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Sat 26th August – 3rd XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 280-7 (50) beat SUNBURY 237 (44.5) by 43 runs

Scorecard

Following a straightforward and comfortable win last week at Walton-On-Thames, Dulwich 3’s welcomed fellow mid-table side Sunbury to the intimidating surrounds of the DSG. Dulwich were looking to make a strong finish to the season after some disappointing performances in early August; the players in the side from last week were pleased to wake up on Saturday morning to hot weather, knowing it would force Stingwray to shelve his new dog jumper, which gained plenty of unwanted attention from the team and in particular, John Morris.

The obligatory warm up took place, with plenty of ground fielding and catching exercises. The boys were impressive and showed the Sunbury players that they dare not even think about hitting the ball in the air. Captain Bailey steamed out to the middle and somehow won the toss, opting to take the first opportunity to bat on, what looked to be a decent pitch.

Dulwich opened up with Cian Scannell and James Chudley, with the latter taking the first ball. Sunbury skipper Birch came charging into Chudley, who nicked it with soft hands and ran away down to third man for four. The next ball, Birch dragged down a rank long hop, which Chudley top-edged to mid-on. Dulwich 4-1 after 0.2 overs. This brought Harry Chathli to the crease, who looked a little edgy early doors but soon got into his stride, rotating the strike well and put the poor deliveries away; in particular playing some lovely on-drives through wide mid-on.

The first round of Sunbury bowling changes, brought Lier and Bentall into the attack. Lier bowling with some away swing and Bentall bowling some loopy off-spin (off a c. 15 yard run up). Scanell was looking solid, playing a text book cover drive before launching Bentall for two fours down to long on. The pair put on 83 before Scannell fell for 25 at 87-2 after 18.1 overs. Chathli, equipped with his girlfriend’s trainers, and in the face of some smelly / below-average chat from the opposition, pushed on and was now joined by Andy Keen. Chathli brought up his 50 in the 25th over with an excellently guided four over the slips, much to the outright disgust of Lier; who was still seething from an LBW decision turned down in his previous over, only for Keen to hit a straight six over his head three balls later.

It would be Bentall who was to strike next. The loopy, flighty off spin appeared to be enough for Keen, who tried to hit the ball out of London, duly bowled for his stupid effort. Chathli soon followed for a well made 55 (5 x 4s). Cormac Meade came and went for 6, also bowled by Bentall. 87-1 had become 143-5. New batsmen Faizal Kassam and Andy Bailey set about re-building the innings to a total which justified the conditions. Faz looked in bullish mood, destroying any loose bowling and playing some excellent shots off his legs. Bailey played a strong supporting role, rotating the strike and putting away the occasional short ball (half volleys to men of normal stature). The pair progressed well and Faz brought up his 50 (7 x 4s) in the 40th over and, with the score on 185-5, skipper Bailey could smell the opportunity of bringing up the highest team score of the season for the 3s.

Faz continued to move through the gears and, aided by some strange field placings, preceded to cream the ball to all parts of the ground. Sunbury’s fifth change bowler, Pillai, bore the brunt of Faz, going for 21 off his only over. Bailey was soon to fall after top edging a pull shot off Lier for a good 25, with the score on 242-6 and a partnership of 99. Ben Lester came and went for 5 after risking his own wicket in an attempt to rotate the strike for Faz; who at this point would probably have sold all of his cricket gear for a toke on his e-cigarette, looked like he was going to make the big ton. Rordon Daws gave Faz the strike at every opportunity and he needed 2 runs from the final ball of the innings. Completely unaware of this requirement, Faz smashed the final ball into his pads and ran one, to finish agonisingly on 99* (15 x 4s) with Daws closing on 3*. An excellent innings from Faz and Dulwich ended on 280-7 from their 50 overs. Sunbury didn’t bowl with much discipline; bowling 20 wides (including Stingwray’s new favourite leg side wide rule) and 12 no balls. Although their wicketkeeper had a good game, only conceding 6 byes. The pick of the Sunbury bowlers was the young Lier, taking 3-60 from his 10 overs.

With the boys full up after a DSG tea, and with the confidence levels high, Bailey lead his team out to defend our 280 total. Rordon Daws and Will Palmer took the new ball for Dulwich with Daws striking immediately in his first over, trapping Hussain infront for 0. His opening partner Pillai, now joined by Finlay, immediately looked to play aggressively, dispatching any loose bowling  and the score rattled on to 40 before Daws clean bowled Finlay in the 9th over for 9. Wicketkeeper Rathore then looked to build a partnership with Pillai.

James Chudley and Josh Nava had now been brought into the attack; the latter bowling some good leg spin, bowling with plenty of flight in an attempt to seduce the batsman into something silly. Sunbury always ensured they were still in the game and kept the scoreboard ticking over. Nava was unlucky not to pick up one or two wickets as a couple of aerial shots didn’t go to hand. The score had now moved on to 114-2 after 25 overs and Bailey replaced Chudley with Lester, looking to break the partnership that was now worth 77. The change turned out to be inspirational as the big hitting Rathore (44) smoked Lester down to Long On where Will ‘Venus Fly Trap’ Palmer produced an excellent catch, engulfing the ball whilst diving forward; even prompting a rare thumbs up from Stingwray on the quiet. Lester was not finished yet, as he had Pillai adjudged LBW two balls later for 54. Lier was next to fall for Sunbury as Lester induced a big shot which was caught by Chathli, giving him the opportunity to provide a send off for his nemesis. With the score on 124-5, Dulwich felt like they were back in the game.

Ranjit and Bains looked to get the Sunbury innings moving again before Bains, holed out to Daws on the mid-wicket boundary for 20. The score was now 155-6 and Dulwich felt like they were in charge of the game. All this was to change as Sunbury skipper Birch strode to the crease and was caught behind first ball, only to find Lester had bowled a front foot no-ball. What became evident in the following overs was that Birch hits a clean ball. Lester and the returning Chudley bore the brunt of Birch’s hitting who was now building a solid partnership, with Ranjit playing the supporting role. Lester again appeared to have Birch’s wicket, Daws catching a waist high full toss at deep mid-wicket; only for the square leg umpire to call for a no-ball.

This partnership took Sunbury to 224-6 off 42 overs with many of the Dulwich fielders twitching. Will Palmer, bowling his second spell from the near end, had Ranjit well caught by Lester at deep square leg for 20. After the batsman crossed, Birch responded by blasting a monstrous six over long on. Desperate to get Birch out, Bailey searched around the field for the golden arm, but had to look no further than cover where Cian Scannell was already fancying his chances. A loopy off-spinner from Scannell induced a loose shot from Birch which was swallowed by Palmer at mid-wicket. The very next ball produced exactly the same outcome with Bentall mishitting a massive six into the waiting hands of Will Palmer at mid-wicket.

This brought Burrows to the crease, who had not played cricket before. Scannel was on a hat trick and the fielders were round the bat. Stingwray, who was attempting to ensure the fielding regulations were adhered to, was told to ‘Come on – I don’t even care’ by Burrows. Unfortunately Scannell couldn’t convert the hat trick and the batsman scampered through for a bye. Palmer took the final wicket, having Burrows caught at point by Keen. Sunbury were all out for 237.

A strong performance from Dulwich who closed the gap in the table behind Sunbury to four points. Dulwich welcome Sutton to the DSG next week in the final game of the season, hoping to close on three consecutive wins.

Sat 29th July – 3rd XI v Reigate Priory

DULWICH 140 (44.3) abandoned vs REIGATE PRIORY 7-1 (2.3)

Scorecard

On what started out as a bright, sunny day, the Dulwich 3rd XI faced Reigate Priory at the DSG. As the team ventured out to warm up, and in some cases, sweat out Friday’s liquid refreshments, the heavens provided refreshment of their own. This proved to be a  recurring theme throughout the day.

Stand-in skipper Jones duly lost the toss and Dulwich were put in by the opposition.

Scannell and Chathli opened up, the latter trying to create a new fashion trend on the cricket scene by batting in Nike Air Max trainers. After battling through some tight bowling, skipper Brickley decided that Chathli was his type on paper and he was sent packing by the opening bowler for 4.

Woodgate arrived at the crease and proceeded to hold the fort with Scannell for a short while, before being adjudged LBW off Brickley. Enter Casson, the South African nursing his wounds after his national team’s dismal display at the Oval the night before. He fell, like many of his comrades, LBW after a short stay in the middle.

All the while, Scannell continued about his business scoring where he could on a sluggish outfield. Shortly after the introduction of young Stone at the crease, Scannell was caught at mid-on via top edge playing early to a length ball. A well made 17.

Durrani and Stone then stabilised the faltering Dulwich innings with the precipitation getting heavier by the minute – Durrani with a Keaton Jennings-esque wagon wheel and Stone with some sublime stroke play.

"Towel T-Shirt" gate was in full flow again on the sideline as Knightsbridge proclaimed his disgust at several favoured colours not being available in the sale.

The amusement continued when Durrani pushed the ball back down the wicket to bowler McInley and asked him to throw it at him. McKinley duly obliged and the throw caught the Reigate keeper flush on the knee, bringing cheers from the sideline and everyone else on the field.  This was also the bowler that was, according to young Stone, “absolutely rapid when I faced him in the Under 9s”.

Durrani perished when he deposited a rank long hop from bowler Tiley straight down the throat of cow corner. Swashbuckling Arabi played his short innings with familiar aggression before being dismissed by a somewhat spectacular diving caught and bowled effort by McInley.

Knightsbridge arrived, thankfully wearing a regular Dulwich shirt rather than a towel variety, and proceeded to rotate the strike nicely with Stone, until the vertically challenged of the two got voted off by Tiley for a well constructed 27.

Skipper Jones struggled on what was becoming a minefield of a wicket, nurdling the dual spin attack of Tye and Tiley around before Tiley snared a leading edge from Jones off his own bowling, seemingly without looking at the ball, for the second ridiculous caught and bowled of the day.

Ramakrishnan saw off 3 deliveries somewhat unconvincingly before the umpire called for the covers. Tea was taken and after a delay of 45 minutes, Knightsbridge and Ramakrishnan strode back out to the middle. After playing his shots, Ramakrishnan duly cut the ball to backward point, bringing Day to the fore.

A quick scoring partnership, punctuated by Day’s technique that some may say should have saw him in at 10, brought the opening bowler Brickley back and this did for Knightsbridge. Dulwich 3rd XI all out for 140.

A quick turnaround saw Jones start with the new ball. The captain bowled an excellent length, making use of the gremlins in the wicket, asking all sorts of questions of the openers. In an inspired move, Arabi was handed the new cherry at the other end and proceeded to turn the ball a literal mile and did for Tye, stumped, after he ran down the wicket before even having a look – utter stupidity.

Jones ran rings around the batsmen for 3 further deliveries before the DSG head groundsman put an end to the their ordeal, calling off the match. A muted end to what was shaping up to be a corker of a game in the gloomy conditions.

Sat 15th July – 3rd XI v Malden Wanderers

DULWICH 218 (41.4) lost to MALDEN WANDERERS 271-5 (53.5)

Scorecard

On a drizzly, murky Saturday in New Malden, Dulwich had hopes to conquer and challenge the top four in the league. Malden Wanderers on the other hand were fighting a battle against relegation having won just 2 of their 11 games this season. A one-sided match on paper, but unbeknownst to us it wasn’t to be.

Dulwich won the toss and elected to bowl on a wet, sticky wicket with boundaries barely reaching 40 yards. Dreams of bowling the opposition out cheaply, knocking the runs off in style for an early finish followed by a night filled with desperate tinder-swiping ensued. It was a mix of the youth and the wise, Max Swanson and Chris Hope, to take the new ball. The dreams however, were soon to be shattered by the Malden openers, Hammond and Walters, who took advantage of the short boundaries from the get-go. The opening bowlers, steaming in on uneven ground, struggled to hit their marks in wet conditions. A top-edge from Hammond off a quick, short ball from Swanson flew over the keeper for six; revealing the sort of day it was going to be. A couple of full tosses from Hope, who on Thursday had called “shotgun” on doing the match report, were duly dispatched to the square leg fence. After being shunned out of the attack and seeing his bowling figures (6-0-29), his enthusiasm for the match report quickly faded. Knighty, back from nursing a broken hand took his mark. By now though, the openers were set and continued to use the short boundaries to their advantage. Drinks provided some respite, with the score at 110 odd for none after 25.

There was a change in tempo after drinks, with the dual spin of Gokhul and Patrick putting the squeeze on the opening pair. Less than 30 came off the next 10 overs. Without a wicket though, Dulwich knew that an assault was coming. All we could do was continue the squeeze and pray for a dismissal. The opening pair started to accelerate, with Hammond choosing the sweep as his method of attack. The spin-twins held their nerve well to minimise the damage, but something needed to give. Faz decided it was time for some well-directed terrible chat to Hammond, letting him know that he wouldn’t want to get out so close to a century. Then it happened, the ball was tossed up and induced the false shot. Hammond was dismissed, LBW to Ghokul for 92, with Faz quick to claim the wicket as his own.

The Malden number 3, who had been in a helmet having throw-downs for two and a half hours strolled out onto the field, only to be sent back by the skipper and replaced by their big-hitter. And big did he hit it, despatching his first ball to the square leg fence and the second over cow-corner for mammoth six. That was to be the end of it though, being adjudged LBW to Patrick for 11. The onslaught had started, and a few cameos from Malden’s middle order racked up the runs despite Swanson’s valiant efforts at the death. The declaration came leaving Dulwich needing 272 off 47 overs for the win. A special mention to Patrick, who kept things tight in the middle, finishing with 14-2-31-1.

Faz and Cian were sent out to face the music. Cian fell early, edging a full delivery from Bateman through to the keeper. Faz at other end started well, despatching some short balls from Bateman to the boundary and bullying Bryant, the under-13 opening bowler, out of the attack by smashing him over his head and through the covers. The change in bowling worked for Malden with Faz, in Quinton De Kock-esque style, inside-edging a pull onto his pads with the ball ricocheting towards the stumps. In a desperate attempt to save his wicket, he ensured he was out by attempting to kick away the ball, but accidentally kicking his stumps. Dismissed for 20 runs off 13 balls wasn’t what he envisioned when he was practicing his switch hit against a 45mph bowling machine mid-week.  Darren Cason and Andy Kean continued with the aggression; Darren looking in sublime form and Andy flicking the seam bowling of Bateman over square for a glorious six. The pair reached 66 off 11 overs, until Darren nicked one to the keeper off Hopkins for 25. Andy followed soon after for 18, smashing one straight back to the bowler who took a sharp catch. It was up to Bails and Patrick to rebuild, but Patrick was soon back on the bench for 5. Enter Jonny Stone, with the score at 108 for 5 after 20 overs.

On the sideline, Knighty revealed plans to purchase a “towel t-shirt”. Starting at £69.99 for the basic model with prices rising to £125 for a polo, he informed us that the towel t-shirt is perfect for one who enjoys a swim while on a yacht or walking on a beach at sunset. This strongly divided opinion, and a raging debate followed between Knighty and everyone else who realised the stupidity of the idea. More was discovered about Knighty, when he publicised that he and an unknown cricket-acquaintance used to take naps together in the changing room.

Back to cricket, Bails and Stone began to rebuild. Bails played a patient innings, while Stone delivered some delightful shots to give Dulwich some hope. The runs started to flow again, and so did the wickets, with Bails being bowled for 26. Stone was left to nurse the lower order, but it wasn’t to be as he was dismissed for 35. Despite some big shots from the tail-enders and nine of the batsman reaching double figures, the task proved too much and Dulwich were dismissed for 218 in the 42nd over. Spare a thought for Hope, who’ll have to lie about his figures to his fiancé for fear of the wedding being called off later this year.

On a drizzly, murky Saturday in New Malden, Dulwich were defeated. We travel to bottom-placed Normandy next week. Another seemingly one-sided affair, but lessons to be quickly learnt to ensure the mighty Dulwich rise from the ashes.

Sat 8th July – 3rd XI v Walton-on-Thames

DULWICH 244 (50.5) drew with WALTON-ON-THAMES 237-7 (51)

Scorecard

Walton on Thames made the long trip to the DSG on Saturday as the 3s survived a late assault on their total of 244 all out (50.5) to secure a winning draw. On another day that the full allocation of 100.5 overs was completed, the 3rd XI are left feeling that pink balls may be more suitable than the traditional red.

After much discussion and some customary prodding of the pitch, it was decided that we should win the toss. Captain Bailey duly obliged and Dulwich were batting. On a hot and humid day the pre-match briefing was to keep wickets in hand and the Walton fielders baking in the sun to setup an all-out attack towards the back end of the innings. Cian Scannell and Harry Chathli opened up for Dulwich and made slow but steady progress with anything short being pounced upon. Despite the fact that about half the balls from one end were down the leg-side and unplayable, the opening pair progressed at 3 runs an over. The partnership of 62 was broken in the 20th when Scannell was first to go for a well-made 30 – caught at mid-off in the game’s first over of spin.

James Pickles then came and went to leave Dulwich 63-2 but this brought Andy Keen and the innings’ first signs of aggression to the crease. Chathli took 3 fours in an over off the second change seamer and Keen delivered some lusty blows off the leggie (yes, he should have taken the pins out first). Chathli’s 50 brought a noticeable change of approach as he moved from 50 to 62 in three strokes and forced the removal of the leggie from the attack. By the time Keen departed for a belligerent 33, 63-2 off 21 had become 156-3 off 33 and we were well on our way to a big total. Chathli’s innings finally came to an end in the 36th when he was caught behind for a fabulous 85.

Cormac Meade (1) got a good one early on and Andy Bailey delighted the scorer with an innings in which he doubled his score with each scoring shot, only falling when scoring 8 became too big an ask. Again we were in danger of the innings stalling, however, vital runs from Abu Arabi (20) with support from George (9), Jones (7), and some big hitting from Chris Hope (27) made sure that this wasn’t the case. Toppin (1 n.o) received a well-directed bumper first ball – a ploy that he vowed to repay with interest after tea. Our innings coming to an end with Hope being caught off the 5th ball of the 51st over denying skipper Bailey the opportunity to declare.

With a strong bowling line-up available Dulwich were much the happier of the two sides at the break after compiling a more than competitive total of 244. The test match served as the tea break entertainment even though entertainment might have been a strong choice of word as Cook and Jennings proceeded with caution on a tricky track.

Toppin and Jones opened the bowling and both bowled good testing spells first up although neither was rewarded. Toppin bowled with good wheels and struck the opening batsmen on more than one occasion. Jones bowled a testing line and length and took the outside edge twice, one falling short of slip and the other being put down in the gully.  Despite their discomfort in the face of good bowling both Walton openers progressed into the 30s and the Dulwich fielders noted that they were in fact in a game.

Arabi and Hope then replaced the openers with the spinner finally making the decisive breakthrough with the help of a fine catch from Pickles at mid-on. It was a short spell for Hope (0-10 off 3) as the skipper was quick to note the prodigious spin and introduce George to bowl in tandem with Arabi. A sharp caught and bowled and a good catch by the keeper gave Arabi his 2ndand 3rd and Dulwich a sniff of a win. The runs dried up in spite of the Walton no. 3 shaping up to mow every ball over cow, with both Arabi and George bowling with excellent control.

George removed the dangerous looking no.3 to leave Walton 4 down and with the two new batsmen struggling against the Dulwich spin twins, Walton threatened to shut up shop. However, their captain was politely reminded that they had driven an awfully long way to show so little ambition and this turned out to be all the motivation he needed as he ditched his helmet and opened his shoulders. Numbers 5 and 6 who had looked sedate and a bit scratchy suddenly exploded with Arabi and his replacement Pickles both getting the treatment. This aggression was not without any risks and Pickles (0-46 off 5) saw two relatively straightforward catches go down off his bowling. George finished a fine spell with 1-26 off 13 and a change of ends for Arabi coupled with the batsmen’s new found aggression somewhat spoiled his figure to leave him with 3-60 off 12. The equation for Walton quickly moved from 100 odd off 10 to 60 odd off 7 with 6 wickets in hand.

The Dulwich opening bowlers then returned with the aim of securing a winning draw, and they did. Toppin proved too quick for the low-order batsmen in the fading light picking up 2 to finish with 2-37 off 9 and Jones (1-44 off 9) got the danger man, their captain, for a boundary-laden 54, Chris Hope using all of his height to pull off a stunning catch at cover. Walton finished 7 short with 5 balls less faced to give Dulwich a tight winning draw.

In the end the 3s were lucky to avoid defeat but in another game that their fielding left them down (at least 4 chances missed) they will feel that it’s a win that got away. “Catches win matches”.

Their openers started well, despite some good bowling, as the fast outfield rewarded good shots and streaky edges alike. Then Jones deviated for the first time from his persistent line and length and dropped it short and wide, the ball was duly leathered towards the boundary heading for at least a one bounce four, if it were not for a fine instinctive catch by Tobin, leaping in the air at point. The other opener followed shortly after, with Lester taking a sharp catch at slip of Lloolloyd to proudly restore his 50% slip catching success rate for this season. This bought their captain to the crease to join the number 3. Together they built a good partnership - although the innings from the number three had more misses than Tiger Woods at his prime. However, somehow the partnership flourished and changes in bowling to Hope and Day, despite inducing yet more wafts and frustration, did not bring the break through. So captain Bails decided to change the pace and brought Lester into the attack fresh from his dismantling of Sunbury’s batting line up last week and it didn’t take too long to make another important breakthrough. After removing the number 3 for 42, Lester and Tobin started to build the pressure and a complete lapse of brain function from their number five lead to Bailey’s easiest stumping of his career and another wicket for Lester. As the pressure continued to rack up and their batsmen becoming increasingly frustrated, they tried to sneak a single to bullet-armed Cason resulting in an easy run out. This put us in a solid position, Ashtead were 139-5 and when Lester claimed his 3rd wicket, the crucial scalp of the captain with a double bounce half tracker driven back for another smart catch, our confidence grew even more. However, a few loose overs and some big sixes left the outcome far from certain so Bailey turned back to his strike bowlers Jones and Lllooyyyoooddd to try and break the resistance. It worked. Llllooyyyoooooddd removed the dangerous number 8 for a beefy 45, and the number 7 shortly after. And with the light fading, a huge appeal for a caught behind from their last recognised batsman, gave Jones his second. We were one wicket away and a few overs later in the ever darkening gloom we had our deserved win, Llllooooyyyooooddd splattering the stumps to claim his fourth.  

So we wrapped up a 11 run to stay ahead of Ashtead and keep the pressure up on the top four.

Sat 24th June – 3rd XI v Ashtead

DULWICH 231 (50.3) beat ASHTEAD 220 (44.4) by 11 runs

Scorecard

The 3rd XI made their way down to Box Hill School to face Ashtead, for a match which dragged on late into the night - so much so that it wouldn’t have been out of place in this week’s round of day night county games.

Having lost the toss Bails' merry men trotted out to bat with Scannell strolling back just a ball later, after falling to a tricky inswinging yorker. Woodgate and Chaudhry then began to rebuild, with Woodgate nudging and nurdling nicely and Chaudhry doing his best Fakhar Zaman impression. He later said he played ‘too defensively’. But it was Guy, who scored the first 6 of the game (and his first for the club), a swift two accompanied by a wild overthrow which raced away for 4.

After Chaudhry fell, it was down to Woodgate and Cason to rebuild the innings and rebuild they did. Running well and putting away the all too common bad ball, they led us past 100. Woodgate then bought up a well-judged 50 before falling for 59. Lollyd then joined Cason in the middle and they continued in the same manner, with Cason moving to his fifty with a 6 that almost cleared the trees. With the runs coming easily and the Ashtead spinners being despatched to all parts of the ground, Lolloydd went for tried to sneak a third which really wasn’t there and was run out after almost lapping the slightly bemused Cason, for a well-constructed 26. Then with no further runs added Carson holed out for a 52 ball 54 leaving us 173-5. Tobin and Bailey added another 30 runs before, Tobin, Bailey, Lester and Day all fell cheaply. A good partnership between Jones and Hope added 20 more useful runs, with its fair share of biffed runs as well as plays-and-misses to get us up to 231. A par score, which could, maybe should, have been better.

After a good lunch, a debate about the millennials obsession with selfies and a brief panic when everyone decided that we didn’t need our phones or wallets anymore and left our valuables bag in the lunch hall, we marched out to defend our total.

Their openers started well, despite some good bowling, as the fast outfield rewarded good shots and streaky edges alike. Then Jones deviated for the first time from his persistent line and length and dropped it short and wide, the ball was duly leathered towards the boundary heading for at least a one bounce four, if it were not for a fine instinctive catch by Tobin, leaping in the air at point. The other opener followed shortly after, with Lester taking a sharp catch at slip of Lloolloyd to proudly restore his 50% slip catching success rate for this season. This bought their captain to the crease to join the number 3. Together they built a good partnership - although the innings from the number three had more misses than Tiger Woods at his prime. However, somehow the partnership flourished and changes in bowling to Hope and Day, despite inducing yet more wafts and frustration, did not bring the break through. So captain Bails decided to change the pace and brought Lester into the attack fresh from his dismantling of Sunbury’s batting line up last week and it didn’t take too long to make another important breakthrough. After removing the number 3 for 42, Lester and Tobin started to build the pressure and a complete lapse of brain function from their number five lead to Bailey’s easiest stumping of his career and another wicket for Lester. As the pressure continued to rack up and their batsmen becoming increasingly frustrated, they tried to sneak a single to bullet-armed Cason resulting in an easy run out. This put us in a solid position, Ashtead were 139-5 and when Lester claimed his 3rd wicket, the crucial scalp of the captain with a double bounce half tracker driven back for another smart catch, our confidence grew even more. However, a few loose overs and some big sixes left the outcome far from certain so Bailey turned back to his strike bowlers Jones and Lllooyyyoooddd to try and break the resistance. It worked. Llllooyyyoooooddd removed the dangerous number 8 for a beefy 45, and the number 7 shortly after. And with the light fading, a huge appeal for a caught behind from their last recognised batsman, gave Jones his second. We were one wicket away and a few overs later in the ever darkening gloom we had our deserved win, Llllooooyyyooooddd splattering the stumps to claim his fourth.  

So we wrapped up a 11 run to stay ahead of Ashtead and keep the pressure up on the top four.

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