Archive | April, 2011

Sat 23rd April – 1st XI v Bexley

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.

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Sun 17th April – 1st XI vs North London Muslims

On a fine sunny Sunday in South London a collection of cricketers gathered.  As is often the case early season not everyone knew each other and much time was spent getting to know who people were, did they bat or bowl and who had they played for previously.

The opposition were found at late notice by the fantastically efficient John Lawrence.  The Met Police were the original opponents but had to pull out as the demands on the boys in blue of two FA cup semis, a London Marathon, an Arsenal v Liverpool game and general capital criminals were high.    The replacements were the North London Muslims and they were capable, very keen and played good aggressive cricket all day.

Our warm up involved integrating with a commnity cricket day with a set of kids who delighted in telling us the rules and pointing out when we didn’t have a clue!  Particularly good to see Robbo being ordered about by a slight 10 year old.  The organisers are planning to put a video on you tube so when they do well put a link from the website.

Simon Leather won the toss to make it three out of three for teams over the weekend.  We batted and with 9 bowlers in the side Simon needed to make a few inspired choices in roles and batting order.  The first of these was to open with Tom Peacock who was looking mean and moody until he was given out lbw early. 

Amer Saeed (one of our real batsmen) started well and built a decent little partnership with Dave Robson against a succession of bowlers who just moved it around a bit.  Robbo with a glide straight to backward point and James Bridgland then fell.  Simon Leather went in and for a short while looked really good, a stylish cameo that brought him 19 runs. 

Amer continued on his way with Tom Barnard now in supporting him and the normally steady Amer started hitting sixes to move the game forwards.  Tom got into his teens, James Finch and Mustafa Kamaal went for single figures as we struggled to build partnerships.  Amer finally perished for 90 (caught) and the tail crept us up to 204 for 9 off the 40 overs.

Tea was a good taster for what we’ll get at both home venues this season. We’ll need extra training just to stay at the same weight.

Simon’s plans had been slightly hampered by the length of Tom Peacock’s innings. Tom opened the bowling with Prasanna and as we guessed the opposition were swinging straight away. The runs came quickly as well as a few balls in the air that on another day may have gone to hand.  To one of the openers we had two slips two gullys and a point and still we needed more. Tom bowled really well cramping the batsmen and Prasanna got the worst of the aggression and the luck. A wicket each and the three and four bats were just as aggressive.

Simon then changed things around and brought on James Bridgland from the Presidents end. Bridgey bowled with pace and bounce and kept jabbing the ball back in to the best of th e batsmen. The legspin of Tim Brown was the next weapon used (Bridgey coining the phrase anti-cricket due to the excessive use of flight and guile). Doesn’t he know cricket is an art form not just a show of brute strength!

A wicket from Bridgey and 2 from Tim and we had them in trouble. Their best bat was still at the crease however and while he was there they had a real chance. A very short and wayward spell from Mustafa and Prassana’s last over from the top was followed by a good spell from Dulwich’s fitness guru Jamie Hall.

James finch then replaced Tim at the Croquet end and bowled well to put their bat under pressure and took the wicket with a somewhat dubious leg before decision. Jamie and James the finished off the tail to have the North London Muslims all out for 171 (check) and a comfortable win in the end. 

Thanks to John Lewis for scoring and ladies keeper Sam Hulcoop for umpiring all day.

Sat 16th April – 2nd XI vs Wycombe House

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With high hopes for a title challenging season ahead in the Surrey 2nd XI Premier League, and the expected strong competition for places across the club with new and returning players, the 2nds got their season underway with a solid all round victory against Wycombe House.

Everybody got a chance to get outside, blow off the cobwebs, re-adjust their hearing to accommodate an afternoon of Gareth Cornick’s constant West Midlands din, welcome some new players and compare successful off-season fitness programmes…

In unseasonally good April weather Dulwich won the toss and elected to bat. Virtually all the batsman got some time at the crease and opener Andrew Cornick looked especially fluent for his score of 62. Skipper Richard Reid looked safe as houses at the crease playing like Boycott to scratch a handful of runs over the last 5 overs. With the game-changing big hitters due in next, Richard’s strategy of keeping them like coiled springs ready for the 1st league game of the season is a risky one, but given his track record of getting things right in the face of adversity his ploy is destined to succeed. Everybody is looking forward to seeing him star with his new bat this season. Dulwich posted a competitive score of 216 in their 40 overs.

Wycombe House came out with all guns firing and having clearly been influenced by the recent World Cup and current IPL season, looked to put Dulwich’s opening bowlers under pressure from the off by making use of the short boundary.

With this aggressive style of course came chances, and with all of the Dulwich bowlers sticking to their tasks, the 2s bowled Wycombe House out for 161 in 30 overs to set up a winning margin of 55 runs. Stand out bowlers were Aamir Siddique, Tim Gatenby and young Tom Barnard who showed real promise and caught a tough, steepling key catch on the boundary with real aplomb.

All in all a sound start to the season and a good first-game outing for all involved. Roll-on the league season…

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