Sun 29th May – 7th XI v Witham Friary


After receiving a mauling at the hands of the Full Monty and Fonthill Park Cricket Clubs, the Dulwich 7th XI tourists arrived at their third fixture like a herd of thirsty elephants who had trekked hundreds of miles across the barren Savannah lands of the Great Rift valley and finally arrived at their favourite watering hole in Witham Friary. They were soon sniffing the nectar of victory when Witham’s openers Comas and Pole were dismissed for 19. Hyde turned the tables, by playing with elegance and wristy fluidity for his 37.

Skipper Smith ran through his Liquorice Allsorts of bowlers and Hawes, Peters, Mascarenhas and Nanda all claimed wickets but none of these bowlers were able to make the incisive inroads that off-spinner Gibson achieved with the not unimpressive figures of 3 for 33. Bowling a lethal mixture of full tosses, long hops and viciously spinning unplayable balls, Gibson wrapped the Witham Friary innings up with a chilling efficiency and the hosts were only able to post a modest 106 all out on the board.

Dulwich’s innings, however, was one of toil and attrition against the Witham bowlers. Unfortunately, these same bowlers did themselves no favours by conceding more wides to the opposition than the Liberal Democratic Party conceded in policies to the Conservatives in order to gain a partial and tenuous grip on power in the House of Commons. Like a glacier moving through a terminal moraine, the Dulwich batsmen edged towards the required score.

At one point, with the score 45 for 4 it seemed that they might stumble and fall down a precipice of their own making. But Gibson arrived at the crease and fought a titanic cat and mouse struggle with ex Dulwich and Minor Counties player, spinner Jerry Barnes who bowled a mixture of skidding leg breaks and seamers reminiscent of his namesake: the great S.F. Barnes.

Gibson prodded and pushed (occasionally pulling Barnes to the square leg boundary with with wrist rolling authority) and carefully allowed Barnes to bowl out his allotted 8 overs (it was a 40 overs a side match). Gibson emerged as top Dulwich run scorer (19) but the most successful player was called Extras who scored no less than 43.

Peters finally hoisted the flag of victory for Dulwich with what can only be described as an unorthodox flat batted tennis shot to the square leg boundary.

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