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Sat 23rd July – 5th XI v Orpington

DULWICH 149-5 (40) lost to BEXLEYHEATH 150-5 (34) by 5 wickets

Scorecard

Another fine sunny day, a rather good looking track, as strong side and a winning toss.

However the 5th XI managed to turn a whole set of positives into a close loss in a tight game and continued their struggle for points in the Kent Regional League 1B Metropolitan Division

On a hot day Simon had agreed with their skipper that there would be two drinks breaks and that we would bat following a good toss to win. Unfortunately several players were late getting to Orpington and this meant Simon had to shuffle his order somewhat. Whether this impacted the result we will never know but it certainly put unnecessary pressure on the skipper.

Tim Brown and newly drafted opener Colin Tucker opened up and played steadily for the first period. Together they put on 59 for the first wicket with Tim trying to be aggressive but not really timing the ball and Colin mixing solid defence with some clean hitting of boundaries. The opening bowler from Orpington bowled a pretty tight spell and managed to get Colin Lbw for a fine 38. Alex Irvine came to the crease and set off with a majestic square cut, however he also found the pitch a bit trickier than it looked. Another decent partnership followed although possibly lacking a few more singles to push the scoring rate along. Tim was caught off a top edge pulling for a dogged 28 and we were 96 for 2 off about 27 overs. This could and should have been the base for a decent score but the the next period saw Orpington bowl well as Woodsy decided to stay umpiring to watch a good young orthodox left arm spinner bowl a really good spell.  Shok and Alex weren’t really troubled but had a few scares running and struggled to lift the tempo.  Alex then got out for 36 when we were 126 for 3 but with only about 5 overs left. A short cameo from Nick Rochford involved a close but unfortunate run out of Shok for 22 and a lovely straight drive. Harry Chathli came in and hit a quick 11 but we were at least 30 and perhaps 50 short when we finished our 40 overs on 149 for 5. James Worley having asked to go down the order was padded up but unused.

We realised we were going to have to bowl well and field well after tea. Luke Howard made the mistake of telling us that he’d bowled 20 plus overs this season for 18 runs and despite settling into his spell was a bit expensive to start with. Kanak bowled well although the opposition did manage to score runs off him this week which was a bit different to his great spell the week before. Orpington got off to a flyer and were 49 before they lost their first wicket in the 11th over. We had made it hard for ourselves with a couple of hard chances going down. Simon brought himself on instead of Luke and decided to bowl Kanak through is spell. Kanak need uo with 2 for 30 off 10 including a tough catch by Nick Rochford. Nick nonchalantly remarking afterwards that all he could think of as the ball was coming towards him was David Wood’s cravat!

We tightened the game up with Simon getting 1 wicket for 33 in 8 and Woods, as he replaced Kanak, bowling 7 overs 2 for 36. Orpington remained aggressive though and Rob their skipper did hit the ball to cow just as Shok predicted in a run a ball 29 before trying the big hit once too often and falling to the experience of David Woods. They were always ahead of the rate and we kept just keeping ourselves in the game, Simon tried a last throw of the dice and Luke returned but with wickets in hand and ahead of the rate they eased to a deserved victory.

We are in 7th place in the league despite a record of won 3 lost 8 and 2 abandoned but have played one more game than everyone else so we need to arrest the losing streak to avoid slipping into a relegation spot. We have been playing some good cricket at times but in too few games this season have we all turned up and kept our focus for the full 80 overs. Our running could be better, our intensity whilst batting could be improved, our catching certainly has let us down at times and we could turn up on time. The two biggest issues though are pretty fundamental we haven't being getting enough runs to put pressure on the opposition (with many batsmen getting in and then getting out rather than hitting a big score) and we haven't being getting enough wickets to stop the opposition feeling they are ahead of the game!

JL points 
3 – Colin Tucker for his aggressive hitting and top score of 38
2 – Kanak – our best bowler on the day
1 – Alex Irvine for his 36 with some fine shots

Sat 16th July – 5th XI v Ex Blues

DULWICH 85 (32.3) lost to EX BLUES 88-8 (29.5) by 1 wicket (ten players)

Scorecard

Selection and availability obviously shaped the 5th team on Saturday. It seemed that there were lots of bowlers available but fewer batsmen across the club but the 5th team were confident that they had enough firepower to beat the Ex Blues team who were in a relegation spot in the table.

Simon won the toss and having decided to address the batting bowling balance by playing as an opening bat he set off with a long stride to kick off the innings with Tim Brown. Things went smoothly for the first nine overs with the pair running well and they had put on 31 for the first wicket  when Tim (17) was bowled by a good ball being just a tad aggressive. In came James Worley but he soon went bowled too.

Simon then built another partnership with Joe Moore but the fall of wickets had caused the run rate to slow and we moved to 65 for 2 before Joe was also bowled for 19.  Simon continued to be the resolute base around which we could build an innings as he defended, then attacked with lifted drives and deft square cuts. He was finally out for 24 but not before seeing Shabbir perish early swinging the first ball of a loopy off spinner straight to the fielder at cow and then the game moved on so swiftly that tea wasn't ready when we came in.

It didn't help that we were down to 10 men due to an availability miscommunication but the rest of the batting order perished in a tumble as Woods, Spencer Daws, Rutherford and Nava didn't make double figures and Kanak Patel was stranded not out! 65 for 2 had become 85 all out.

After tea we came out with confidence that if we could get early wickets, particularly the Ex Blues skipper Ashley Harris, then we would be able to make it a close game and so it proved.

Jack Rutherford kicked things off and with the first ball of the innings bowled the opener off an inside edge. Then Kanak Patel followed suit with the first ball in the 2nd over, A slightly low bounce counting for Harris as he tried to be too aggressive. Kanak continued with a great spell and soon Ex Blues were 8 for 4 and our 85 looked an imposing runs on the board sort of score.

Jack (6 overs 1 for 19) couldn't break through again and was replaced by Spencer Daws who bowled 4 overs for 16. At the other end Kanak was a delight to watch as he bowled his 10 overs in a row for the great figures of 6 maidens, 6 wickets for 6. We were trying to remember in the bar later how many scoring shots the opposition had from this spell and think there were two 2s and two singles. A masterpiece indeed!

Woodsy came on and bowled well but with no real luck and Tim came on from the President's end for two rather expensive overs (the aforementioned president actually causing controversy in the match by standing on the field having a conversation with Kanak as the game was going on). Simon soon got the right leg spinner on and Josh Nava took a wicket with a great ball. 

So 8 down, one man short and still a handful of runs to get. The Ex blues number 4 Barrs (46 not out) had batted well but was now joined by the last man Loughlin. As the scores were tied Simon brought the field in and left handed Loughlin tried to force Nava through mid wicket… The ball was in the air and straight to the normally safe hands of Tim Brown.  A thud into the chest and that chance of a tie had gone! Next ball Loughlin hit the ball harder and higher and got the runs they needed to win the game.

A great game of cricket, ultimately very disappointing. We had a few beers with Ex Blues who are always play the game in the right spirit and they certainly enjoyed the opportunity to play in the delightful Dulwich setting!

John Lawrence points
3 - Kanak Patel. Outstanding
2 – Joe Moore. Fluent batting and solid behind the stumps
1 - Simon Peters. Valued his wicket 

Sat 9th July – 5th XI v Old Elthamians

DULWICH 192-5 (40) lost to OLD ELTHAMIANS 193-6 (39) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

Another week on the road and another loss despite a few good performances.

Saturday saw the 5th XI travel to Eltham College and after a lengthy walk to the ground from the pavilion Simon lost the toss. Still no worry as the opposition put us in when Simon had told us all he was going to bat. We had a somewhat changed side with only 5 of the players from the previous week playing.

We started quickly with 15 off the first three overs but then Tim Brown got a leading edge and was caught at Mid off.  Shok (seen in a typical warm up pose above) and Zeeshan then came together and put on a  few runs.  Shok being careful and Zeesh taking his usual approach of watch, watch, hit!   Given the two had been involved in an unfortunate run out the week before the running was rather reserved.  Zeesh was just looking as though he may begin to be more attacking when he got out too for 12.  Stuart Gardner arrived at the crease and continued the careful attack.  We were 60odd for 2 at drinks so needed to use the good base to kick on in the second half of the innings.  Stuart hit some really clean shots before he too perished bowled for 33 trying to hit their young spinner over the top.  Shok who had been struggling with  a back niggle got out for a patient 39 soon after and we looked as though we might waste the steady start.  However in the last 10 overs Darren Casson (42 not out) and Geoff Warris (22 not out) combined with some clean hitting and aggressive running to force us to 192 for 5 off our 40 overs.  The pitch had looked good but had quite a bit of uneven bounce so we thought this was quite a good score.

After the long walk to tea and back we went out in the field confident we could reverse our recent run of losses.

Skipper Simon Peters and Tom Scott Coombes opened the bowling and despite a good early wicket were hit in the air straight by the Old Elthamians batsmen.  Neither was in top form and were soon replaced by Justus and youngster Spencer Daws.  Spencer bowled a really good spell which had Simon reaching for the rule book to confirm how many overs in a row he could bowl.  Justus was a bit loose to start with but then tightened into a really good spell, particularly good round the wicket to the left hander.  However their numbers 1 and 3 kept attacking and at drinks they were 100 for 1.  We fielded well and were still in the game but needed to take wickets and halt the run rate to put pressure on them.  Tim Brown came on after drinks and although a bit erratic managed to get one of the set bats and almost got the youngster who was in next early in his innings.  With Justus bowling tightly at the other end and also picking up a wicket we were back in the game. 

The ball kept following Zeeshan in the field and he took three key catches as the game moved towards a close.  One was despite a rather loud and optimistic call of ‘mine’ from Tim. Tim bowled one over too many as the young kid got his measure and hit him for 16 in the over.  Spencer came back and put more pressure on their batsmen and Geoff Warris replaced Justus and immediately bowled with great accuracy and a decent pace. We kept taking wickets but they also kept hitting runs and we moved to the last but one over.  In the end they edged runs off the back of the bat to win the game and on balance they probably deserved it. We had competed and fielded well but just couldn’t take wickets at the right time to keep on top.

John Lawrence Award Points

3 – Darren Casson – 42 not out and a solid display behind the stumps
2 – Spencer Daws – Two really good bowling spells and a great catch

1 – Geoff Warris – cameos with both bat and ball

Honourable mentions – Shok for his runs, Stuart for his quick 33 and Zeeshan for his fielding!

Next week Ex Blues at home where we need to break our recent run!

Sat 28th May – 5th XI v Catford and Cyphers

DULWICH 124 (39.4) beat CATFORD AND CYPHERS 111 (30) by 13 runs

Scorecard

The 5th XI travelled to Catford and Cyphers looking for a valuable win. Talk before the game was of a potentially uneven pitch, so when stand in skipper Bailey lost the toss, Dulwich were invited to bat. After an attacking (or reverse defensive as it’s known these days) 29 from Zeeshan, Dulwich were 40-2 off 10 overs. Wickets fell at regular intervals though and, at one point, totalling a hundred looked in doubt. A sensible 25 from Matt “Tendulkar pads” Craig, and some late boundaries from Darren “quick hands” Cason, saw us to 124 all out in the final over.

But would it be enough? Julian Dean seemed to think so. Despite being 5,000 miles away on a beach in Nantucket he still sent his opinions via text. After a decent tea, Dulwich set about taking ten wickets. Catford got off to a good start but some quick thinking fielding from James “Jonty” Worley and a superb direct hit brought about the first wicket. Then it was time for a stroll in the Woods. David Woods to be precise. 10 overs of tricky left arm round, and with the help of Darren behind the stumps and Shok at slip, he took 6 for 30 and put Dulwich in a winning position. Shok’s catch at slip (or reverse drop as it’s known these days) came when the Catford batsman decided to branch out a little when facing Woods, but his reverse sweep went straight into the hands of the slipsman. Woods was supported with the ball by Matt Craig and Josh Nava, who both bowled well and took wickets themselves. Despite the bowlers’ efforts though victory (or reverse defeat as it’s know these days) was not guaranteed and with Catford at 80-4 and more than 15 overs remaining, they looked to be favourites. Woodsy stood firm though and took wickets at vital times, which reduced Catford to 111 for 9. It was left to Josh to deliver the winning blow, extracting a thin edge off the Catford skippers bat to give Dulwich the win and Darren his 4th victim behind the stumps (2 reverse drops and 2 stumpings). It was a fantastic team effort in the field to defend such a low total and only two question were discussed in the changing room and bar afterwards… how will returning skipper Simon Peters get back in the side next week and how did Trevor Griffiths take 5 wickets in Somerset!?

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.