Sat 14th May – 4th XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 164-6 (38.3) beat SUNBURY 161-8 (45) by 4 wickets


The 4th team travelled to old foes Sunbury on Saturday and came away with a deserved and eventually comfortable win in a very friendly encounter.

Matt resorted to type by calling wrong and Sunbury took first use of their excellent facilities. David Knightbridge took first aim and much to the surprise of his team-mates, himself and more to the point the opening bat settled into an excellent line and even more surprisingly length cartwheeling middle stump with his third delivery. This brought together two 13 year old bats with contrasting styles and heights. The next 15 overs saw some outstanding play by the two youngsters against some genuinely quick and accurate bowling from Knighty and Gilo. The right handed opener, shorter even than Andy Bailey, got resolutely into line and dealt with the odd short ball extremely well whilst the tall left-hander proceeded to unfurl a number of Gower-esque straight and cover drives and flicks off the legs with limited but precise foot-work. (For the younger readers, David Gower used to be the warm up act for Ian Botham on the pitch before fulfilling the same role in the Sky Commentary box).

The writer would like to point out at this stage that the catching was of the highest standard throughout. Rumours that the keeper, 1st slip and skipper all dropped the little opener are completely unfounded.

Cason and Sunil Issac replaced the first bowlers and kept the batsmen quiet with some fine accurate bowling before Cason pinned the opener LBW for a fully deserved wicket and Sunil removed the left-hander who seemed to lose concentration after getting a richly deserved and excellent 50 and under the pressure up the scoring rate. Both lads look to have a great future in cricket ahead of them.

By now, tight ground fielding was beginning to take its toll on the home batting who sensed that they needed 200+ to make a game of it.

Sunil bowled out his overs (9 overs, 3 maidens 1 for 25) and Darren was rested (7 overs 1 maiden 1 for 23) to be replaced by Rhys Williams who bowled with good pace and Paul Charlton who didn’t.

Two balls in to his first spell for the club, Paul is now the proud owner of the nickname “The Vicar”. For the rest of the innings, Paul raced into the wicket, whirled his arm over and propelled the ball forward with surprisingly little momentum at the waiting batsman. What happened between the ball leaving Paul’s hand and arriving at the batsman is open to conjecture and was the subject of considerable debate in the bar after, but whatever it was, it was clearly unplayable. Bowling mostly dibbly, Sunbury lost two wickets, both bowled middle stump in his first over and found themselves at 100 for 5.

Skipper Dixon then unleashed the nasty fasties at the other end for the last 10 overs. With Knighty picking up where he left off, 1st slip, who again shall remain nameless, proved no favouritism existed between the fast bowlers by letting an edge hit him in the chest in exactly the same place the first one did off Gilo. Knighty found a much better catching ally in Ben Trembath, who in true Cason style, nonchalantly caught a full-blooded cut at gully. Knighty ended up with excellent figure of 3 for 35 off his 9 overs, including eight from two exquisitely “middle” Surrey cuts in his penultimate over, one of which nearly made its way to the main square.

Dulwich had the innings under control. This is more than can be said for Julian who, relieving himself of not-catching duties and finding himself at third man, lost a very one-sided battle of wills with a Black Labrador. Having failed to persuade the dog that no harm would come of letting JD grab his collar, the dog willingly presented its tennis ball as an alternative method for removing the recalcitrant hound from the pitch. JD obligingly rolled the ball away to the boundary which the dog obligingly brought back. Prompted by team mates into throwing the ball into the pavilion rather than walking the dog off as any sensible person would do, JD suddenly forgetting the general range and accuracy of his throwing arm, heroically and selfishly threw the ball with all the strength that he could manage. The dog, who clearly hadn’t seen JD field before, haired off in the general direction of where it assumed the ball would land only, to the great amusement of team-mates and opposition alike, for the ball to fly backwards and upwards to land all of ten yards behind the now red-faced dog whisperer. The dog, sensing that it wasn’t going to achieve the requisite exercise in any throw and fetch scenario and no longer wanting to be associated with such an idiot promptly retrieved its tennis ball and wandered off of its own accord to find someone else to play with.

Back to the cricket and Paul chipped in with another wicket from a well disguised dobbly, well caught by Rhys, to finish with fine figure of 3 for 20 off his 8 overs and Gilo returned to finish with a very unlucky 0 for 28 off 8 accurate overs. This was an excellent performance by the bowling as a unit and was well backed up by the ground fielding and some of the catching.

Chasing a very gettable target, Andrew Inglis and Julian Dean set off in comfortable leisurely fashion, with Andrew despatching the bad ball effectively, taking the score into the 30s. Julian, slowly batted himself out of form before hitting a trade- mark skyer to mid-off and James Read nonchalantly pulled his first ball to square leg to make it 31-2. The introduction of left-arm spin ratcheted up the pressure and Andrew succumbed for a good 37 closely followed by Paul, after a few lusty blows, to leave us 80 for 4. Ben Trembath was by now looking settled and celebrated by removing his dapper retro sweater, the sort favoured by deep sea trawler-men which wouldn’t look amiss on Simon Peters. Gilo won the contest for how long it would take the skipper to deploy the sweep shot (third ball!! – everyone else having said first or second ball) and as the scoreboard started ticking over again, the happy hubbub of a stroll to victory could be heard amongst the watching Doggies. The skipper then departed – having unfurled his full range of shot, which brought in Knighty. Ben found his timing and played a number of cover drives and late dabs which raced to the boundary reaching his 50 and we looked to be coasting before he missed a straight one with 30 left.

Knighty then decided to use the long handle dispatching the ball hard and often and occasionally straight upwards, seeing us home with four wickets and seven overs to spare.

Next week Dulwich entertain newly promoted Old Ruts at home looking to maintain their 100% record.

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