Sat 28th May – 3rd XI v Ashtead

DULWICH 252 beat ASHTEAD 133 (34) by 119 runs

Scorecard

After an unbeaten start to the season the 3rd XI entertained newly promoted Ashtead at the Dulwich Sports Ground on Saturday. The nature of the 3rd team meant a much changed team once again but the team was confident. Arriving with rain falling dampened this slightly as captain Graeme Hough fretted that his week-long plan of batting first if winning the toss could be scuppered. But the rain soon went and plans were back on track. In any case Ashtead won the toss and inserted Dulwich.

Andy Cornick and James ‘I am not a bowler’ Chudley strode to the wicket. Both started confidently until Cornick mistimed a pull shot to square leg. Strange, as said player then proceeded to tell everyone for the rest of the innings how he has never been able to play the pull or hook shot… as if we needed telling! Anyhow, out strode Henry Hazlewood for his first innings for Dulwich to join Chudley. These two proceeded to settle in but scored freely at five an over in a partnership of 123 for the second wicket. Hazlewood in particular unleashed some beautiful square cuts and pulls amongst many other good shots, whilst Chuds also punished anything wayward. The introduction of Ashtead’s young spinners put a bit of a brake on things as loose deliveries became rarer, particularly from their young left arm spinner who bowled an excellent spell.

Stamina and self-confidence are not things that come to Chuds naturally and so he eventually succumbed for a valuable 39. At 132 for 2 and with plenty of overs remaining things were well set. Will Cooper (11) entertained briefly and Hazlewood eventually departed for an excellent 93 with the score on 188. An impressive first innings indeed. DCC’s skipper, whilst pleased is also a Northerner and was quick to look for the negatives, so rued the fact that this may be Hazlewood’s one and only game in the 3rd XI as he is definitely destined for higher teams for the rest of the season. (Note to all of Henry’s team mates – he really does need a nickname!)

Andy Bailey entered the fray and lauded the fact that his strike rate was the best in the team as he scored 23 off 21 balls to keep the momentum going whilst Sam Hunt settled in to some crab-like batting but showed promise on his debut scoring 18. The run rate continued at close to 5 an over although wickets fell quickly towards the end. Dan Peters (18no off 21) kept thingstogether, Prasanna unleashed a corker of a cover drive for 4 first ball (but then reverted to type), and the captain forgot his age and attempted a quick single unsuccessfully. The innings came to a close off the penultimate ball – 252 all out.

On a good wicket and quick outfield there was no room for complacency as Jez Jones and Sam Hunt opened the bowling. Jones quickly settled in to his usual rhythm whilst Hunt showedboth promise and rustiness, though the fact he is a wicket keeper should be noted. The captain’s mid innings urgings for focus, concentration, energy and sharpness in the field quickly became a case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ as he proceeded to let one through his legs for 4 early on! As the captain desperately searched for bobbles on the ground, he sought solace in the fact that, as captain, he would not have to face his own wrath as others would have done!

Jones made the first breakthrough at 34 and this quickly became 53 for 3 following a Callaghan wicket and a run out by Cornick. Dulwich were now in the ascendancy. After an excellent first spell of seven overs from Jones, Dan Peters entered the fray and proceeded to run through his full repertoire – low full tosses, knee high ones, waist high and chest high ones all interspersed by some balls of promise. Anyway, it does not say ‘rank full toss’ in the book and he snared a couple of victims, whilst encouraging more chat about law 42.6.

By this time Sunil Isaac had replaced the hamstrung Callaghan and settled in to an impressive spell of nagging, medium pace swing and seam and was rewarded with a (rather generously described) ‘tumbling’ caught and bowled, a couple of catches behind and a smart low slip catch from the captain to reap 4-37 off his 10 overs – an impressive 3rd XI league debut. With Peters having bowled more full tosses in one six over spell than captain Hough had bowled in his whole 35-year career of bowling spin he was duly replaced to restore some semblance of order as Hough, along with Isaac, brought things to a swift conclusion – Ashtead 133 all out off 34 overs.

So the impressive start to the season continues with four wins out of four. No room for complacency but signs are positive with the many team changes having little impact on overall performance or results showing strength in depth and genuine competition for places. The team begins its three match road trip next week starting at 2nd placed Malden Wanderers – one game at a time andall such clichés

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