Sat 28th May – 4th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 231-7 (45) lost to STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 318-4 (45) by 87 runs


On Saturday afternoon, two of the unbeaten teams within the 4th XI Premier Division went head to head. To add extra spice to the mix it was also a local derby as Dulwich 4th XI travelled to nearby neighbours S&M. Skipper Dixon uncharacteristically won the toss and with a road of a wicket with a short boundary and mid-day sun out choose to bowl……..!!

The intention of course was to limit S&M and then chase the runs down and both Dulwich opening bowlers, Constantine and Rutherford, backed their skipper up bowling tight lines and induced a number of false strokes from the S&M batsmen. Whilst the run rate was kept in check a breakthrough was not forthcoming as both edges and mishits just evaded the grasps of the Dulwich fielders until a Constantine induced a regulation edge to first slip which unfortunately was shelled and a chip to mid-on appearing to go straight through the stationed fielder’s hands (literally straight through without a finger being placed on the ball!!). Still, only conceding 60 odd runs from the first 16 overs left Dulwich confident that a couple of break throughs would really put the squeeze on the opposition.

However, the S&M pair had finally got their eye in and the change bowlers started to get some tap, with the short boundary regularly found. It was not until 178 was on the board that Constantine, brought back on, made the breakthrough, getting the S&M opener to chip another shot into the covers where this time it did find a Dulwich fielder and Walker took an excellent catch over his shoulder. There was no let up to the S&M innings and whilst the bowling and fielding remained positive boundaries could not be stopped, both S&M openers reached tons and the S&M innings finished on 318 for 4.

A fantastic tea was enjoyed at the interval, with the chicken wings being the highlight, although the mango and cheese sandwiches brought in mixed reviews. Bergh and Dixon opened for Dulwich, who were confident in being able to mount a serious run chase on what was a perfect batting deck but both found their way back to the dugout before 20 was on the board. The innings began to lift off when ‘Sachin’ Stone entered at 3, who serenely cut, pulled and whipped the S&M bowlers around the field superbly on the way to an entertaining and highly skilled 44 which was only ended when a full blooded cut was unfortunately directed straight at backward point who took a smart catch to end the little magician’s innings.

This brought the Inglis patient to the crease at six, being demoted in the line-up due to a twisted knee sustained in the field and the scoreboard on 74-4 after 20 overs. With singles being difficult for the patient and pace being taken off the ball, runs quickly dried up and the run chase as a contest was over. However, Dulwich maintained focus and with bonus points up for grabs mounted a strong second half to the innings with the patient anchoring (78 not out) around some strong hitting at the other end, notably Rhys Williams who bludgeoned 41 not out off the last 7 overs, leaving Dulwich at 231 for 7 at the end.

A tough day at the office for the 4th XI, but some very big positives to take away – notably being able to scramble some useful points form a very difficult position which could make all the difference towards the end of the season. Next week the 4th XI are back on their patch when they entertain Banstead.

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