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Sat 10th June – 5th XI v Catford and Cyphers

CATFORD AND CYPHERS 103 (27) lost to DULWICH 108-1 (47.1) by 9 wickets


Not for the first time this season Dulwich was playing a top of the table clash. Dulwich in 2nd at DSG against 3rd place Catford & Cyphers with top placed Roebucks having a bye. The side again had a few changes, due to good availability five players came down from the 4s. Jack lost the toss and we were asked to field.

The first over from the skipper was only memorable for the 11 balls it took to complete. With Alex Easdale bowling well from the pavilion end taking the first wicket the David's Begg and Woods were wondering who would be asked to bowl with the short leg side boundary. First Prasanna Callaghan replaced Jack and bowled a fiery spell. Mixing two early wickets w two beamers coming back from a hamstring injury, 4 overs only but 3 for 10 as we turned the screws. At the other end replacing Alex (7 overs 2 for 40) David Begg lost the seniority argument and the first ball was dispatched to that short boundary. With his experience he soon adjusted his line and ended up with 2 for 21 off 6. After Prasanna's fitness test David Wood joined the attack from the far end and continued his great early season form. 6 overs 4 maidens 3 for 6 with the highlight two bowled and a sharp slip catch for his spin partner Begg.   

With a good allround performance two other spinners in Forhad Ahmed and James Worley were not required as we restricted Catford & Cyphers to 103 all out in 27 overs leaving us 53 overs to get the target. We had been ruthless to the point that tea was not ready and it was agreed to go back out for 8 overs before the interval.

These 8 overs were the toughest part of the contest as James Worley fell and Cian Scannell had three successive close lbw shouts against him. The opposition opening attack was a great combination of a slippery, skiddy quick and an experienced left armed getting significant inswing and bowling a lovely line. One more beamer being bowled to make it too many for the day.

Somehow Cian and Siraj Durrani made it to tea and then calmly knocked the runs off after tea.  Siraj continuing his early season form with another 50 (53 not out) and Cian finishing the game with a six to end up 45 not out. Yet another large partnership cementing the teams early season progress with 9 wicket win in the same 27 overs. The only other point of note was the opposition making 4 successive bowling changes in 4 overs from the pavilion end.

We had a chance to have a beer and watch the 7th and 3rd XIs.

So 1 point ahead of Roebucks on top of the table, but having played one game more. Next week we play bottom of the table Old Elthamians at DSG. Thanks again to Ellen for scoring and the injured Tim for umpiring.

Sat 3rd June – 5th XI v Bromley Common

BROMLEY COMMON 159-7 (40) lost to DULWICH 227-8 (40) by 68 runs


Another beautiful day in South London but again travel problems hit the 5th team as opening bat Nick Rochford arrived latest of several of the team who had trouble finding the Acorns ground at Bromley Common. Although also late the injured Tim Brown who had offered to umpire suggested to returning skipper that James Worley might be an option to open.

Batting first James and Harry Snr got us off to a smooth start. Harry was looking good but on 15 was out to a quality of catch not normally seen at this level. Siraj Durrani joined James and together they built the match winning partnership, both making fine 71s. James even managed to try another ramp shot but unlike a few games ago managed to miss the ball completely. Most of the rest of the batting didn't get going but an aggressive 44 not out from Tom Emery helped us make 227 for 8 in our 40 overs. The only other real 'highlight' was Nick Rochford being stumped in a remarkably similar way to how he perished one match last season. The umpire in both cases was Tim who had to shake his head knowingly as he raised the dreaded finger.

After a very good tea overlooking the beautiful Bromley Common first ground we returned to the Acorns. Our bowling and fielding was solid as we put pressure on Bromley Common for the start. Jack and Simon each bowled one of their opening batsmen as early wickets set the scene for their chase. Extras and edges were the only real source of runs for a while, although it is fair to say we did bowl a lot of wides (18 in a total of 25 extras). The only excuse being a windy day and a rather odd double direction slope of the wicket making life difficult for the bowlers. Raman replaced Jack uphill but with the wind and also picked up a wicket before he had to dash off for some evening commitment. Curtis McNeice on debut bowled a fiery spell of left arm seam having being spotted as a bowling option in the nets before the game and also picked up a wicket.  

At this stage it looked as though we would easily win the game and Jack was seeking to take wickets in order to pick up maximum bowling points too. James was used down the slope and Josh Nava picked up two wickets up the slope with a fine spell of leg spin bowling. We ended up restricting them to 159 for 7 and a good win just two points short of a maximum 20.  

Thanks to Ellen for a quality scorebook and Tim for umpiring through a most enjoyable day. Next week we are back at DSG placed second in the league. If we keep similar availability then we should be competitive in the division. So far we've had three wins and two close losses.

Sat 27th May – 5th XI v Blackheath

BLACKHEATH 87-9 (23.3) beat DULWICH 84 (24.4) by 1 wicket


A much changed side for a variety of reasons. First games of the season for the 5thXI for Harry Chathli (senior), Henry Barnes (whose father had played here in the eighties), John Comerford, Thomas Emery, Geoff Warriss, Sakib Rashid and Luke Howard.

The debutants were joined by Siraj, Tim, Forhad and James in a side of self appointed all rounders (as is normal at Dulwich). Late Friday night phone calling resulted in Luke being promoted to the 4s and being replaced by Begg, Owen, PD Amin and eventually no one as John's little black book got a workout.

On a beautiful sunny day in Greenwich Park against a mid table Blackheath Tim won the toss and decided to make use of what looked quite a good deck. In a few balls it was clear this was going to be a bit tougher than conditions suggested. The pitch had some variable bounce with the majority of the odd balls being low making it difficult to get started as the highest score of the game being 18 proved.

Harry Chathli (snr) (5 runs) and Tim (0) opened and they were both soon back in the pavilion, at which Harry went to sort out the parking position of his car but took the dressing room key with him which introduced a touch of chaos or panic in the middle order batsmen preparation. New boy Henry Barnes (13), came to the wicket and put on a few with Siraj Durrani (12). Just as we seemed to be getting back on top two more wickets fell and then another new boy Thomas Emery was joined by John Comerford. John took his usual option of having a bit of a hit which came off for a little while as again we fought to get on top. James Worley then came to the crease but soon departed for 6 in the strange manner of walking for a stumping.  

Sakib Rashed batting a bit too low at 8 then showed how to play on the deck and ended up with a 16*. Geoff Warriss and Forhad Ahmed soon departed and we had scored a disappointing 84 all out (with 10 men) in 24.4 overs leaving Blackheath 65 overs to beat our total.

However games are never over until they are over and we fielded and bowled very well to force our way back into the game again. A fine opening spell of 10-2-28-3 from Sakib Rashed was supported by 5 overs of many good balls and a few not so good balls from Geoff Warriss (5-0-21-2). As is usual at this level the two wickets came from the bad balls not the good ones. We kept taking wickets to keep us in the game getting them 6 down as Forhad Ahmed joined the attack. Blackheath still needed 20 as the 8th wicket fell and Aussie bowler Shans was joined at the crease by his son Joe, Sakib finished his spell and was replaced by last weeks finisher James Worley bowling his odd mix of medium pacers and leg spin. They inched closer to the Dulwich total and with 6 still required young Joe was overconfident in his speed with a call of two! A fine throw from Sakib and Siraj ran out the youngster.  

We couldn’t win our second close one in two weeks could we? Actually no we couldn’t as their final wicket got them over the line in the 24th over. We were left to rue our chances on the bus back in to town! The extra player might have made all the difference.

For the second time this season a close loss involved picking up quite a few points so we are still in third place with a visit to Bromley Common to come next week.

Sat 20th May – 5th XI v Bickley Park

BICKLEY PARK 166-7 (32) lost to DULWICH 167-7 (32) by 1 run


As a result of the fairly widespread restructure of the Kent Regional League we had new opponents in Bickley Park. With the two sides in 2nd and 3rd a close game was expected although it ended up closer than anyone expected. Rain was around and a quick downpour just at the wrong time livened up conditions and the captains agreed to reduce the game to 32 overs a side.

Tim lost the toss and not surprisingly we were put in. The ball was seaming, swinging and in contrast to previous years at DSG bouncing too. Raps on the knuckles and nudged singles for the openers were interspersed with a couple of fine shots from Richard Blench before he fell lbw for 13. Tim played across the line and got a leading edge and when Piran also fell lbw we were three down and at that stage Bickley Park were on top. Enter Siraj Durrani who was only at the game after several frantic Saturday phone calls as Tim realised the midweek communication had gone astray. Siraj and Tony Simmonds both played really well. Either the conditions had settled down, or more likely these two were more able to manage the Bickley Park bowlers as they put on a fantastic 104.

We were back on top but as both fell, probably as a result of a little bit of fatigue on a sticky day, Bickley Park battled there way back in. James Worley had spent an hour padded up practicing ramp shots and reverse sweeps and delighted the crowd when early in his innings he charged the bowler and played the perfect ramp. Unorthodox but effective as we shall see later too. Alex Owen managed one glorious cover drive and Raman Sarao that perfect innings where he was the non facing batsmen for the last ball of the innings. James Worley was bowled to leave us on 167 for 7.

The weather had improved and we went out after tea confident that if we bowled well and fielded well that we would win the game. The innings started perfectly with Simon Peters putting the ball in a perfect spot, getting a fine edge and Tony gathering the catch safely. Raman opened at the Turney Rd end taking a wicket with a full toss but despite that both bowlers had fine spells. Tim was to replace Raman with Jaba Jumagul (another who was late due to midweek communication confusion) but the bowler wanted the other end. David Begg entered the contest and managed to get another edge which Tony gratefully took. Simon bowled straight through his eight and picked up another wicket to end with 8-2-27-2. By far his best bowling of the season and when he is in that rhythm he is a serious handful at this level.

Jaba replaced Simon as Bickley Park fought to rebuild their innings. We dropped 6 chances in the innings and a few loose bits of fielding also released the pressure on the batsmen. One throw from Richard Blench resulted in a large volley of expletives (at himself). Jaba went wicketless and the left hand right hand combination started to hit out in chase of the 9 or 10 an over they needed. Tim had two very expensive overs and with little warning to the bowler played the last throw of the dice, the unorthodoxy of James Worley's bowling. A stunning one handed diving catch from Piram Legg raising our mood and our chances. One good over and another from David Begg left 6 to get in the last over but with the main scoring batsmen on strike. After much scampering, swinging and missing and field changes we ended up with them needing three off the last ball to win.

A drive to mid off and the first run taken but Piran fielded cleanly, returned the ball safely above the stumps and into the hands of James who removed the bails. Out by 3 yards and we had won by 1 run. Bickley Park 166-7. A great game of cricket that swung backwards and forwards.

Picking up 17 points out of the possible 20 we are still in 3rd place as Catford and Cyphers jumped ahead of us. If we have reasonable availability we will be competitive in this league. Next week Blackheath away as several of the team are away on the 7th team tour!

Sat 13th May – 5th XI v The Roebucks

THE ROEBUCKS 42 (34.5) beat DULWICH 122 (40.5) by 20 runs


Good to see the Dulwich CC junior policy is working so well. With a few players promoted to the fours and a couple of absentees the side was bolstered by the returns of the sprightly Blench, Woods, Johnson and the actually much younger Legg. Fielding positions were going to be at a premium and the also returning skipper Rutherford had a few decisions to make. There were first league games for Dulwich for Raman Sarao and keeper Siraj Durrani. We had a balanced bowling attack with three seamers and an off spinner, leg spinner and left arm orthodox.

Both sides had won last week so although it was early in the season this was a top of the table clash. Roebucks play in a lovely setting near Hayes and as Blenchy struggled to find the ground in time Jack won the toss and decided to bowl first.

The skipper and his immediate predecessor Simon Peters opened the bowling and the Roebucks chanced their arm with some lusty hitting to the two short boundaries. Despite one swinging Yorker (ok a little bit fuller than that) from Jack thy raced to 67 for 1 off the first 8 overs. Sometime in this spell the stylish Blench graced us with his presence.

A change was required and the cool heads of David Woods and David Begg were brought into action in a smart move by the skipper. Almost immediately the game looked a different one. The run rate started dropping and wickets began to tumble. Together they bowled 20 overs, 8 maidens and took 6 wickets for 35 runs to wrest the initiative back from Roebucks. Woods 2 for 14 and Begg 4 for 21 leaving Jack with another tricky decision regarding John Lawrence award points. In the midst of this spell was a rarity, 2 wides from David Woods – not sure anyone has seen that before. Catches from Jesse and a tumbling Simon Peters, a run out and an all round solid fielding performance supported them well. There was a little bit of tail wagging but first the impressive Raman and then a caught and bowled from Brown finished them off with a score of 142 from 34.5 overs leaving us 46 overs to get them. A great position, particularly given our start.

The batting looked rusty and tentative for most of our innings. First Blenchy fell, Tim played a nothing shot and then Piran managed to get a little snick which the keeper snaffled, caught up in his thighs. We were 23 for 3 and needed to rebuild. Next came the best partnership of the innings with Siraj and James Worley batting well together against some good bowling. Drinks came and the game was finely balanced.

Siraj's advice at drinks was to be patient and to avoid cross bat shots. As is often the case having given the advice Siraj (16) failed to listen to himself and managed to be bowled by the impressive Muhammed Amin who bowled a tight spell of 2 for 14. James top scored with 19 but was bowled by a beauty. Jesse and Peters fell and despite looking in good knick so did Rutherford. We needed 50 to win with only two wickets left as first Raman and Woods and then the bowling heroes Woods and Begg inched us towards the total. The tactics were spot on until playing a full blooded leg side shot (for those that have been at Dulwich a long time no surprise there) Begg fell over and was given out plumb to end a fascinating match. We were all a bit rusty and a bit impatient, with most of us getting ourselves out we really should and could have won.

However for all the ifs and buts We picked up 12 points in a close game to go with our 20 from week 1. Roebucks now top the table on 40 points from Bickley Park (37 puts), who by chance we play in another almost top of the table clash at DSG next Saturday.

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