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Sat 21st May – 4th XI v Old Rutlishians

DULWICH 280-4 (45) beat OLD RUTLISHIANS 158 (38.5) by 122 runs

Scorecard

Dulwich scored a convincing win against a very youthful Old Ruts side on Saturday which featured a monster partnership between newbie Will Cooper and Oldbie (but definiteiy on something at the moment) James Chudley.

The team featured more changes than a Jurgen Klopp side before a European mid-week match but still Christian Benteke was left on the subs bench. The game looked to be following the usual script with Matt losing the toss again and the Doggies being inserted. The visitors were obviously confused by the greenness of the wicket, whereas the locals know better.  Julian Dean and man of the moment, James Chudley, strode confidently to the crease and calmly took 12 off the first over admittedly nearly all wides, byes and leg byes…

The two openers took a cautious approach for the first 6 overs, both queuing up to take small nibbles from one end whilst dodging some better directed fayre at the other end. Chuds was even sledged by one of the young opponents for turning down a single (that even Julian said no to) accusing him of being less than enamoured to face the more redoubtable opener. Dulwich had 34 on the board when the much anticipated comedy moment arrived. Having plundered the bowling last year, the oppo seem to have worked out Julian’s weakness to the leg-side, hip high Ginsters pasty. With the field up, and an entire collection of gardens, trees, football pitches and most of the South of England to launch the ball into, Julian selected the cautious approach and paddled the ball straight into mid-wickets hands.  

Enter Will Cooper on debut. For the next 30 overs, James and Will batted beautifully taking full advantage of the great pitch and cruising along at 6 an over. Chuds, in the form of his - or for that matter anyone else’s life -, timed the ball beautifully with forward defensive shots racing all the way to the boundary and punching the ball through mid-wicket with great force. Will lost nothing by comparison favouring the punched drive over the top and a delightful nurdle sweep behind square, which was a rare thing of beauty for those of us brought up on the skipper’s variety. The opposition rang the changes with a variety of young bowlers coming and going. All bowled well, but couldn’t staunch the flow of runs with the two bringing up their inevitable 50s shortly before drinks and Dulwich were well set at 130 for 1 at the half way point. The inevitability of the partnership going on and on was now dawning on team-mates and opposition equally. 

Next man in James Read alternated between attentive watching and sleeping under the scorer’s table. Equally bored, the rest of us set about this week’s sweepstake of whether Will on 96 or Chuds on 98 would make it to a ton first. At this point the prime opener marked out his run to return to the fray. The smart money was on Will (as he was on strike) who eschewing the old adage of having a look at the new bowler promptly smacked the ball straight down the fielders throat on the deep mid-wicket boundary, who took a good catch but didn’t have to move. As the batsman had crossed Chuds faced the next ball and miscued a pull shot to short fine leg who made a mess of the catch and managed to deflect the ball a further 20 yards enabling Chuds to come back for 2 and bring up a richly deserved ton. That wasn’t the end of the fun for the over as James Read pulled the last ball of the over straight to the guy who had just dropped Chuds who took the catch easily.  

Chuds, who had been “tired” since the third over finally succumbed for 107 leaving the skipper and Rob Hawke to boost the score to 280 at the close. The skipper apparently played two scoring strokes on the off side although the writer cannot recall such a momentus occasion and would have scrapped all of the above prose to report such a once in a lifetime event in full detail. We will take his word for it. Fair play to the young opposition team who never flagged in the field played with great spirit and were just batted out of the game by a chanceless partnership of the very highest quality.

The weather just about held after tea for us to make a prompt start and the opposition’s openers made a good start against the pace of Gilo and Jack Rutherford. With 40 off the first 8 overs they seemed well set to make a game of it. Jack finally made a breakthrough with a successful LBW appeal – he promises no money changed hands between him and the opposition’s umpire (their opening bowler) to get it.  Some of us, mainly the batting fraternity weren’t so sure and then remembered that this was exactly why Gilo scores for us rather than donning the white coat… we’d never get more than 20!

A double change saw Rhys “Bearders” Williams and The Vicar come on to bowl. Rhys “claimed” a breakthrough in his first over. I say “claimed” as the batsman, who looked in fine form, lumped a leg stump half-volley, flat and about 6 inches off the ground to James “L’Oreal” Read (we will come to that in a moment) who dived to his right to snare a fantastic catch. The Vicar, after last week’s heroics, saw his first Dibbley smacked back over his head for 4 so immediately switched to Dobbley. Having not warned Will of the switch the first ball smacked Will amidships. It was at this point that Will remembered a sadly missing piece of essential equipment as, well the ball, nestled momentarily in his essential equipment. Fortunately, it was the Vicar who was bowling and therefore no damage could possibly come from such an encounter in Will’s briefs. Bearders then benefitted from another bowlers union LBW decision from a long-hop (again opinion split down the middle between the bowlers and those that actually know the rules) and removed the number five with another wide long hop which was despatched to Lenin at mid-off. 

The number three succumbed to the Vicar adeptly caught by Gilo at point and the game as a contest was dead and buried (words underlined as they will NEVER EVER appear in the same sentence again!). The tyrant opening bowler came and went, undone by the Vicar’s even slower ball and stumped by Will using gloves this time. Rhys having bagged three by “mixing it up well!!!!!” then bowled rather well without getting any further reward to finish with 3 for 22/ The Vicar dibbled and dobbled for 2 for 20 off his 8 overs.

With 7 down and 80 on the board Darren Cason (who is no longer known as buckets after diving over everything today) and L’Oreal joined the fray. L’Oreal quickly induced the opposition’s skipper to spoon a catch in his general direction. L’Oreal unsighted by his own hair, had to sweep the unsightly mop backwards, but still had time to put on make-up, varnish his nails, pose for the camera before taking the aforementioned dolly. Darren then won the third LBW of the innings bowling left arm over to a right hander - the cue for further discussion among Dulwich’s players on the vagaries of the LBW rule. (We should also at this point remember that our bowlers in their stint of umpiring gave four LBWs against our batsman in the first match of the season, so we are about even now!).

With the game won, Dulwich slackened off and number nine (who definitely looked like he was batting too low) and ten put on a good partnership of over 50 for the ninth wicket. Darren gave the ball plenty of air which led to the weekly discussion of the application of Law 42.6* to slow bowlers which would have carried on longer if JD hadn’t given “the benefit of the doubt” to the umpire (who in any event was bigger, younger, fitter and better looking than him) and absolutely more to the point, younger readers, the umpires is always right even when he is wrong. (Dear MCC – please change the laws to be consistent between club rules and first class cricket before we take a wicket from one of these!).

Gilo and Jack returned to bring some resemblance of order to proceedings. Gilo removed the number ten, Will quite rightly trying to pinch a catch off 1st slip punched it straight to Chuds instead, and bowling the number 11 to finish with 2 for 26 with the opposition out for 158.

Dulwich face local rivals and fellow unbeaten challengers S&M next week in a crucial encounter which, with habitual title challengers Wimbledon having lost again on Saturday, could go some way to shaping the 4s season.

*(today’s lesson) – Rule 42.6

Dangerous and unfair bowling

Bowling of high full pitched balls
(i) Any delivery, other than a slow paced one, which passes or would have passed on the full above waist height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.
(ii) A slow delivery which passes or would have passed on the full above shoulder height of the striker standing upright at the popping crease is to be deemed dangerous and unfair, whether or not it is likely to inflict physical injury on the striker.

p.s. Law 42.6 is disapplied by the ICC / First Class playing regulations and replaced by waist height – not a lot of people apparently know that.

Sat 14th May – 4th XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 164-6 (38.3) beat SUNBURY 161-8 (45) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

The 4th team travelled to old foes Sunbury on Saturday and came away with a deserved and eventually comfortable win in a very friendly encounter.

Matt resorted to type by calling wrong and Sunbury took first use of their excellent facilities. David Knightbridge took first aim and much to the surprise of his team-mates, himself and more to the point the opening bat settled into an excellent line and even more surprisingly length cartwheeling middle stump with his third delivery. This brought together two 13 year old bats with contrasting styles and heights. The next 15 overs saw some outstanding play by the two youngsters against some genuinely quick and accurate bowling from Knighty and Gilo. The right handed opener, shorter even than Andy Bailey, got resolutely into line and dealt with the odd short ball extremely well whilst the tall left-hander proceeded to unfurl a number of Gower-esque straight and cover drives and flicks off the legs with limited but precise foot-work. (For the younger readers, David Gower used to be the warm up act for Ian Botham on the pitch before fulfilling the same role in the Sky Commentary box).

The writer would like to point out at this stage that the catching was of the highest standard throughout. Rumours that the keeper, 1st slip and skipper all dropped the little opener are completely unfounded.

Cason and Sunil Issac replaced the first bowlers and kept the batsmen quiet with some fine accurate bowling before Cason pinned the opener LBW for a fully deserved wicket and Sunil removed the left-hander who seemed to lose concentration after getting a richly deserved and excellent 50 and under the pressure up the scoring rate. Both lads look to have a great future in cricket ahead of them.

By now, tight ground fielding was beginning to take its toll on the home batting who sensed that they needed 200+ to make a game of it.

Sunil bowled out his overs (9 overs, 3 maidens 1 for 25) and Darren was rested (7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 23) to be replaced by Rhys Williams who bowled with good pace and Paul Charlton who didn’t.

Two balls in to his first spell for the club, Paul is now the proud owner of the nickname “The Vicar”. For the rest of the innings, Paul raced into the wicket, whirled his arm over and propelled the ball forward with surprisingly little momentum at the waiting batsman. What happened between the ball leaving Paul’s hand and arriving at the batsman is open to conjecture and was the subject of considerable debate in the bar after, but whatever it was, it was clearly unplayable. Bowling mostly dibbly, Sunbury lost two wickets, both bowled middle stump in his first over and found themselves at 100 for 5.

Skipper Dixon then unleashed the nasty fasties at the other end for the last 10 overs. With Knighty picking up where he left off, 1st slip, who again shall remain nameless, proved no favouritism existed between the fast bowlers by letting an edge hit him in the chest in exactly the same place the first one did off Gilo. Knighty found a much better catching ally in Ben Trembath, who in true Cason style, nonchalantly caught a full-blooded cut at gully. Knighty ended up with excellent figure of 3 for 35 off his 9 overs, including eight from two exquisitely “middle” Surrey cuts in his penultimate over, one of which nearly made its way to the main square.

Dulwich had the innings under control. This is more than can be said for Julian who, relieving himself of not-catching duties and finding himself at third man, lost a very one-sided battle of wills with a Black Labrador. Having failed to persuade the dog that no harm would come of letting JD grab his collar, the dog willingly presented its tennis ball as an alternative method for removing the recalcitrant hound from the pitch. JD obligingly rolled the ball away to the boundary which the dog obligingly brought back. Prompted by team mates into throwing the ball into the pavilion rather than walking the dog off as any sensible person would do, JD suddenly forgetting the general range and accuracy of his throwing arm, heroically and selfishly threw the ball with all the strength that he could manage. The dog, who clearly hadn’t seen JD field before, haired off in the general direction of where it assumed the ball would land only, to the great amusement of team-mates and opposition alike, for the ball to fly backwards and upwards to land all of ten yards behind the now red-faced dog whisperer. The dog, sensing that it wasn’t going to achieve the requisite exercise in any throw and fetch scenario and no longer wanting to be associated with such an idiot promptly retrieved its tennis ball and wandered off of its own accord to find someone else to play with.

Back to the cricket and Paul chipped in with another wicket from a well disguised dobbly, well caught by Rhys, to finish with fine figure of 3 for 20 off his 8 overs and Gilo returned to finish with a very unlucky 0 for 28 off 8 accurate overs. This was an excellent performance by the bowling as a unit and was well backed up by the ground fielding and some of the catching.

Chasing a very gettable target, Andrew Inglis and Julian Dean set off in comfortable leisurely fashion, with Andrew despatching the bad ball effectively, taking the score into the 30s. Julian, slowly batted himself out of form before hitting a trade- mark skyer to mid-off and James Read nonchalantly pulled his first ball to square leg to make it 31-2. The introduction of left-arm spin ratcheted up the pressure and Andrew succumbed for a good 37 closely followed by Paul, after a few lusty blows, to leave us 80 for 4. Ben Trembath was by now looking settled and celebrated by removing his dapper retro sweater, the sort favoured by deep sea trawler-men which wouldn’t look amiss on Simon Peters. Gilo won the contest for how long it would take the skipper to deploy the sweep shot (third ball!! – everyone else having said first or second ball) and as the scoreboard started ticking over again, the happy hubbub of a stroll to victory could be heard amongst the watching Doggies. The skipper then departed – having unfurled his full range of shot, which brought in Knighty. Ben found his timing and played a number of cover drives and late dabs which raced to the boundary reaching his 50 and we looked to be coasting before he missed a straight one with 30 left.

Knighty then decided to use the long handle dispatching the ball hard and often and occasionally straight upwards, seeing us home with four wickets and seven overs to spare.

Next week Dulwich entertain newly promoted Old Ruts at home looking to maintain their 100% record.

Sat 7th May – 4th XI v SinjunGrammarians

DULWICH 222 (44.5) beat SINJUNGRAMMARIANS 137 (27.3) by 85 runs

Scorecard

As summer finally arrived on Saturday, Dulwich started the season with a home game against old friends SinjunGrammarians. Surprises always come in threes, the first being the sun was out, the second being that our old friends at Sinjun 4s are now Sinjun 3s, the opposition therefore being an unknown quantity and the biggest surprise of all… Matt won the toss. He must have been practising over the winter (if only you’d called right on the mud slide at Reigate – Matt!). So surprised and taken aback by winning one – Matt thought long and hard before opting to bat first on the new upgraded DSG Road.

As ever Dulwich started brightly with Guy Woodgate quickly into his usual mix of authoritative pulls strokes and copious amounts of playing and missing, Julian Dean tipping and running at the other end and sometimes not even bothering with the tipping. With 30-odd on the board in the first 6 overs, the enigma that is Guy inexplicably kicked one off the stumps playing no stroke to bring James Read into bat. James looked imperious cracking his third ball through the covers for 4 and carried on in similar vein, the two adding 50 in 8 overs before James got an unplayable delivery which he edged behind.

Matt came and went and Julian introduced debutant Rob Hawke to his esoteric style of calling and running to cut short his promising first innings by the small matter of 19 yards! Fellow debutant Paul Charlton (20) joined Julian and the two took the score to 170 for 4 off 27 overs with the home side well set for a score of 300 plus. To Sinjuns credit they remained lively in the field throughout and got a break when Julian walked past one to be stumped for a scratchy 68. Dulwich being Dulwich, do everything the hard way, so promptly collapsed to 192 for 9 through a series of injudicious shots. With the best part of 10 overs to go, enter Ubaid and Gilo. They batted intelligently to add nearly 30 valuable runs with most of them coming through the arc of 1st slip to 3rd slip. Gilo was unfortunately run out in the last over, 97 short of his hundred. Ubaid finished with a very valuable 18 not out.

222 felt like enough, though we know we should have got 300 and will be punished in other games if we don’t get there. The opposition just had the feeling that, when it came to batting, they were there for a good time rather than a long time and so it proved with Prasanna’s traditional first ball long hop being despatched by the opener over square leg. Gilo having injured himself during his extended batting stint hobbled through a steady first over and Sinjuns were 17 for 0 after 2. Prasanna then got into his stride rolling off 9 straight overs of precision line and length bowling, (not words you normally see in the same sentence), and had the opener caught behind by Shok. A collector’s item, Matt then caught the other opener off Gilo, prompting his dad to go home for his mixed grill (sadly missing Matt trying to catch one with just his stomach later!).

The wheels, if not off were at least punctured and deflating badly. Step forward third debutant Darren Cason. Fielding at 2nd slip, “Buckets” caught everything that went near him snaffling the next 3 batsmen – all stunning catches. At 30 for 5 it was game over and Matt sensed a quick victory so in came a third slip (or was it an attempt to find somewhere to hide Ubaid and Gilo). Sadly the next three slip chances were shelled by the erstwhile batting heroes as Sinjuns showed spirit and went on the attack. Prasanna ended with 4 thoroughly deserved wickets and Ubaid and Darren came on with some immediate success. Ubaid bowled well to pick up 3 wickets, two well caught by Rob Hawke and Darren and Rob himself picked up a debut wicket each too. A good win, despite some rustiness and plenty more to come from the Super 4s.