Sat 14th May – 3rd XI v Sunbury

DULWICH 216-8 (50) beat SUNBURY 91 (26) by 125 runs


Dulwich 3rd XI continued their winning start to the season as the reigning champions Sunbury were brushed aside at a windswept DSG.

A visit from the perennial title challengers is always a tough test, especially for a Dulwich team shorn of their skipper due to family commitments. Stand-in leader Andy Bailey got off to an inauspicious start with DCC's most promising colt losing the toss. After a moment of deliberation, Sunbury chose to field. Though a touch green, the pitch appeared to have few demons.

It looked like a sizeable total would be required as Raj Tulsiani and Andy Cornick strode to the crease. Tulsiani in particular began in confident mood. Collar up, sweating out the previous night's Chablis, he deposited the Sunbury openers to all corners as Dulwich hurtled to 60/1 off the first 10; the only blemish being Cornick's dismissal, LBW for 8.

With a monstrous total looming, Sunbury turned to spin and the decision paid off instantly. Tulsiani was bowled for a well-crafted 40, quickly followed by Ed Towner (17) and Guy Skinner (0). With the score at 74/4 off 20 some serious rebuilding was required. John Morris (34) and Imran Iqbal-Mian (29) showed admirable application as they negotiated the threatening spinners. Sati Lowme for Sunbury was particularly impressive, returning miserly figures of 2 for 9 off his 10 overs, including 7 maidens in a row. Having done much of the hard work, neither batsman could capitalise and at 130/6 with 10 overs remaining, a competitive total felt a long way off.

Enter the captain. Something special was needed and the diminutive Bailey knew, for the first time in his career, he needed to go big. He was trying…..oh how he was trying. He swung the bat with vigour – for a two scampered to mid-wicket. A full blooded cover drive… trickled to silly mid on. And then. The ball rose above his eye line, as it nearly always does for someone so vertically challenged. He cleared his left leg and swung his arms. The ball rose high towards mid-wicket; the crowd held their breath. The fielder set himself, but to no avail. This was the one he'd be waiting for. High and handsome. Bailey's first ever legitimate six (the only other witnessed was a top edge over the keeper’s head) cleared the 40 yard boundary comfortably. The innings was back on track.

Inspired by their skipper (27), the tail wagged ferociously. Powerful hitting from Jeremy Jones (23) and Chris Hope (14*) saw Dulwich surge to a competitive 216/8 from their 50 overs.

Sunbury's reply began in explosive fashion with 34 runs taken from the first two overs with Chris Hope, beginning as he finished last week, on the receiving end of some particularly brutal hitting from the Sunbury skipper. Like all Yorkshiremen, generosity does not come naturally to Hope. Aided by the excellent swing bowling of Jones (2-28), he bounced back with supreme skill, demolishing the Sunbury top order with figures of 10-3-31-4. From that point on, Dulwich never released the pressure, with Hollows (2-12) and Hirst (1-15) mopping up the tail to complete an easy victory by 125 runs.

A fine win in what could easily have been a tricky fixture. Two wins from two and top of the league (even if only on alphabetical order), a promising start to 2016 for the 3rd XI.

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