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Sat 21st May – 2nd XI v Orpington

DULWICH 238-8 (50) lost to BANK OF ENGLAND 241-7 (48.2) by 3 wickets

Scorecard

On what turned out to be a chilly, blustery day at the Bank of England, Dulwich 2nd XI were unfortunately on the receiving end of their first defeat of the season, losing to the BofE by 3 wickets.

With the threat of rain looming throughout the morning, stand-in skipper Nick Hudson elected to bat having won the toss on what looked to be a good batting deck.

With a changed side, Nick and Ed Towner started Dulwich off brightly scoring quickly around the wicket with aces splitting the field to the boundary and some additional smashes crashing to the boundary. Nick, looking settled for the long haul, nicked into the slips to depart for 18. Ed and Sam Tennant absorbed some pressure from the BofE bowlers as they were backed by some good field settings. Sam was unfortunate to clip onto his pads and loop into the keepers hands leaving Ed and Jack Anderson to continue the rebuilding work. Ed and Jack continued their partnership and looked to accelerate after some tight bowling, Ed departing for a good 54. Jack and Kamran, starting watchfully, continued to score around the ground, Jack working the ball around and punishing the bad ball was unfortunate to be caught for 47 on the rope. Kamran continued to score freely and started to open up a little more departing for 61 supported by some late cameos from Guy Skinner and Ben Lester to finish the set at 238-8 after the full 50.

By this point, light rain, threatening throughout the day had started to fall, covers on, off for tea. After a mix-up with two matches arriving for tea at once, the game resumed an hour later. Throughout tea the light rain became a bit more persistent and the rag hunt began.

Kam and Chris Hope, from the National Tennis Centre end, started the second set. Hope bowling economically throughout his ten overs ending up with 1-23 - a sharp catch taken in the slips from Nick. Kam with the additional pace and a ball getting increasingly tricky to grip saw the fence a little more on this flat deck but was rewarded with a caught behind and Sam snaffling a catch at point. Imran coming into the attack, saw another sharp catch taken in the slips from James Hirst, a one-handed diving forward job! BofE four down at drinks with 91 on the board, Dulwich in control of proceedings at this point and firmly on top. The two new batsmen, taking advantage of conditions with the ball becoming difficult to grip, managed to pick up runs on what was still a good batting deck, anything off-target being sent to the fence. With some tough chances and a bit of luck going their way, BofE built one of two partnerships turning the game back their way. James Hirst breaking one partnership with a third slip catch from Nick, 100% success in the cordon and a catch on the boundary for Guy Skinner for a swift 78 again from Hirst, finishing with 3-50 off ten. The 8th wicket pair coming together at 162 in the 37th over saw BofE home. With gripping the wet ball, bowling became increasingly difficult and BofE were able to pick runs up regularly to frustrate Dulwich finishing with just over two overs spare for a very late and disappointing finish, Dulwich having snatched defeat from a very promising position.

Some good performances with bat and ball show there's plenty more to come from this Dulwich squad.

Sat 14th May – 2nd XI v Oxted and Limpsfield

DULWICH 115-8 (46) beat OXTED AND LIMPSFIELD 114 (47.3) by two wickets

Scorecard

When asked to describe the definition Total Football, the late, great Johan Cruyff described it as the tactics where “attackers could play as defenders and defenders as attackers. Everyone could play everywhere.” Last Saturday at Burbage Road, the Dulwich 2nd XI channeled the legend of Cryuff and gave Oxted & Limpsfield a lesson in 1970’s Dutch flair.

With ears still burning following a pathetic fielding display the previous week, skipper Johan Bridgland Cryuff decided to take things back to basics with a game of shorts vs trackies football and some kamikaze team fielding. Having survived all activities unscathed and injury free, the toss took place and we were in the field.

After a brutal opening spell last week in which he could have easily bagged a ‘Michelle’, the skipper was again revved up from the Turney Road end, beating the opposition skipper's outside edge at will whilst roughing up his partner. Both struggled to cope with the pace and aggression of both Bridgland and a return to form Kam Munawar until the 9th over when some frank and honest advice from the square leg fielder saw the captain trapped LBW by Bridgland. Two balls later and Bridgland was at it again, this time bowling their number three. With Oxted and Limpsfield on the backfoot, Dulwich strapped in for 15 overs of attrition from the brains trust of Ferguson and Quaife. Whist the opposition batsmen struggled to cope and the corden struggling to stay awake, the boys ushered themselves into drinks with two overs of fun at the expense of Matt 'Colly/Dimi' Quaife, and a would-be-partnership-breaking over courtesy of the baby-faced Ben Lester.

Coming out for the second half with the score at 4/52, Ferguson completed his spell with the absurd figures of 2/11 for the second week in a row, before Munawar came back to blast out the middle order with his finest spell of 2016 and close out with 2/35. With Quaife’s (0/18 off nine) face looking redder than Angus Fraser’s into the wind at Barbados, the skipper (2/18) decided nine overs was enough for the young PHD student and so decided to bring himself back on for a second gallop to see whether we could polish things off for an early tuna sandwich. Despite not adding to his first spell two-for, runs were still at a premium and so it was left to the pin up Lancastrian Ben Lester (3-18 off five) to wrap things up with a fine spell of tweakers, mixing things up expertly with a bowled victim, a stumping courtesy of AJ (who had a fine day behind the sticks) and a chip up to Screech at mid-wicket. Arguably the most improved player in SE24, the young Vernon Kaye seems set for a huge 2016, despite the threat from a team littered with talented (yet unused) off spinners. Despite 20 runs in wides and no balls, we were pretty satisfied bowling Oxted out for 114.

Unfortunately, the response didn’t go plan. In what we can only hope was our worst two hour spell of the season, emerged a performance by two stalwarts of Dulwich that will long live in the memory, as skipper ‘Johan Cruyff’ Bridgland and Matt ‘Johan Neeskens’ Quaife together played a partnership of Total Cricket that will send shockwaves around Cranleigh, Roehampton and Croydon. At 7/74, Quaiffey entered the fray with the wicket crowded and Oxted on top. Unperturbed, the scholar was quick to counter, dancing down the track at will to punch straight whilst defending resolutely with discipline unseen previously by his colleagues. It was a batting masterclass that will surely be drawn upon throughout the year in loftier batting positons. At the other end, AJ was cool and calm, playing a counter punching innings of his own before some well earned praise from his team mates on the sidelines delivered the mocker's curse and his downfall via a slash to point. 8/82 off 35. Enter skipper Bridgland, all shoulders, chaffe and determination. On his first trip to the middle since August (so fresh that he forgot he wore glasses when batting), the skipper looked every bit a top order batsmen as he too mixed perfect defence with sharp footwork and counter attacking drives. As confidence grew, he was soon taking on throws where he knew the keeper was unsighted by the sun. Fluke, stupidity or genius? Soon there were three on the fence, as the experienced Oxted and Limspfield lineup had no answers for our Dutch masters, who put on a masterclass in discipline, strike rotation and stroke play. It was Total Cricket at its best. Running out of bowling options, the Oxted leader turned to his 15 year-old opening bowler and destroyer of the Dulwich top order. Would he produce another stunning return catch? Or another straight gazunder? In the end, as the Dulwich heroes glided and clipped him around – from 6/58 and 7/74, the doggies were home in a canter. Top of the league. Easy! Easy (ahem – not quite)!

Next stop Mark Carney’s Bank of England and some of the finest sarnies in the Surrey.

Sat 7th May – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

DULWICH 253-6 (50) beat ADDISCOMBE 130 (28.5) by 123 runs

Scorecard

Whilst Edward Thomas remembered Addlestop, Dulwich 2nds will remember Addiscombe. The season began on a beautiful day with a comprehensive victory to which everyone contributed.

After winning the toss, Dulwich elected to bat. Ferguson and Hudson started positively, dispatching bad balls and sauntering slowly between the wickets. When Hudson departed for 18, Rostami took over where he had left off and the scoreboard rattled along. Ferguson rolled back the year with power and placement, especially through the cover region. He departed for a fine 38 of 48 balls, ensuring that the slip cordon would have one more strike rate to be informed about at length all season…

Whilst the pitch’s slope was reminiscent of Lord’s, the behaviour wasn’t. After edging to 4th slip Zakir stood his ground, resulting in a confrontation and a strange atmosphere: surely this was the first time that non-striker Balch had been the less antagonistic batsman of a pair?

The pair both batted well through the middle overs as the bowlers found their lengths, before both departing for 45. Munawar got off the mark for the season with a straight six before falling LBW for 15.

At this point, it looked like Dulwich might not capitalise on the strong platform established. However, Steward and Anderson navigated the 10 overs expertly. Steward, particularly, bullied anything short and both batsmen ran with real intent. Steward’s innings ended with an entirely unwarranted round of applause as he raised his bat, kissed the badge and lifted his helmet for a well-made 48 not out.

After a self-service tea with plenty of E-numbers we headed out into the field in the afternoon heat as spectators caught the sun on the boundary; Dulwich caught very little.

Skipper Bridgland was at his metronomic best early on, beating the outside edge regularly. Munawar was more erratic but got on the board first as a leading edge spiralled into the slip cordon. Bridgland began to draw edges which followed Balch around the slip cordon: one at first and one at second establishing a proud 100% catching record in the slips, just 100% in the wrong direction. The skipper, realising he was getting no assistance from the cordon, decided to do it himself and picked up 3 LBWs.

Ferguson, brought on at first change, began with a maiden, then another, then another. In combination with Hope, the bowling squeezed the life out life out of Addiscombe, nagging away at off stump relentlessly. Inevitably, cracks emerged and the wickets fell despite another drop at slip off Hope. The opposition were reduced to 77-7 with Ferguson sitting on figures of 5 overs, 4 maidens, 1 for 4 and Hope on 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 for 7.

Proud Yorkshireman Hope showed his county’s traditional charitable side to the new batsmen, 2 Afghani teenage refugees playing their first cricket match on a proper cricket pitch, by serving up length balls which were absolutely marmalised over his head. Channelling Ben Stokes, Hope was hit for 3 sixes in the over, one of which is still on its way up.

Turning to Hirst’s slow left arm stopped the rot as he was rewarded for giving the ball some flight with two good catches in the deep. The innings ended comically with a Balch drop at mid on which turned into a Balch run out as the batsmen scrambled for an improbable two.

An impressive first victory of the season with contributions from all.