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Sat 21st May – 5th XI v Orpington

DULWICH 106 (37.5) lost to ORPINGTON 222-5 (40) by 116 runs

Scorecard

Questionable availability across the sides meant the 5th XI only had three people from the previous week's successful side for the home game against Orpington. However even with 11, players many of whom were playing together for the first time, we should have had the ability to put up more of a fight. The weather was dismal and foreboding and skipper Peters decided on winning the toss that putting the opposition in was the right thing to do.

The wicket looked okay and played reasonably well all day which is more than can be said of the Dulwich team. Tom Scott-Coombes opened up from the Turney Road end and skipper Peters from the nets end but we didn't really make inroads into the Orpington top order. Tom bowled his full 10 (2 for 56) but after his early wicket their bats two, three, four, five and six all scored reasonably freely to build them a decent total. Simon bowled well but was unable to make a breakthrough and saving himself for the last few overs brought on John Comerford as 1st change. Justus Van Lare replaced Tom S-C after drinks but without success.

Under pressure we turned to Will Burgass who bowled a pacy, threatening spell with the wind and then when leggie Josh Naval off the back of his 5 for in the 6s the week before was introduced Will switched ends to toil up the hill and into the wind. The switch reaped immediate rewards with Will taking a wicket in his first over and Josh picking up his first wicket at this level as he nabbed the main spinner spot from 5th XI stalwart Tim Brown. Will was unlucky not to take more wickets with four dropped catches in a spell of 1 for 37 in 7 hostile overs.

All in all a mixed and disappointing bowling display as they made 222 for 5 in their 40 overs with a Simon Peters run out being the only other wicket we took.

The weather got worse during tea but both teams agreed to take the field promptly. As the evening wore on the light got better and the drizzle stopped leaving us with a lovely evening for cricket.

Tim Brown opened the innings with Zeeshan Chaudrey who never looked like adding much to his big innings of the previous week and when Piran Legg and Shok also went early we were looking in a lot of trouble. Tim played solidly, although the opposition did note that a large proportion of his 29 came between point and the wicket keeper. One drive surprised the crowd, the opposition fielders and the batsman himself and sadly went straight to a fielder. Mike Owen arrived at the crease attempting to continue his form from the famous (infamous?) retired-to-go-to-the-theatre innings and played a couple of nice shots before telegraphing a reverse sweep which was caught at first slip.

We were not yet 50 and 4 down and not really looking like pushing Orpington. Their opening bowler was a good 15 year old quick and they brought on two orthodox left arm spinners aged 13 and 15 who immediately settled into a great line and length. Tim tried to force the pace a little, missed one and was stumped to leave us 51 for 5. Will Burgass came in and first with skipper Peters and then with Tom S-C added some (but not too much) respectability to the score. Peters given out lbw despite the evidence of him rubbing his leg half way between knee and hip. Jason Campbell who we were very glad was umpiring for us was in the best position to see the lbw and said that Simon had crouched down and was plumb.

Will made 22 to suggest he should be a bit higher up the order but finally perished going for a suicidal decond run and Tom a 12 not out as we batted most of the overs to a non challenging 106 all out in 37.5 overs. Will had hit a beautiful 6 but did admit afterwards he wasn't trying to hit it there. Picking up only 2 points out of the 20 on offer leaves us mid table (6th place) although we have played three of the sides above us. With two wins and two losses we need to be a bit more consistent if we are to challenge the top of the table.

Sat 14th May – 5th XI v Ex Blues

DULWICH 228-7 (40) beat EX BLUES 125 (33.4) by 103 runs

Scorecard

Third game of the season and the weather was set fair. Despite a few changes post-selection with two players coming up and James Chudley switching down from the 4th XI to concentrate on his opening batting role we went into the game with a strong side on paper with a long batting line up, many years of experience and a lot of bowling options. Simon lost the toss and the opposition decided to give us first use of what looked quite a good wicket.

Guy Woodgate and Chuds got us off to a steady start, although Guy soon perished which was a shame as he was hitting the ball well – just straight to the fielders. Brad Burgh joined James and they put on 98 in fine time. We were over 100 at drinks and only one wicket down. They both made 50s – James 59 and Brad outscoring him by one. The opposition skipper confided with us afterwards that he thought we might make 280 to 300. However a few wickets fell soon after – Chudley and Simon Bailey bowled, Brad to an excellent catch right on the boundary and Tim Brown caught behind. At that stage we were looking as though we may waste the excellent start the top three had given us and we had to battle to first get to 200 and then in a flurry of late order hitting from Steve Walker (42 not out including two sixes from the first two balls of the last over) and some exquisite shots from Kanak Patel we managed to post 228 in our 40 overs. Will Burgass was also out to a great catch and Simon Peters to a direct hit run out although he had rather overestimated his ability to get through the 22 yards. We felt that if we bowled well then we should win the game.

Unfortunately in our innings and at the end of a lengthy spell of umpiring David Woods was struck by an errant throw and with a nasty cut and much blood had to be helped from the field. As we will see David is made of tough stuff and continued on to play his part in a good team performance.

I'm not sure how many of you know the Ex Blues ground but it has a distinct slope and skipper Simon Peters gallantly toiled up the hill to allow Kanak to use the down slope to his advantage. Both settled into a good line and length despite the unusual run up conditions. Both bowled solid 7 over spells Simon taking 1 for 26 and Kanak 1 for 27. We were always in a good position but the Ex Blues skipper Ashley Harris was hitting aggressively and we knew we needed to get him out in order to win the game. A double bowling change saw Matt Craig replace Simon and David Woods replace Kanak. Both bowlers also settled into a rhythm on a pitch that was just holding up a bit. Their bat continued to take the positive approach and at drinks they were a similar score to us but with 1 more wicket down. The rest of the Ex Blues line up are not of the same class and we had to remain patient. Eventually Harris played one expansive shot too many to Woodsy and holed out to an excellent catch by Steve Walker at long on. Matt did what he does and bowled straight – four wickets all bowled and a few near misses as reward. David ended up with 10 overs 3 for 38.

A strong side and, if we can keep something similar through the season, we should be competitive are currently in fourth place and play third placed Orpington at DSG on Saturday.