Dulwich 1st XI continued their preseason with a difficult trip to Kent Premier League side Bexley and came away with an excellent victory, having played half the game with ten men! Fast bowler Tom Savill returned for his first game for the club after a couple of seasons away, and Arun Mahey made his first appearance of the season after an impressive campaign last summer. Chris Lester was unavailable for the clash as he was on Best man duties at a wedding and according to sources, his speech was legendary! Mark Kelly was also unavailable and Majeed was not yet in the country.
The forecast was very good with temperatures hitting 25 degrees. The toss was going to be very important as one team would have to field in the blistering heat for 40 overs…
Captain Anil Mahey won the toss and elected to bat on what looked like a very good batting wicket. Anil looked in fine form scoring an impressive 43, smashing Bexley’s attack to all corners of the ground, opening alongside Ed Matten ,25, who also looked very comfortable at the crease. Nick ‘Terry Tibbs’ Storey came in at number three and played a very mature innings for Dulwich with wickets falling around him. Storey batted very cleverly using the depth of the crease and hitting the ball towards the smaller boundary to get a lot of runs. The middle order did little to support Storey however long ball hitter James Balmforth did selflessly sacrifice his own wicket to give Storey the strike in the death overs. Storey ended up on 71 not out, and Dulwich ended their innings on 189-9 off the allocated 40 overs.
Bexley’s innings began with some real drama as Savill speared a fast delivery that smashed into Bexley’s overseas opening batsman’s pads, only to be given not out. The umpire made his decision and we got on with the game. An even faster yorker the very next over knocked the middle and off stump out of the ground! Savill ended on 6-1-31-2 Bobby Iftikhar also opened the bowling and looked as fit as he has ever been. Asked if he was looking forward to the season, he replied ‘yeeas!’. Iftikhar bowled a naughty outswinger that caught the outside edge, and Balmforth took an outrageous catch to dismiss one of Bexley’s Kent Academy batsmen. Leg Spinner Arun Mahey came on first change as Anil wanted to keep his bowlers fresh for the season. It did not start as he got for a six in his first over, however in the second he cleaned up a Bexley’s bat with an unplayable delivery. Then an LBW the following over with a slider to finish on 8-1-26-2. Young Arun also got a run out when the Bexley batsmen thought they could take on his throw from mid-on, but the batsman gave up once the ball whistled past him into Balmorth’s gloves and he took the bails off.
Even with Dulwich’s great fielding and bowling display, young all-rounder Andrew Corbin dislocated his shoulder whilst fizzing in the ball from the boundary line. He was taken to hospital to get checked out but Dulwich had to play the rest of the game with only 10 men. However the Dulwich outfit were determined to win the game for the injured Corbin; Levi ’501′ Olver, Dulwich’s new slow left armer bowled a very good spell keeping the runs down from one end, and James Soulsby cleaned up from the other end, finishing with four wickets from his 5.4 overs. Captain Anil ‘Short Tubby’ Mahey, according to the scorer, even bowled an over and looked impressive.
In truth, Dulwich were comfortable for their win, and deserved the applause from the crowd as they walked off the pitch. It was hard to pick a man of the match as so many of the team contributed to the win.