of length is not acceptable to this editorial team.
(3)There is no evidence to suggest that the looping, waist high edge to second slip would have even carried to the boundary. Furthermore, the name “Jonty” does not appear to be a widely accepted shortened version of “James”
(4) Like a potato gun perhaps. Or a faulty water pistol that leaks everywhere.
(5) This was deemed unacceptable to the high-brow readership of this weekly publication. Both Sams’s’s did indeed bowl well.
(6) Despite years of rumour and speculation, there is no evidence that Quaife has ever successfully fixed a test match
(7) There is no evidence to suggest that the slow, leading edge would have made it off the square, save for the momentum imparted by Hudson’s Schmeichel-esque diversion
(8) This is misleading. The dictionary defines pressure as “persuasion or coercion to make an individual behave in a certain manner”. The only coercion visible this weekend was to “keep chipping the ball in the air to square leg mate because there is no chance that ginger bloke will catch it.”
(9) Are we really going to publish this paragraph in the public domain? There have been fewer inaccuracies in the entire season of third team match reports’ description of G. Hough’s bowling. This looks like it was written by that chap who was the Iraqi minister of information, proofread by Bernie Madoff, and translated into doublethink by Richard Nixon. Ignorance really is strength.
(10) This is an evidence-based claim that we support fully.
(11) This probably would have gone for four, but the time it took the gentle(man) bowler to put enough strapping on his limbs to extend an arm fully, the chance was gone.
(12) “Would you dance, if I asked you to dance? Would you run (miss a straight one, get bowled), and never look back?
(13) So youthful is Rostami, and assured is Ellison, that it was often difficult to tell these two apart.
(14) This is an evidence based assertion. We’ve got the best keeper batsman in the league. We’ve got the best keeper batsman in the league. We’ve got the best keeper batsman. Best keeper batsman. Best keeper batsman in the league.
(15) Get on one knee and slog across the line.
(16) Close eyes, lift head, and swing hard.
(17) Bridgland was not being swept for four through midwicket. We’d like to assert that Houghy has never been swept for four.
‚Äč(18) As faultless as this match report is a reliable and trustworthy account of the day’s events.

Sat 13th Aug – 2nd XI v Cranleigh

DULWICH 225-4 (50) beat CRANLEIGH 185 (44.1) by 40 runs

Scorecard

‘There can only be one’

Picture this, a beautifully English overcast Saturday morning. 11:45 meet. The mighty top-of-the-league Dulwich Dogs chomping at the bit to get their teeth into second placed Cranleigh. Outfield brown, wicket green, Patrick George still complaining about all he does for the club. 

12pm: The lads emerge from the changing rooms like Lions on a hunt, the warm up is about to begin…

12:15pm: …the warm up is still going. WHEN! A Prince in a black BMW pulls into the car park, the ground shakes, hearts stop, panties drop, everyone holds their breath (apart from "Daddy" John Morris, walking past, asking the Prince whether he has the Vaseline – to the absolute disgust of his poor on looking mother. I digress…)

12:45pm: The toss loss. In a game full of rare occurrences, Dulwich were asked to bat first. Explicit instructions came from the captain: "Be greedy." The game was about to begin… 

1pm: Start of play. With the absence of the ever reliable long ball hitter The Tulsman, Screech (aka ‘Mr Hudson’ aka ‘Forever Young’) took up the mantle, striding to the crease with the ever lippy Enrique Inglis. Could he be our hero?

1:18pm: First wicket. Unfortunately not. Inglis was the first to depart LBW, shortly followed by ‘Huddo’, beautifully guiding a ball to gully and falling to Cranleigh's 12 year-old opening bowler - Zaki left watching the celebrations at the other end. Here entered arguably the most hated player in the circuit. Called a **** more times this season than he has had hot dinners, Prince strode out like a Gladiator entering his amphitheatre, knowing he had to get his head down.

1:28pm: The Anchor. Zaki and the Prince stood at the wicket. “Please give me one of your runs” the Prince begged Zaki, having reached the godly heights of 17 while the Prince was sitting on a 25 ball duck. On came Cranleigh's very own Thirsty Hirsty and, in a fashion that would make the man himself proud, he lured Zaki into snicking off with a ball so short and so wide it was taken on the next strip.

1:29pm: The Legend, The Pro, My Idol. Stuart Ferguson walked to the crease offering solid advice to the young Prince: "GET A F*CKING RUN". Fergie calmly caressed his first ball off the back foot for a single. The young Prince watched on in awe whilst the single was run and proceeded to block out the remaining five balls of the over.

2pm: Drinks. With The Prince finally off the mark Dulwich went into drinks 69 (favourite number) for 3, with strict instructions to rotate the strike. Fergo effortlessly found the gaps whilst the rock at the other end scampered singles on the odd occasion he got bat on ball.

2:10pm: The end of a Balchy-esque innings. Euan Johnson quite simply got the ball of the season, which saw him bowled, caught behind and stumped all in the same instance. Clueless as to what had happened he walked off for 17 off 76 balls - a solid innings from a solid bloke.

2:11pm: With the score 89/4 from 30 overs it wasn’t looking good. Until…

2:11:30pm: The Coach. With coaching via whatsapp from Wham Bamm Tulsman ("Get 180 then slog"), the best keeper-batsman in the league, and quite possibly the planet, entered the fray. Not soon after, Cranleigh were begging for the return of the Prince as the DILF Fergo and AJ started to show why Dulwich are top of the league. Spanking, smashing and bludgeoning with the occassional cry thrown in - it was starting to looki more like a scene from John Morris' Chinese Takeaway party than a cricket match.

2:55pm: The Redemption. After sending the ball to all parts of the ground and watching Cranleigh heads drop, Fergo and AJ both passed their half centuries - guaranteeing jugs for the boys! They managed to secure a respectable score of 225/4 off 50. Fergo 76* and AJ 69* (again, my favourite number).

3:30pm: Lunch. After hearing nonstop complaints from clubman through-and-through Patrick George  it became apparent this game was no longer merely for the top spot in the league but the top Euan Johnson in the league. With the Quaifester singing to the Prince all through lunch "You’re not even the best Euan Johnson in the league’" he knew we had to get off to a flyer.

3:35pm: O Captain My Captain. Jamesy Bridgey Bridgland took the new ball and entrusted The Prince to go and flirt the batsmen out so that while they weren’t concentrating he’d bowl and they’d miss a straight one. The master tactician had done it again, trapping the opener plumb in front of all three. To the extreme excitement of The Real Euan Johnson, his namesake was removed for just 2. There can only be one.

3:50pm: In came Cranleighs no. 3? After snicking off through vacant areas of the slip cordon Bridgey decided to take matters into his own hand, bowling an inducking yorker that took the base of the off stump. Captain Dulwich finished with 2-22 from 10 overs and was backed up well by young Sameer Saleem who bowled with good pace but little luck.

4:25pm: Resistance. After a period of Cranleigh fighting back admirably it was very much level at drinks. After some soul searching, strong leadership and words the Dogs went back.

4:27pm: The Dogs. Quaife Dog, The Quaife, Quaifeyyyyy was bowling well in hot conditions and found the edge that flew wide of gully, or so we all thought… Out of nowhere Zaki leaps like a salmon to take quite simply the best gully catch ever taken ever. Silencing all the haters – no man under 44 could take that catch. 

4:28pm: THE DOOOOOOGS. The next in leaves a disguised inswinger first ball. BOOM - top of off. Poor kid. 

4:29pm: HATTRICK BALL. Quaife steaming in. He releases. It’s a wide. A tragic end to a fairytale story.

4:50pm: Thirsty. Cranleigh were going along nicely rebuilding the ship when Thirsty Hirsty was chucked the ball. Quaife, who was doing well at hiding exhaustion from his spell, was swapped with yours truly. LIKE THAT he's back in the game with a ball two deliveries later chipped straight to The Prince at midwicket. Hirsty is already off necking a pint, Bridgey is celebrating, Fergo is reattaching his body. Alas, straight through the ball goes. But luckily 3 runs were saved…

4:55pm: Language Barrier. Hirsty was thus taken off and placed next to a shell of a being in the covers, still red faced & speaking in Northern tongues, I knew it was about me.

5:15pm: DILF. After a quiet period in the field on came The Real Fergie, now relentless in his hunt for the JL points. It wasn't long before he had made up for The Prince's mistake and dismissed both set batsman in quick secession.

5:45pm: All day they tried all day we dared. Finally it happened - a single to Inglis. Desperation does strange things to men under pressure. Next man in…

6:34pm: Fergie Time. Finding myself on the boundary (right in front of the other Euan Johnson's family), I was acosted by my mother who handed me a bottle of water and asked "Why don’t you stop flirting and finish them off?" Next ball, Fergie Ferg caught a blinder off his own bowling, ending with 3-19 off six overs and ball. 

Dulwich 225/4 from 50
Cranleigh 185 all out from 44.1 Overs

Alas it was fair to say on Saturday there was only one.

Sat 6th Aug – 2nd XI v Beddington

DULWICH 79-2 (15.1) beat BEDDINGTON 78 (29.5) by 8 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich faced Beddington on a warm summer Saturday at the DSG. Availability had been far stronger this week, with John 'Daddy' Morris, hero of Addiscombe and father(-figure) to all those under the age of 26, suffering the indignity of being dropped and recalled within two days. Skipper Bridgland returned from his groin strain having been given the 'all-clear' from a physio recommended by Raj 'The Tulsman' Tulsiani. Bridgland informed us that his recovery had been thanks to a series a streches which involved standing firm and clenching his buttocks. The Tulsman, fearing that he had given Bridgland the wrong number, grinned sheepishly. Also returning was underaged paceman Sam 'McLovin' Ellison, whom Daddy Morris asked 'How is it going with the Ladies?'. McLovin replied 'It is not the "going" I'm worried about…but the "coming"'; Daddy Morris was overwhelmed with fatherly pride.

Bridgland won the toss and elected to bowl, much to the dismay of the Beddington skipper. Bridgland shared the new pill with Hawaiian native McLovin, and was immediately successful thanks to an intimidating long-hop. McLovin followed suit, bowling Beddington's number 3 with one of the best balls of the day. By the end of their opening spell, the pair had removed five of the Beddington batsmen thanks to some good bowling and poor shot selection. With Beddington in disarray, wicket-thief and professional northerner James 'Thirsty' Hirst was brought into the attack. Without any provocation, Thirsty regaled the batsmen with a tale of his new mystery ball dubbed the 'Poosra'. The Poosra, whose precise definition is unknown even to Thirsty, is probably a half-tracker which squelches as it lands thus confounding the Batsmen. Needless to say, it was surely bowled and Thirsty, in combination with Daddy Morris' shorts enthusiast Chris Woakes five years ago Matt 'Up-and-Down' Quaife, winkled out the remaining batsmen for just 78. One dismissal was of note as it coincided with discussion of the title of Tino Best's new autobiography between Steve 'AJ' Patanker and Euan 'Chaos Engine' Johnson.

Tea had come embarassingly early, and those of us who were still picking lunch out of our teeth went over to watch the conclusion of the 3rd XI innings and another Matt Balch red inker.

Play had resumed to the surprise of the majority of the team. The Tulsman was opening with Andy 'The VP' Inglis. The Tulsman carved up the opening bowlers with a flourishing blade whilst the VP took advantage of an 8-1 offside field. Both were playing with panache and brio, until the Tulsman got a fine edge behind for 27. This brought this reporter to the crease, eager to prove my worth and merit Bridgland's trust. I was to do neither as I was bowled by a yorker first ball. I lumbered back to the hutch, and, once again, wallowed in my chagrin. Fortunately, the Chaos Engine was determined to not get out, even as he found the middle of his gloves early on. The VP continued and finished with 43 not out as he brought victory to Dulwich without any further falter.

Following confirmation of promotion, via Pat 'TFC' George's untrustworthy friend, much beer was imbibed especially by Thirsty who was last seen chinning three pints in thirty seconds.

Sat 30th July – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

DULWICH 103-1(30.2) beat ADDISCOMBE 100 (45.4) by 9 wickets

Scorecard

On a fairly overcast day at the DSG, Dulwich welcome strugglers, Addiscombe. A game that looked on paper to be a good chance for the Doggies to extend their lead at the top of the table, but, rest assured, it was an anything but a boring affair…

The pantomime of James Hirst

Act 1, Scene 1- business as usual for a clenched buttocked Quaife

The first step forward came at the toss. Matt Quaife (who just the evening prior was laid up in bed with a poorly tummy), in as skipper to try and extend his long unbeaten run (played 2, won 2 and never allowing a side to get above 120), won the toss and invited Addiscombe to bat.

Act 1, Scene 2 – a tale of two Sams, and the villain emerges…

Opening the bowling with the hugely promising pair of Sams, Dulwich made a great start. Keeping the visitors to around 1.5 runs per over, as the One Man Chaos Engine continually reminded them. The first wicket fell to an excellent piece of bowling and a very good catch behind the wicket from Boom Boom Bailey (see earlier match reports for details of explosive hitting power). Moments later, the Chaos Engine was back to offer Addiscome opener, Babe Ruth, some advice regarding which sport we were playing. Some needle that it seems proved useful, as the opener was dismissed just a few balls after. This is one of three wickets taken by Sameer in what was an excellent spell of bowling admired from a far as Bridgland opted to “umpire on the one” (credit M. Balch) to get the best view of a bowler threatening to cut his career short. When the opening bowlers had come off, Addiscombe had managed to get to 25-3. Both openers had bowled very well and the spell would have been more prolific if the Raj-procaimed pantomime villain, James Hirst hadn’t dropped a tricky chance at slip off Sameer.

Act 1, Scene 3 – the master spins his web, and villan casts his spell

Following a brief and edge of your seat spell from the skipper, that included a wicket, it was then over to the spin twins – Hook Hirst and Patrick George. Both settled in quickly and bowled very well. George taking the role of controlling spinner, whilst wickets were being wheedled out at the other end with Gaston Hirst using all of his experience and full bag o’tricks to get himself 4 more. George was very unlucky to only get one wicket, albeit an LBW that was so out that the batsman walked. There was, of course, some very careful figure protection from the evil Hirst, as he ensured a returning Sameer wasn’t afforded his first ever 5 wicket haul by dropping a second catch at second slip. A drop that saw his summarily dismissed to third man by Tulsyarni (regardless of how Jafar Hirst may claim it was his decision to move). This drop of course, allowed the Wicked Witch Hirst to nab the final wicket. 

All of this left Addiscombe being bowled out for 100. A very good bowling effort.

Act 2, Scene 1 – Experience paves the way but the villain has his say

To attack this modest total, Dulwich sent out the formidable pair of Tulsearny and Morris. With a combined experience of 87 years, and more aerial options than the US airforce, surely this would be over in a flash. Well, it wasn’t. Some cunning bowling from the opposition, who opted to go spin at both ends in to the pads of the left handed, Tul-c-ar-knee, runs were hard to come by. The occasional boundary came, but with very little strike rotation in between. Not satisfied however with unjustly robbing our young opening bowler of 5 wickets, Bill Sykes Hirst struck again. His loud brogue so prevalent from the boundary that the agitated Toll-c had to call for quiet mid over. 

Frustration soon took its toll (mainly at the villain) with Tulsiani out caught with the score on 42. This brought Zaki to the crease, and he set about things in an all together different fashion, hoisting his first over from the off-spinner for 16. This then lead to a fairly quiet period of play as the two (now with combined experience somewhere in the region of between 70 and 90 years tbc) set about the chase in a reasonably stress free manner. 

Act 2, Scene 2 – John gets an early Birthday present and the villian’s day is done 

The only real moment of note, came with 6 runs required. A frustrated leg spinner opted to challenge the Mighty Morris, on his Birthday, by telling him to “get on with it”. Morris responded by saying “float the ball out there and I will”. Mid run-up, the spinner said he would do just that, hoping to force a mistake from the unflappable Morris. Would the spinner double bluff? Would Morris take him on? Would he end up trudging off to much laughter after being out thought by the cunning leg spinner? 

He did indeed toss it up. Morris did indeed take it on. The ball is yet to be found. A mighty 6 to win the game. 1-0 Morris.

Dulwich won by 9 wickets. Special praise goes to all of the bowlers, particularly Sameer for his excellent opening spell and The Evil Step Sister Hirst, for conducting the proceedings from wherever on the pitch he was relegated to and for a very good spell of spin bowling. Cue a few drinks at the bar, which gave The Chaos Engine a chance for a packet of smokes, and 1st XI pro SKINNER!! a chance to dust off his wallet and buy us all a thimble of beer to share. I’ve seen bigger jugs on our opening batsmen than that!

Next-up, Beddington. 

Sat 23rd July – 2nd XI v Woking & Horsell

DULWICH 103-3 (20.5) beat WORCESTER PARK 101 (31.1) by 7 wickets

Scorecard

Dulwich travelled to deepest darkest Surrey to try and leave the narrow defeat of the week before behind. In fact they started off by leaving their leading run scorer and criminally under-bowled Zaki Rostami behind. Possibly an ageist thing – but more likely that, since his Beatles revival haircut, nobody recognised him at the club for the two hours he was there before the meet.

That said, the team assembled and got into some complex fielding drills courtesy of our own Level 2 coach Ian 'Straight Trippin'" Toppin – advanced throwing and catching was followed by the two lines drill. Matt 'Two Times' Balch – disrespected by not being in charge of the fielding drills or even being the one hitting the ball – proceeded to challenge the pro's drills. Suffice to say the quality of our warm up fielding was pants – which kind of explained how we caught everything and fielded well all day.

A lost toss meant we took the field on what felt like the hottest day of the year. The heat was evident from both ends. Samer Saleem playing his first Dulwich game of the year post terrorising the school circuit, terrorised the opposition's opening batsman with a good spell of fast bowling, grabbing a caught behind and adding to his reputation as a top prospect during his 6 over spell before succumbing to being a bit hot. 

At the other end skipper Quaife  bowled two foot out side the off stump and got a premeditated, instantaneous lbw with his only straight ball before succumbing to the heat after a lionhearted 3 over spell down hill.

At 9-2, despite the double change and obsessive sledging about footwork from Euan 'The Prince' Johnson things were looking good. A small partnership was broken by Trippin' Ian getting the Bailey-sized number three caught at slip off an attempted cut shot.

Their number four hung around for 45 balls for 18 which, constantly moving his feet towards Bauchy at square leg which only encouraged The Prince's efforts to coach him -  including a two over chat about keeping a strong base when attempting to hit the ball (see Johnson dismissal later). 

Wickets continued to tumble – generally all caught behind the wicket on the cut or chipped up to the ring with the batsman camped on the back foot.

The only other incident of note, as they were dismissed for 101 with Ian and Zaki taking 3 each, was our very own Mr Smiley 'Happy Face" Hirst throwing an absolute benny. After talking himself on for the cheap wickets, Happy took his customary wicket straight away – caught on the cut by Andy 'Baggy Pants' Inglis – and then settled in to bowl his customary line and length before being promptly taken of to allow skipper Quaife his 6th spell. He was later brought back, spitting feathers, and took a wicket caught on the drive with his first ball back. In between his two spells few were spared his wrath and liberal use of very rude words generally pointed at the captain and anyone else bowling, fielding, batting or in the vicinity of the ground. Dark side indeed.

After tea Dulwich had a shakey start with long on and long off posted back from the first ball. A single saw them brought in immediately much to the disappointment of opener Julio Inglis – who departed for a sparkling 6, all through point, taking issue with his dismissal by reluctantly trudging off after a humongous inside edge to the keeper.

Playing his 65th game of the year, run machine Zaki clearly was still angry at being left at the club so decided that evey ball should be played through mid on. After being missed at slip playing to mid on and then getting lbw doing the same, he walked off nodding his head in agreement with umpire Bridget's pre meditated instantaneous decision. 

At 16-2 some jitters may have started to surface, as we had 6 of the 3rd XI side soundly whooped by Wimbledon a couple of week, before and more importantly The Prince was on his way to the wicket – a one man chaos engine.

The Prince proceeded to get hit on the pad, play and miss and get all the sledging in a short innings that one might expect in a 100 over Croydon Derby. Much was made of his own 'Come Dancing' footwork – roundly scoring zero from the judges. An authoritative clip through mid on for four was followed by him telling the bowler that he could hit him there all day every day, for ever and ever. This increased the sledging until the ex captain of the colts and proud wearer of his 2007 London schools kit simply could take no more and finally folded with a tame chip to mid of – a shot which was he later  described, after smoking 18 of Hirst's fags and drinking liberally from the multiple jugs, as a mistimed hit for six brought on by the non-striker Tulsiani laughing uncontrollably when the oppo were calling him Elton John (still not sure why). #talkedoutprincey

This brought 'Skin Up' Skinner PhD to the crease, who played well for 21 not out including some lovely timing through midwicket. In the end the final result looked easy, Tulsiani finishing on 55 not out and also being the only person staying for a beer with the opposition – although that may have been to complain about something.

Dulwich enjoyed another win without some of our best players. With 124 points to play for, and Cranleigh and Old Whits still to play, the season has a long way to go.

Nice to be top though!