Sat 7th May – 2nd XI v Addiscombe

DULWICH 253-6 (50) beat ADDISCOMBE 130 (28.5) by 123 runs


Whilst Edward Thomas remembered Addlestop, Dulwich 2nds will remember Addiscombe. The season began on a beautiful day with a comprehensive victory to which everyone contributed.

After winning the toss, Dulwich elected to bat. Ferguson and Hudson started positively, dispatching bad balls and sauntering slowly between the wickets. When Hudson departed for 18, Rostami took over where he had left off and the scoreboard rattled along. Ferguson rolled back the year with power and placement, especially through the cover region. He departed for a fine 38 of 48 balls, ensuring that the slip cordon would have one more strike rate to be informed about at length all season…

Whilst the pitch’s slope was reminiscent of Lord’s, the behaviour wasn’t. After edging to 4th slip Zakir stood his ground, resulting in a confrontation and a strange atmosphere: surely this was the first time that non-striker Balch had been the less antagonistic batsman of a pair?

The pair both batted well through the middle overs as the bowlers found their lengths, before both departing for 45. Munawar got off the mark for the season with a straight six before falling LBW for 15.

At this point, it looked like Dulwich might not capitalise on the strong platform established. However, Steward and Anderson navigated the 10 overs expertly. Steward, particularly, bullied anything short and both batsmen ran with real intent. Steward’s innings ended with an entirely unwarranted round of applause as he raised his bat, kissed the badge and lifted his helmet for a well-made 48 not out.

After a self-service tea with plenty of E-numbers we headed out into the field in the afternoon heat as spectators caught the sun on the boundary; Dulwich caught very little.

Skipper Bridgland was at his metronomic best early on, beating the outside edge regularly. Munawar was more erratic but got on the board first as a leading edge spiralled into the slip cordon. Bridgland began to draw edges which followed Balch around the slip cordon: one at first and one at second establishing a proud 100% catching record in the slips, just 100% in the wrong direction. The skipper, realising he was getting no assistance from the cordon, decided to do it himself and picked up 3 LBWs.

Ferguson, brought on at first change, began with a maiden, then another, then another. In combination with Hope, the bowling squeezed the life out life out of Addiscombe, nagging away at off stump relentlessly. Inevitably, cracks emerged and the wickets fell despite another drop at slip off Hope. The opposition were reduced to 77-7 with Ferguson sitting on figures of 5 overs, 4 maidens, 1 for 4 and Hope on 4 overs, 1 maiden, 2 for 7.

Proud Yorkshireman Hope showed his county’s traditional charitable side to the new batsmen, 2 Afghani teenage refugees playing their first cricket match on a proper cricket pitch, by serving up length balls which were absolutely marmalised over his head. Channelling Ben Stokes, Hope was hit for 3 sixes in the over, one of which is still on its way up.

Turning to Hirst’s slow left arm stopped the rot as he was rewarded for giving the ball some flight with two good catches in the deep. The innings ended comically with a Balch drop at mid on which turned into a Balch run out as the batsmen scrambled for an improbable two.

An impressive first victory of the season with contributions from all.

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