Sat 28th May – 5th XI v Bromley Common

Despite being in a new league the 5th XI still have a few games against old foes from the South Thames League.  Saturday brought us up against Bromley Common 3rd XI who had started the new season well with three wins. 

Selection had again thrown up a few changes and the challenge was going to be getting a decent batting line up as 4 of the top 6 from the week before were unavailable.  The previous week’s problems in getting an umpire and the subsequent forfeit of the toss kicked off a search for a suitable man in a white coat.  Alan Edwards had managed to talk Chris Reardon into taking on the role.  Great to see Chris back at the club and I’m sure he will continue to “call it as he sees it!”.  I’m sure all the boys will be happy to see “Ray” for the rest of the season.

Bromley Common didn’t have an umpire and we would have been in our rights to assume that we had won the toss as the league rules allow us to.  In the spirit of cricket we decided we would let the toss of the coin decide the outcome.  It was a cold and blustery day and winning the toss allowed us to bowl first.

The opening attack of Mangal Nasiri and Deb Biswas started well and we (Deb on his return to Dulwich after a couple of years away) took a couple of early wickets.  Tony McCann for Bromley Common was still there and he has a history of big runs against us.  They were 83 for 2 at drinks off 23 overs with Jamie Hall having replaced Deb and a rather wayward Peter Black having taking over from Mangal.  The Skipper Tim Brown had just one over before drinks as youngster Stefan Begg had a twinge in his shoulder.  A good lesson for Stefan is never to let Tim to get on before you as getting the ball off him is much harder (than anything!).

After drinks the wily duo of Brown and Simon Bailey showed that pace off is a good tactic on the DSG pitches.  Bromley Common found it really difficult to score under pressure from the tight bowling and really good tight fielding support from all of the team.  1 wicket from Bails and 3 from Tim as we tightened the screw.    Deb was then brought back from the bottom (Turney Road) end and he added the 3 wickets he needed to start his return with a Michelle (… Pfeiffer ,  Five-for) bowling with control and fire.  Shok supported all the bowlers well with a fine display behind the stumps including a stumping standing up to Deb.

They had made 161 in the final over so we knew if we batted well we would be in a good position to win the game and Shok and Alan Edwards started well getting us to 40 without loss. 

Alan then played across the line to a shooter and the wickets started to tumble.  Jesse was given out lbw and Paul Mayo struggled to get started given the hamstring injury he had picked up when he was fielding.  Stefan Begg was promoted up the order to balance the fact he hadn’t managed to bowl a single ball but he never looked comfortable.    Shok also perished – facing experienced slow medium bowler Derek Bloomfield Shok was determined that we would not get bogged down in overs of slow scoring, unfortunately he attacked too earlier and to the wrong ball and managed to get out bowled.

 Jamie Hall stayed for a while but was really struggling to time the ball before he too went lbw.  Peter Black scored a few but could not repeat his big hitting from the week before.  Suddenly we had lost 7 for 52.  With only three wickets left and 69 to get we were in a tricky spot, although the required rate was only around 5.  Bailey and Brown then paired up with the bat much as they had with the ball and worked to get us back into the game.  33 runs later and Simon got a ball that moved a mile off the seam to bowl him and Deb Biswas strode out to the middle.  Still game on and Deb mixed a few lusty blows with a few overs of struggling to deal with the moving ball,  Building another partnership of 15 before Tim went to a very good catch at first slip – slashing hard and looking for that sneaky edged two.  At this stage we needed 20 off a couple of overs and Mangal strode to the crease determined to have a big slog.

The next over was a blur as we turned the pressure back on Bromley Common and almost won the game.  A few majestic shots from Mangal and we needed 12 off 4 balls.  Finally in trying to turn a 2 into a 3 a run out caused by the confusion and pressure of a close game finally did for us.  Another close loss to one of the sides who will challenge for the league.

Given our regularly changing personnel we are putting up a decent showing but we need to concentrate and play our good cricket for the whole game.  I am sure if we play well then we will win many more games in this league. 

6th Spot and only a win and a bit short of the top!  Next week Ex Blues away!

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