(Thursday, 2 June) The highlight of the weekend (the 21st and 22nd of May) was getting a clean sweep of our top 4 Men’s teams in the Surrey Championship. This is a pretty rare occurrence but one that hopefully happens a few times this year.
The 1sts were at Epsom and chose to bat. A partnership between Ed Matten (43) and overseas Majeed Jehangir (71) set the base and quick runs from Tom Savill, Nick Storey and Mark Kelly helped us get to 266 for 7. We then bowled Epsom out for 212 with 7 and a half overs to go. Arun Mahey probably the pick of the bowlers with 3 for 39 off his 10.
The 2s won yet another of their nail biters in front of a large crowd who know they are always likely to get drama with the 2s. Epsom chose to bat making 198 all out in the final over. Wickets were shared around the strong bowling attack. In reply we were 7 down for 131 before a partnership between Reid and Pettigrew. In the end we won in the last over to put the 2s in 2nd place.
The 3s bowled and Banstead made 216 for 8 with 3 wickets each for Nick Pritchard and Zakir Rostami. A good innings from Charlie Kemp of 104 not out was the basis of a straight forward win by 7 wickets.
The 4s beat Malden Wanderers. An unbeaten 126 from Alan Edwards allowed a declaration at 269 for 4. Early wickets put the opposition under pressure from which they did not recover.
In the Kent Regional League the 5s and the 6s both lost. The 5ths lost a close game to unbeaten Catford and Cyphers. Sam Taylor returning with a fifty and Mangal Nasiri keeping up his good early season form with 4 for. The 6s lost to a good Orpington side and are lower down the table than we would like at this stage. Still 15 rounds to go though.
The 7s lost the second of the Nat West Series against the Amblers. Nick Rochford top scoring with 45.
On Sunday the Ladies won their 2nd game of the season by 9 wickets and are in the top half of their table (although played more games than those around them). A good all round bowling display with 3 wickets for Sophie Geldard and Jane Ball as we bowled Sibton Park out for 57 in 21 overs.
The Sunday 2s lost to Downham and Bellingham by 31 runs with overseas Majeed scoring a few runs (48) and regular Sunday start Booby Iftikhar taking 3 for 9. The Sunday Development side lost to Clapham Nomads by 21 runs despite 50s from Simon Leather and Mal Persaud.
Colts Round Up
The U13s 1st team lost in a low scoring game against Spencer. We managed to bowl Spencer out for 94 but were all out for 67. The strong Dulwich U13 2nds won against Addiscombe. Scoring 120 for 5 (Ben Grace 30*) we held Addiscombe to 105 for 9.
The U13s also won a cup game against Sutton. A hat trick from Ben Swanson as we contained Sutton to 97 – 7. In reply we were 77 for 8 before an 8th wkt partnership of 25 (Cameron Gleave & Joe Wilson) saw Dulwich into the next round.
The U12s “A” team had a home match against Spencer. The opposition batted first and scored 115 off their 20 overs. A fine stand between Sameer Saleem (20) and Guy Deasy (30 retired not out), a great knock from Thomas Cable 24* and a fine cut from debutant Samuel Stopford (also took 3 wickets in an over) that raced to the boundary for a fantastic last ball win
The U12 “B” team scored 133 for 2 wickets off 20 overs and then limited Wandgas to 103 for 8 off their 20 overs with a good all round performance from Ben Williams well supported by the rest of the team.
The U11s beat Purley at home. Purley were all out for 75 (Jonny Stone 3 for 5) which we made in the 17th over. Til Ewart man of the match for an unbeaten 32 runs.
The U11 pairs lost to a good Spencer after fighting hard to the very last ball. Our final score was a beatable 236 yet we defended it very well until the last few overs when the game slipped away from us.
The U11s also had a friendly Twenty20 v their Dulwich College counterparts with a great wicket and a great tea. The College batted first and scored 117 (49 for Til Ewart who could have represented either side). Ultimately we fell short by 27 runs in a good competitive game.
The U10s were away at Alleyn & Honor Oak and fielded first. Max Swanson taking 4 wkts and Man of the Match as they scored 220. We batted sensibly to lose only two wickets as we scored 315 (starting at 200).
The U9B team played a friendly against the U8A team and posted 309 (starting at 200) and the younger boys batting well to take the game to the drama of the last ball before age (experience?) prevailed and relief for the U9s.
- Tim Brown
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Stephen Hale’s outstanding unbeaten century guided Dulwich 3rd XI through a comprehensive winning chase against Beddington on a scorching Saturday at the Dulwich Sports Ground.
With the temperature pushing 26°C, the day started unpromisingly as Dulwich captain Simon Leather struggled with the basic physics involved in the successful extraction of sun cream from its bottle – but showed greater aptitude at the toss and won it; a strong batting line-up dictating him in choosing to bowl first and chase later in the day.
The Beddington innings got off to a reasonable start before Prasanna Callaghan picked up the first wicket in the 7th over – his brutal yorker breaking through Zaman’s defences. At the other end David Gritton was exploiting an excellent line without due reward, not helped by a dropped chance by Oliver Steward at point. The second wicket arrived, however, when a questionable single was attempted to the same fielder and the run out completed with the aid of new ‘keeper Aled Griffiths. Callaghan was removed from the attack and Tom Gattenby given a go – and he was the next wicket taker, inducing a tiny edge from Austin which the Lector-masked Griffiths took superbly standing up to the stumps. Beddington were now 62/3 after 18 overs – Dulwich bowling well but the score still ticking over with the aid of a quick outfield and some sloppy Dulwich fielding.
Sloppy soon would become a more than generous description of the fielding performance as four more catches were put down during the middle overs allowing each Beddington batsman to get settled, on what was proving a good wicket, and reach double figures. The unfortunate bowlers included David Woods – replacing Gritton who had manfully bowled 11 overs straight through in the sapping conditions without picking up a wicket – who eventually nabbed two of the middle order. Both were predictably caught by the luckless Gritton.
After a series of decent 20 and 30 run partnerships between the Beddington batsmen, Gritton was finally to get his reward as he came back to wrap up the innings, first removing Owen for 53 and then picking up three further tail-end wickets. He finished with 4-73 from 16 good overs. Callaghan added a further wicket to his figures at the end too, ending with 2-53 from 15. The Beddington innings, totalling 247 all out, had extended into the 53rd over – the last seven overs notable for captain Leather, necessitated by injuries to Dave Owen and Gritton, choosing to prepare his top 3 batsmen for the chase by having them complete long-on to long-on, long-off to long-off and cow corner to cow corner jogs respectively at the end of each over.
Retrospectively, this may have paid dividends as Dulwich’s reply was exploded into life by fired-up opener Andy Cornick. Unafraid to wantonly launch the Beddington bowlers aerially in the arc between mid off and cover, Cornick blazed to 51 within the first 13 overs of the innings, cleanly-striking some lovely shots. He surprisingly fell, however, as Beddington switched to some accurate medium pace – the Dulwich innings looking strong at 81/1, though.
A period of caution then followed as Steward joined Hale in the middle and only five runs were scored in the next six overs. The Beddington bowlers were by now feverishly wound up; the combination of Cornick’s assault, Steward’s monotonous forward defensive poke and Hale’s supposed unscrupulousness in not walking for a ‘nick’ he wasn’t really close to, resulting in some sub-par decorum ‘chat’. Being unable to sustain the pressure, though, the shackles soon fell off and Hale and Steward moved the score on to 149/1 in the 33rd before Steward fell to a sizeable edge behind for 21, looking to increase the rate. Hale meanwhile was really finding his touch after an introspective start and had brought up his 50 with a sublime cut through point. With the order re-jigged after Owen’s injury, Abu Arabi got a chance further up the order and struck a couple of pleasingly aggressive shots before super-crabbing down past one and getting stumped when on 16.
Leather was next to join Hale, the score well set at 194/3 – a further 55 runs required off of the final nine overs. This was achieved with some aplomb, as Hale smote a series of boundaries – including a glorious searing six down the ground – and Leather looked positive and ran hard for his 23 runs; Hale bringing up a magnificent, chanceless hundred in the process and finishing the innings unbeaten on 114. An excellent victory secured with seven wickets and eight balls to spare – a tighter margin than the actual ease of victory would suggest, but testament to a well-constructed and well-paced chase; Hale the chief architect.
Dulwich 3rd XI now sit third in the table and face top-of-the-table Sunbury next week; the manner of this comprehensive victory providing plenty of confidence ahead of that fixture, though the standard of fielding must improve if we are to give ourselves the best possible chance of victory.
This game was not unlike watching one of the more prosaic episodes of the once popular TV Series “Baywatch”. At the start of the programme we are asked to gaze in wonder at what the programme makers obviously believe to be the epitome of female perfection. Wearing only bright orange swimsuits these women run along the beach. Each quivering movement of the female form is lovingly caught by the voyeuristic camera in slow motion and the average heterosexual male viewer is rapidly brought to the conclusion that the next 30 minutes of TV will be a bit “special.” All too often, as in Cricket, what promises well, rapidly declines into an almost unwatchable piece of television dross which serves merely as a clothes line on which the advertising agencies can hang their over blown messages of hyperbole: otherwise known as “commercials”.
The Abinger Hammer Cricket ground is a picture of perfection. Had Gainsborough been alive, he would have leapt on this rural idyll and replicated it in the finest materials Windsor & Newton has to offer. There is a swift flowing and clear bottomed stream at one end in which small children paddle and try and catch scaly members of the piscatorial species with large nets on the end of bamboo canes. [Ed's note: I think we are talking about fish here. Can we please try and cut down on the unnecessary verbosity? We are now halfway through the second para. And I have yet to read anything about the game itself!] Their parents set out their picnic tables in anticipation of witnessing a cricketing “battle royale”.
The highly tuned athletes of the Dulwich 7th XI take the field and flex their muscles in the early summer sun, having much the same effect on any female bystanders that Pamela Anderson has on the male section of the TV audience. Skipper John Smith (who bears more than a passing resemblance to David Hasselhoff – the male lead of “Baywatch”) gathers his fine specimens of manhood around him and urges them into battle. Fast bowler David Hawes paces out his run and prepares to bowl full pelt downhill at the unsuspecting Abinger batters. He bowls 11 overs, 0 maidens and takes 1 wicket while conceding 62 runs.
In fact, the game, like many episodes of Baywatch, takes on a faintly humdrum aspect: bowlers are brought on and taken off, catches are offered and dropped, some wickets are taken but there is a feeling that Abinger are moving inexorably towards a satisfactory total. Even when the svelte and athletic Rochford leaps, salmon-like, to take a splendid and unexpected catch on the deep square leg boundary (off yet another of Gibson’s long hops) there is a feeling that Abinger are in control of the situation. They eventually declare on 203 for 6.
At tea, the vast multitude of spectators departed from the ground and did not return. Even the young anglers (who had hitherto shown only a passing interest in the activities on the playing area) left their watery playground and headed off for, presumably, a well-earned supper of Fish Fingers and Chips.
For the Dulwich 7th XI, it must be said that 203 is a large number of runs to chase down, especially in what amounted to 37 overs. Although talisman Gibson (5) departed early, Cook (48) and Blench (40) batted in spirited fashion to add 104 runs to the score before being separated. Cook, in particular, played some fine leg sweeps and pulls but showed a marked lack of tactical “nous” by hitting the ball into some very long undergrowth on several occasions before the final 20 overs had been called. A swiftly run 3 can have more advantages than a mightily hit 4 in these circumstances.
Rochford jnr and Peters attempted to revive the run chase, but it was clear that the target was well beyond Dulwich’s reach and the game (like episode 534 of Baywatch) petered out into an uneventful draw. The ground remained bathed in an evening sun and a very pleasant time was had on the patio of Abinger Hammer’s well appointed pavilion, quaffing Surrey Hills Ale from the local Ranmore brewery.
Dulwich 7th’s move off to the frozen wastes of Totteridge and Whetstone next week where the mighty Whittington (by their own admission: North London’s worst cricket team) lie in wait.