DULWICH 225-9 (50.5) lost to OLD WHITGIFTIANS 226-8 (50) by 2 wickets
First and third in the league table clashed in a very tight encounter. Old Whitfigitians won the toss and inserted Dulwich into bat. A hot day it was, and runs were flowing in both innings.
Dulwich got off to great start with Andrew Inglis and Fergie pilling up some runs in the first few overs. With Inglis playing effective stroke play which brought him boundaries and Fergie knocking it around, the bowlers had no answer. There were some problems for Old Whitgiftians opening bowler Shahrayz Nazim – stand-in umpire Ollie Steward, with the most casual umpire attire and a rather old sunhat and shorts sporting an increasing amount of painful sunburn to his calves, was called into early action to signal several no-balls. The partnership between Inglis (64) and Fergie (34) had come to an end with Fergie going first and then Inglis shortly after. Zakir Rostami was also dismissed for 9. Euan “The Prince” Johnson was brought to the crease. The Prince had accumulated bulk of runs with some enterprising shots impressing spectating Grandmother and Mother. Mid-way through the innings there was a dispute between two team-mates of the opposition. Amir Raza had told Old Whitgiftians opening batsman Vishal Khetia to up the ante in his fielding. This caused an outbreak between them, with other teammates and the umpire helping settle matters. The fall of Inglis brought the introduction of colts graduate, Will Deasy, playing his first game for the 2nd XI.
Not long after a rather royal innings from The Prince, Johnson also fell for 31. This had brought another debutant, Sam Ellison, to the crease. Both new boys needed to rebuild the Dulwich innings but Old Whitgiftians struck breaking the partnership in quick succession as Deasy endured a short stay of 1 run as he was out LBW by Simon Yousaf and Ellison for a duck of the same bowler. Yousaf claiming 3 wickets in the match early on as he continued to bowl 21.5 overs in the innings. The falling of the two new boys had brought none other than the best wicket-keeper batsman in the league AJ Patanker and captain Bridgey to the crease. AJ scoring a fluent 41 runs before getting out having steered the ship brilliantly for Dulwich. Captain James Bridgland (7) and James Hirst (5) provided good support to AJ giving him most of the strike. Bridgland was dismissed first followed by Hirst had brought Patrick George (7*) to the crease. Unlike his bowling unit partners he decided he wasn’t going to settle for playing the support role and launched a big six down the ground which shocked the opposition, as well as his own teammates. Shortly after AJ’s innings of 41 had come to an end with one ball to spare, Dulwich had declared on 225 for 9 sending Old Whitgiftians in to bat 50 overs to chase the runs down. Simon Yousaf claimed 5 wickets taking the wickets of Inglis, Johnson, Bridgland, Ellison and Deasy in his long spell of 21.5 overs. Spinners, Amir Raza and Dinesh Yoganathan providing good support to the medium pacer taking two wickets apiece.
The Old Whitgiftians chase had begun with Captain Fantastic Bridgey and new boy Ellison bowling with the new rock. The pair had provided good control beating the bat countless amount of times. Sam Ellison was the first to strike taking the wicket of Sumit Jain with the skipper taking the catch at mid-off. As the pair continued Old Whitgiftians struggled to find their way into the innings. Vishal Khetia played some dazzling shots as he accumulated most of the runs in that partnership as the innings went on. The skipper had made changes at both ends bringing two thirds of the One Direction clan, paceman and newly qualified ECB Level 2 Coach Ian Toppin and the left arm orthodox of George. Toppin first ball was hit for four. His reply was a quicker straight ball which crashed into the pads of Amir Raza, resulting in his dismissal LBW for 14. Toppin’s celebration was rather animated after being hit for four off the first ball of his spell and had given the batsman the perfect reply in dismissing him. Toppin and George had bowled in tandem and took three wickets between them. Toppin dismissed Shahrayz Nazim for a duck caught by the veteran Fergie in the slips and George then dismissing Vishal Khetia for 37. This had brought Shaz Rana and Arun Ramamurthy to the crease. Toppin struggled with direction but still bowled some testing deliveries to both batsmen as George put the ball in danger area. The introduction of Stuart Ferguson came shortly after and he provided some control in Dulwich bowling.
Throughout the innings there was some rather good chat coming from Lanky favourite James Hirst and The Prince, who made frequent use of “be the hero mate” in a bad attempt to get into the batsmen’s heads. Shaz Rana played the anchor role by adding some healthy runs in the run chase. James Hirst was introduced into the attack and he had took the wicket of Ramamurthy with a rank long hop which he had decided not to celebrate. It was clear to see the chat had paid off. With Shaz Rana still in Raj Chatwal provided good support to make 26 runs in their partnership. Hirst then removed Shaz Rana with AJ taking an unbelievable catch behind the stumps. Wicket-keeper Rory Subba Row and Raj Chatwal had piled up some runs on the counter attack to Dulwich’s wicket taking bowling. Mid-way through that partnership a rather bizarre moment on the cricket field had occurred. Lila the Dog had decided to empty her bowels on the field as the crowd stopped and gazed over at the dog in laughter. Row was then dismissed for 37 after the introduction of George dismissing him LBW. Dinesh Yoganathan then continued the onslaught and put Old Whitgiftians in a good position. Soon after Captain Bridgey had brought himself back on dismissing Raj Chatwal for 26 with an excellent Yorker. Fergie was then brought on again for one more over – Dinesh Yoganathan dispatching this over for some boundaries which meant Old Whitgiftians needed 12 off the last over. The second last ball of this over proved an important part of match. At this point Old Whits still needed 7 off 2 to win the match. Yoganathan launched a big pull shot. Toppin at the mid-wicket boundary had set his sights on taking the catch. The ball was sailing over him and he tried to push the ball back into play to save the 6 but failed to do so with a brave effort. Yoganathan had scored the winning runs for Old Whits to end a good game of cricket all round, winning by just two wickets off the last ball.