Sat 7th May – 6th XI v Blackheath

Dulwich 138 all out lost to Blackheath by 3 wickets

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A new era dawned for the ‘new’ 6th team as Dulwich entertained rivals Blackheath for their first game in the Kent Regional League, Division 1C  (does anyone understand the league hierarchy?) at DSG.

Skipper for the day, Matt Craig lost the toss and was promptly put into bat on an even lower, slower wicket than normal, thanks to some unseasonably arid conditions.

Progress was slow and steady against some talented youngsters with a solid foundation being laid for what was hoped would be a competitive score.  Only Alan Edwards seemed to have the measure of the pitch and the bowling, combining solid defence with comprehensive punishment of anything loose.

Wickets fell steadily at the other end and Blackheath made the crucial breakthrough with Alan falling for 51 with the score on 104. The remainder of the batting succumbed disappointingly with a mixture of poor shots and a little bad luck, appropriately ending with an ill-judged single and a run out. The last 6 wickets falling for 34 to 138 all out in 41.2 overs  – this also gave Blackheath an extra 4 overs to reach the rather modest target.

Dulwich retired to the dressing room to formulate a strategy and then scoffed a massively improved tea over last year’s fare.  In reply Dave O’Higgins (1-35 from 11 overs) and Matt Craig kept things tight, with Dave bowling the opener for a duck.  The second wicket proved more troublesome and the captain called upon Steve Johns to eek out a wicket or two with his dubious off-spin (though he may have been expecting his very dibbly dobblies!).  This did however bear fruit as Steve removed the useful looking opener with a return catch off a leading edge for 25.  This was quickly followed up with the well-set number three, lbw for 21 and the number four was soon deceived into scooping to Malcolm Persaud at midwicket.  A fourth followed with a well taken edge to the Tony Ebert in the slips.  The five-wicket haul was completed with a drive to Peter Rice in the covers. Steve finished with 5-43 from his 10 overs.

However, from a position of relative strength, Dulwich struggled thereafter to finish off the tail.  After consolidation, their young number 7 began to take the attack to the bowlers – rather fortuitously surviving two dropped catches and a moment of controversy to make what turned out to be a match winning 56* to go with his 4 cheap wickets. Only Matt (1-30 from 11 overs) could make further inroads with an LBW – but Blackheath cruised home by 3 wickets with plenty of time to spare.

A good effort with an attack perhaps a little light on bowling, but plenty of room for improvement.  Roll on Saturday!

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