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