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Sun 28th Aug – Academy v Sanderstead

DULWICH 121-4 (35.2) beat SANDERSTEAD 119 (36.1) by 6 wickets


After finishing second in the group stages, Dulwich Academy XI were rewarded with a plate semi-final against reigning champions Sanderstead on an overcast day at the DSG.

The Academy XI had reached this stage under the excellent stewardship of top clubman Patrick George. As he often reminds us, Paddy loves cricket and is never afraid to go the extra mile for Dulwich. This week he went even further… 1200 miles further to be exact, as he left his team behind to celebrate his birthday on the beach in Italy. What a bloke! Taking up the reigns in his absence were the safe and steady hands of former skipper, the Chaos Engine himself, Euan Johnson.

Johnson’s first act – after giving his team a rousing preemptive bollocking – was to lose the toss. But with rain in the air and the wicket greener than the outfield, Captain Chaos was happy to accept Sanderstead’s invitation to bowl first. Leading the line for Dulwich were the Sam twins – ‘McLovin’ Ellison and Saleem.

After a full and frank discussion over who got to bowl with the wind, the smooth-talking McLovin pulled rank and, once his butler had marked his run up out for him, he began with the breeze at his back. The Sams have developed into a formidable opening duo in recent weeks and it was immediately apparent they had brought their very best to the big occasion, as both bowlers beat the bat at regular intervals.

The opening exchanges were cagey with the ball moving in the air and off the seam and the Sanderstead openers watchful, but it wasn’t long before the relentless accuracy paid off, Ellison trapping Ottewill in front for 5.

A period of rebuilding followed for Sanderstead with Ward and Azer carefully seeing off the Dulwich openers. With Johnson keen to hold back some overs of pace, Dulwich sought to extract a few overs from overseas superstar Matthew Balch and young seamer, Seb Connor.  Though the batsmen looked to press on, neither bowler allowed Sanderstead to get away, Connor in particular impressing on his Academy team debut. 

The 2nd wicket stand had passed 50 though, and with Sanderstead 67/1 and looking up the rate, Johnson made a double change, opting for spin at both ends in the shape of Jonny Stone and James Hirst. Azer, sensing it was time to move through the gears, shaped to launch his first delivery from Stone over mid-wicket only to be deceived by the late dip, bowled for 23.

The younger Stone has played plenty of cricket with Hirst of late, and it was clear he had been listening carefully about how to bowl the mythical ‘wicket-taker’. Interspersed between an excellent few overs of spin bowling were two long-hops – both caught by Johnson at mid-wicket – and a full toss – caught at mid-on by Balch. In the 7 overs surrounding drinks, Stone had eviscerated the Sanderstead top order, reducing them from 67/1 to 74/5. 

At the other end, the Sanderstead batsmen had been (unduly) cautious to the third-choice left-arm spin of Hirst, allowing him to rattle through maiden after maiden. After four overs of blocking, the first shot in anger saw the ball loft high to mid-on where McLovin – no stranger to rattling through the odd maiden himself, eh ladies ;) – took an excellent tumbling catch.

Another collapse followed: a tactical mis-field from Captain Chaos resulted in a run-out and Hirst got rid off the battling Horner (19) with his obligatory full toss.  The second-string spin twins handed back to the Sam twins with the score at 105-8. Hirst returning a miserly 8-4-16-2 and Jonny Stone a match-winning 8-1-27-4, including 4 of the top 5.

The Sams took no time in claiming the final two wickets, Ellison (6-2-15-2) finding the edge to give keeper Guy Skinner a deserved victim, before a wicked yorker from Saleem (5.1-1-18-1) smashed through the defences of the Sanderstead number 11. 

120 runs were required for a place in the final, but Dulwich were taking nothing for granted. Sanderstead were the reigning champions, and from the moment they took to the field, it was clear to see that they were a fine side. 

Despite their obvious disappointment in posting such a low total, the visitors were lively in the field and put pressure on Dulwich from the outset. Their captain, Allen, opened with decent pace. Senior pro, Raj Tulsiani left the first ball with care, the second ball, he also left… though with considerably less care – bowled. Dulwich were 0/1. Chris Stone quickly followed, adjudged LBW for 6. 16-2, and Sanderstead had their tails up…

With Dulwich players desperately grasping for their pads, the two new men set about turning the game back in Dulwich’s favour. The bowlers threw everything they had at Guy Skinner and Rordon Daws, but the pair knew that wickets in hand would win the day. Sunday-specialist, Skinner, took full advantage of every loose delivery to keep the scoreboard ticking over just enough, whilst Daws blocked, left, and blocked some more. 

With the score on 83, the partnership of 67 was brought to an abrupt end when Skinner (34) was run out by a direct hit from long range. Captain Johnson (14) upped the scoring rate a little before he too fell to the excellent Allen.

With 7 overs to get 17 runs and plenty of wickets in hand, Daws (29* off 92) finally allowed himself to open up, hitting Azer for a boundary through square leg, before smiting the Sanderstead spinner for glorious 6 over mid-on. All that remained was for red-ink enthusiast, Balch (5*) to hit the winning runs and take Dulwich into the final against Sunbury.

This was an excellent all-round performance from the Academy side, led well by stand-in skipper. Dulwich bowled superbly, held all their catches and batted with real maturity, never allowing Sanderstead back into the game. With the squad strengthened further next week by the return of the skipper and others, the Doggies have a great opportunity to cap off a successful 2016 with another trophy. Please come along and show your support!

WASIM RAJA SHIELD FINAL: Dulwich Academy vs Sunbury Chieftains  
Away at Banstead (1pm start)

Sun 7th Aug – Development XI v Catford & Cyphers

DULWICH 175-3 (39.4) beat CATFORD & CYPHERS 172 (37) by 7 wickets

An unbeaten century from Chris Stone guided a young Development Team containing nine teenagers to a fine win against a fairly experienced Catford & Cyphers eleven at the DSG on Sunday. The margin of victory might appear convincing, but the winning runs were scored with only two balls to spare.

The visitors won the toss and elected to take first knock in this 40 overs a side contest. Dulwich’s opening attack was rather wayward and Catford, despite losing one of their openers for a duck, had 37 runs on the board inside five overs. Gradually the Dulwich bowlers exercised greater control and wickets fell at regular intervals. However, their number four bat posed a real threat with a series of fine attacking strokes and so long as he was at the crease Catford were on course for a sizeable total. But U13 off-spinner Ben Hoffmann had the danger man caught at long on by Pat George for 59 and despite a frustrating ninth wicket stand, Dulwich eventually dismissed their opponents for a total of 172 in the 37th over.

U16 medium pacer Oscar Osmond captured the first two wickets and returned to take the last two as well, finishing with figures of 4-37. Robbie Matthews took 1-25, whilst the remaining wickets were shared by the three spinners, Jonny Stone (2-30) Pat George (2-32) and Ben Hoffmann (1-30).

Dulwich’s reply could not have got off to a worse start. Jonny Stone was bowled by the first ball of the innings, dashing any hopes of an opening stand with his elder brother. But Chris dug in in his usual solid style and found a more than useful ally in U14 Cormac Meade. Chris dominated the early scoring as the pair built a platform for victory but Cormac blossomed as the partnership grew and the run rate increased. Chris punished anything loose and glided past his half-century, whilst Cormac followed suit and hit seven boundaries before being caught behind for 44. Together they had put on a second wicket stand of 132, leaving Dulwich just 41 short of victory with ten overs remaining. Mario Lambrette hit a quick boundary but perished soon after, 136-3. Pat George then joined Chris Stone and the two 19-year-olds kept the score ticking over nicely as the target approached. Chris eventually reached his century, having also made a ton in the corresponding fixture last year, and when the final over started just two runs were required with Pat on strike. A few finger nails were chewed by his watching team-mates as Pat failed to make contact with the first three deliveries, but he hammered the fourth ball to the mid-wicket boundary for four and Dulwich were home and dry…. but only just!

Cormac Meade received the team’s Young Man of the Match award for his invaluable partnership with Chris Stone and his knock of 44 – his highest score in senior cricket. Well done, Cormac!

Sun 31st July – Development XI v South Bank

DULWICH 117 lost to SOUTH BANK 153 by 36 runs

A young Development Team containing ten teenagers, including two U13s making their debuts in senior cricket, put up a gallant show but were beaten by an experienced South Bank side on a difficult wicket at Burbage Road on Sunday.

South Bank won the toss and elected to bat first in this ‘local derby’ fixture but they did not find runs easy to come by against the Dulwich opening attack of Henry Shine (2-18) and Robbie Matthews (3-25).  Alex Vinen (1-17 off 8 overs) bowled a teasing spell and his leg-spinners deserved better reward. The visitors’ lower middle order wagged, however, and helped by a hard-hitting 35 from their number eight they managed to compile a competitive score of 153. The other Dulwich wicket-takers were Gus Davies (2-41), Ben Hoffmann and Cormac Meade.

As with their opponents, the Dulwich batsmen struggled to contend with the low bounce and victory appeared a forlorn hope after the loss of four early wickets. Theo Chaudoir (18) and Henry Shine (25) steadied the ship with some fine shots in an enterprising partnership but when these two perished the writing was on the wall.  Robbie Matthews completed a good all-round performance with a knock of 20, but the home side were eventually dismissed for 117 to leave South Bank as reasonably comfortable winners.

Despite the defeat there were several encouraging performances by the Dulwich youngsters who were far from disgraced. This week’s Young Man of the Match award went to U13 Ben Hoffmann. Recovering from a loose opening over, he bowled with better control in his next three overs and took a useful wicket. He also batted confidently, despite scoring just eight runs, and shows much promise for the future.

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.