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Sun 24th July – Development XI v Cheam

DULWICH 193-9 dec (38) beat CHEAM 148-9 (40) by 45 runs

The Development Team returned to winning ways with a comfortable victory over Cheam in an incident-filled match at HQ on Sunday.

Dulwich won the toss and elected to take first knock. James Chudley was quickly into his stride, plundering 14 off the first over, which included hoisting a short-pitched final ball high over the boundary and onto the railway embankment. Ball lost! And after just six deliveries! Fortunately, another new ball was available and after a short delay play resumed. But not for long. A Cheam player discovered a ‘deposit’, left by a local fox – not one of the Leicester City variety! It was on the square too, close to where he was fielding. Bravely the visiting fielder volunteered to remove the offending mound, but he was only able to do so after a lengthy delay to find a shovel or something. Well done to Noreen, who produced an old dust pan.

Undeterred by this attempt to disrupt his concentration, Chuds continued to put Cheam’s attack to the sword and he raced to 59 (ten fours and the above mentioned six) before holing out to mid-wicket with the score on 66 after just ten overs. Opening partner Dylan Brook had been content to play second fiddle to the virtuoso Chuds, but he too perished without any addition to the score, neatly pocketed at slip for 6. Third wicket pair Julian Dean and U14 Felix Gilbert then advanced the tally towards the century mark before the youngster was bowled for a quick-fire 19, which included three boundaries. Henry Shine then arrived at the crease and batted as if he had a train to catch, thumping five fours and a six in a whirlwind 29. But the later batsmen could not maintain the momentum and faced by accurate bowling from Cheam’s third and fourth-change bowlers, the score advanced at a more sedate rate. Julian Dean held the rest of the innings together with a watchful knock of 31 and he received good support from U15 Mario Lambette who made 19. With just over two overs of the scheduled 40 remaining, JL decided to declare with the score on 193 for 9, confident that his team had enough runs to play with. Or was he just exhausted after a long umpiring stint and desperate for an infusion of tea?

Seb Connor and Gus Davies opened the Dulwich attack after tea. Seb was well below his best, probably still recovering from jet-lag following his recent holiday in Menorca, but Gus bowled at a lively pace and with far more control than in recent weeks and he proved a real handful for the early Cheam batsmen. He bowled both openers with cracking deliveries and later had the number three caught at slip by Julian Dean, the ball lodging conveniently between his upper arm and chest! Gus’s 3-35 had ripped the heart out of the Cheam innings and they never really recovered. Henry Shine chipped in with a wicket, then the medium pace of Felix Gilbert (2-15 off 6 overs) and the off-spin of Spencer Daws, who returned the remarkably economical figures of 8-5-6-1, reduced the opposition innings to virtually a snail’s pace. Seb Connor bowled a better second spell and picked up a couple of wickets to finish with 2-29. A late flurry of runs by the last pair, at the expense of the luckless Cormac Meade, who had two catches dropped and might have had a caught and bowled, saw the Cheam innings advance to 148-9 at the end of their 40 overs. So Dulwich won by 45 runs. Unfortunately, the victory was marred by a late injury to Chuds who split the webbing between his fingers attempting to take a catch in the final over. A trip to KCH was necessary and three stitches inserted.

Summing up, this was a good all-round performance by a Dulwich side including eight teenagers. The Young Man of the Match award went to Gus Davies who showed his best form of the season. Shame the skipper had a senior moment and left the prize at home!

Sat 10th July – Development XI v Spelthorne Melrose

DULWICH 195-9 lost to SPELTHORNE MELROSE 218-4 by 23 runs

A very young Development Team put up a gallant show against experienced opposition when they travelled to Sunbury Cross on Sunday, but had to concede defeat in this 35 overs a side contest.

Unfortunately, for the second week running the scheduled opposition scratched, but this time we were able to obtain a replacement fixture, and a good one it was too. Apart from the buzz of traffic on the nearby A308, the Spelthorne ground had much to commend it – well-kept, a fair-size pavilion and a decent batting strip.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat first. Their openers, in particular Donaldson, were severe on anything loose and keeping them in check proved a challenging task for the striving Dulwich bowlers. The fielders did their best to stem the flow of runs, but a dropped catch at mid-wicket when the total was barely in the 20s proved costly. The benefactor, Donaldson, took full advantage and proceeded to reel off a succession of boundaries. Having been dismissed for 99 the previous day, he went one better this time out and his maiden century was warmly applauded by both teams. The drinks break came and went with Dulwich still searching for a wicket and it was not until the 23rd over with the total on 153 when Jonny ‘Pebble’ Stone finally made the breakthrough, having Donaldson’s partner, Maynard, caught at extra-cover by debutant Max Flawn-Thomas. Donaldson himself followed shortly afterwards, bowled by ‘Pebble’ for exactly 100. But the departure of the opening pair brought little relief for the youngsters as number four Ward came in and promptly thumped a quick 42. After 35 overs the Spelthorne innings closed on 218-4, with only ‘Pebble’ (2-38) and Spencer Daws (1-43) of the Dulwich bowlers recording any success. Although he didn’t take a wicket, Felix Gilbert bowled very economically, conceding just 17 runs off 5 overs.

The Dulwich innings could not have got off to a worse start.  After edging a four from the first ball of the innings, Felix Gilbert holed out to mid-off from the second and ‘Pebble’ was bowled by an off-cutter off the very next delivery.  4 for 2!  Harry Chathli and Rordon Daws fared little better, making only six runs apiece before falling to smart slip catches, and the innings was in disarray at 26 for 4. But U14 Max Flawn-Thomas then joined surviving opener Chris Stone and together the pair did a fine repair job, putting on nearly a century stand. Chris was the dominant partner and completed a fine fifty before Max was out for an impressive 27. Cormac Meade came in at number seven and also gave Chris good support until the eldest of the ten teenagers in the side holed out to long-off, nine runs short of what would have been a deserved century. But overhauling the home side‘s total was too stiff a task despite the best efforts of the lower order.  Cormac was dismissed for a useful 18 and the innings closed on 195-9, 23 runs short but a valiant effort nonetheless.

Max and Cormac received a mention in dispatches but the young player of the match award went to Chris Stone for his 91.       

Sun 26th June – Development XI v Banstead

DULWICH 197-8 (40) beat BANSTEAD 137-8 (40) by 60 runs

Scorecard

Several fine performances from the younger players was the feature of Sunday’s fine win at Banstead. The victory also maintained the team’s good run in recent weeks, with four wins and a draw to their credit after starting the season with three straight losses.

The wicket was nice and flat, albeit a little damp after recent rainfall, and when JL won the toss he confidently elected to bat first in this 40 overs a side contest. But he must have been having second thoughts a few overs in! With only five runs on the board, openers Dylan Brook and the in-form James Chudley were back in the hutch, both having their furniture disturbed by the lively Banstead opening attack. But third wicket pair, Jonny ‘Pebble’ Stone and Henry Shine gradually repaired the early damage. ‘H’ struck four boundaries in a bright and breezy 27 before being dismissed with the score on 45. Pebble was then joined by Zach Wood, making his first appearance of the season, and the pair continued the recovery, taking the score past the century mark. Zach attacked the change bowlers at every opportunity, hitting eight fours and a six in an enterprising knock of 57, whilst Pebble adopted a more measured approach, collecting ones and twos to keep the score ticking along nicely. After Zach departed with the total on 129, Pebble was well supported by Dan Edwards (21) and Robbie Matthews (13) and eventually reached his first half-century for the Development Team before being caught for 52. After 40 overs the Dulwich innings closed on 197-8, a substantial total considering the poor start.

In contrast, the Banstead innings began well with 37 runs on the board after just six overs. Only one wicket fell during that period, with Gus Davies trapping the opposing skipper lbw. Apart from one bad over, which went for 14, Gus bowled a good opening spell and at a lively pace, finishing with figures of 3-29. Well supported by a tidy spell from Robbie Matthews, Gus applied a brake on the Banstead run rate. The home side rallied somewhat and raised their score to 104-3, but fell increasingly behind the required run rate as the off-breaks of Dan Edwards combined with the medium pace of Zach Wood provided few scoring opportunities. Desperation crept in and Dan (3-27) and Zach (2-15) reaped the rewards, reducing Banstead to 133 for 8. Numbers nine and ten survived the final overs, but added few runs and the home side finished on 137-8, leaving Dulwich comfortable winners by a margin of 60 runs.

Zach Wood received the team’s Young Man of the Match award for his all-round performance. Apart from one dropped catch, he also fielded very well.

Sadly, this was vice-captain Tony Ebert’s last game for the Club. Tony has been an invaluable help to the Development Team over the past decade and he was warmly thanked after the game for all the encouragement he has given to a succession of young players during the period. He has taken several wickets over the years, scored some useful runs and taken a number of fine catches at slip. He has also kept wicket on occasions and he gave a particularly competent display behind the stumps in this, his final game. Tony is moving north in the next few days to start a new life in Yorkshire and we wish him and Lindsay all the very best for the future.

Sun 19th June – Development XI v Franklin Lewin

DULWICH 73-8 (39.2) beat FRANKLIN LEWIN 72 (45.1) by 2 wickets

The Development XI continued their recent good run to make it three wins and a draw from their last four games with this narrow victory over Franklin Lewin CC at Netherne on the Hill near Coulsdon on Sunday afternoon. The feature of the game was the snail-like scoring rate with the home side taking 45.1 overs to reach their meagre tally of 72, whilst Dulwich had to battle through 39.2 overs before emerging as the winners. But there were extenuating circumstances. The wicket was not only damp and slow, but also low, and sometimes exceedingly low! The outfield posed even greater problems. Uncut all week due to the recent rain, the grass was even longer than this scribe’s back-lawn and in consequence boundaries were as rare as a lottery win.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat, but it quickly became evident that this was going to be a low-scoring game. Runs came ever so slowly, barely one an over for a long time, as the ball seldom travelled far off the square once it had beaten the infielders. The Dulwich bowlers had little difficulty exerting pressure and with the odd ball ‘popping’ too, wickets fell at regular intervals. At one stage, Franklin Lewin had been reduced to a desperate 38 for 7, but the tail rallied somewhat and they eventually took their score to 72. The home side’s number eight shrugged off a nasty blow to the back of his head after being felled at the non-striker’s end and returned to make 18, which was to prove the highest score of the match. It was not until the 38th over that John Lewis was able to record a four in his immaculate scorebook, and as the ball inched over the boundary line there were cheers from the batting team and the Dulwich fielders alike. Only Patrick George failed to join in, but perhaps not surprisingly as he was the bowler!

Six of the seven bowlers used took wickets, with Dan Edwards (3-8) the most successful. Seb Connor took 2-18 off 12 overs, Patrick George 1-20 off 12 after starting with four maidens, Jonny Stone took a wicket with his first ball, U14 debutant Felix Gilbert captured his first senior wicket, and Matt Balch picked up a couple at the death. The bowlers were well backed up in the field, with Julian Dean taking a fine running catch at mid-on, Chris Stone pocketing two at cover-point, and Matt Balch holding a couple in the old-fashioned leg-slip position. Even the skipper clung on to one for his first catch of the season!

Chasing such a modest total was never going to be easy for the Dulwich batsmen and every run had to be worked for. Felix Gilbert lost patience and skied one into the covers, out for 3, and Chris Stone perished for 12, out to a smart catch at square-leg. Matt Balch temporarily livened things up and hit the only two boundaries of the innings, off successive balls, only to be trapped lbw to a ‘shooter’ from the last delivery of the same over. He made 11. Patrick George was the only other Dulwich player to reach double figures, he also made 11. Harry Chathli, Jonny Stone and Dan Edwards each succumbed for the same score (4) and defeat was looking a real possibility with the scoreboard showing 53 for 7. However, after a little help from Seb Connor (5), the experienced pair of Tony Ebert and Julian Dean, eventually saw Dulwich home. Fittingly perhaps, on a grey afternoon and with rain starting to fall, the winning run came from a no-ball!

Sun 5th June – Development XI v Leatherhead

DULWICH 189-7 dec drew with LEATHERHEAD 171-9

With several youngsters missing due to school exams, the Development Team that lined up at Leatherhead on Sunday bore more of a resemblance to a Dad’s Army parade. Only Harry Chathli (U15) and Cormac Meade (U14) were younger than Corporal Pike!

Dulwich’s Captain Mainwaring won the toss and elected to bat first in a time game that was as rare as the warm and sunny conditions. Leatherhead’s picturesque ground boasts a good batting surface and the Dulwich opening pair of Julian (Private Walker) Dean and Sakib Rashed got off to a confident start. The score had moved along to 36 before Sakib was unluckily run out – your scribe hastens to add that this was not due to Julian’s calling, but the fact that Sakib slipped over in mid-wicket and couldn’t make his ground in time. Zakir Rostami then joined Private Walker, but the latter departed soon afterwards, holing out at cover for 22. Had he given his wicket away deliberately? Or was it just a coincidence that he was seen shortly afterwards attempting to sell silk stockings to the females among the small crowd soaking up the sun on the pavilion boundary?

Anyway, back to the real action. Harry Chathli Junior came in at number four and settled down nicely against some fairly testing bowling from a generally young Leatherhead attack. [Captain Mainwaring had already enquired of the opposing skipper why the home side were able to field so many young players in their team – he never did tell us the answer, but do the younger generation not take exams so seriously in the leafy suburbs?]

But Zaki and young Harry gradually got on top of the bowling, even if their slow-left armer did pose particular problems, and with a fair sprinkling of boundaries they put on over a century stand before Harry was caught at slip for 25 with the score on 157. Harry Junior was then replaced by eleventh hour replacement Harry Senior, but Dad fell victim to a blinding one-handed catch at backward square leg – that’ll teach him for picking out the tallest player on the opposition! Zaki marched on towards his century, but fell six runs short, well held at cover point off the slow left-armer. Cormac Meade hit a solid boundary as the declaration approached and after a clatter of wickets Captain Mainwaring decided to call a halt after 43 overs with the score on 189 for 7. Trevor (Private Godfrey) Griffiths was next in when the declaration came. Rumour has it that Mainwaring thought Godfrey has gone off to spend a penny, but in fact he was padded up and ready to bat and a trifle miffed that he didn’t get in. Surely that was no way to treat the joint leading wicket-taker on the 7th XI’s recent tour to Somerset. Mainwaring will surely have to explain his actions at this week’s selection committee and is likely to be severely censured.

The way the Leatherhead innings started suggested Dulwich’s total was not enough. The two openers took full advantage of anything loose, particularly when Cormac Meade dropped it short, and had 43 on the board inside eight overs. But paceman Jaba Jumagul then ‘timbered’ both of them and the introduction of Graeme Hough ensured that the run rate decreased at one end at least. After a lengthy period of little bowling due to his shoulder injury, Tony (Sergeant Wilson) Ebert joined Graeme in an all-spin attack which quickened up the over rate and kept the home side interested in pursuing their target. Although Sergeant Wilson generally bowled well, he was prone to bowl the odd four-ball which the tall man on the opposition summarily despatched into the hedge around the square-leg boundary. Whenever this happened, Mainwaring at slip was seen to raise his eyebrows to the heavens as if in despair. He really should have more faith in his trusty second in command! But ‘Wilson’ still grabbed a couple of wickets, as did the ever reliable Mr Hough at the far end. The second of the latter’s victims was neatly pocketed by Private Godfrey, just a few balls after he had reluctantly joined the close catchers. The home side continued their chase, but would probably have got much closer if they had put the Dad’s Army fielders under more pressure. In the event, Jaba replaced the tiring Sergeant Wilson and captured two more wickets, but Dulwich could not force a victory and the home side closed on 171-9, the ninth wicket falling off the last ball of the 40th and final over. So the match was drawn. Jaba finished with figures of 4-37, Graeme with 2-43 off 16 overs, and Sergeant Wilson with 2-57.

Harry Chathli received the Young Man of the Match award for his innings of 25 which suggests that he is now returning to the form he showed last season.