Sat 4th June – 3rd XI v Malden Wanderers

DULWICH 207-4 (40.1) beat MALDEN WANDERERS 206 (52.3) by 6 wickets


The 3rd XI’s unbeaten start to the season continued with a comprehensive victory away at Malden Wanderers who were in second place at the start of the game. The team gathered in timely fashion, except for Messrs. Peters and Morris who once again showed poor cross-London navigational skills. Overnight stays will be booked for the lengthier trips to Reigate and Ashtead.

With captain Graeme Hough in particular still bearing the scars of the heavy defeat and his own bowling statistics from last year’s fixture (not helped by constant reminders from keeper Andy Bailey!) the bowlers eyed the incredibly short boundaries with trepidation, whilst the batsmen were licking their lips. The pitch was damp after the midweek rain but looked good, and the first part of the game plan went well with DCC’s skipper winning the toss and inserting the opposition.

Jeremy Jones and David Knightbridge opened up and quickly found a good rhythm. Knighty struck early when one of the four keepers in the team, Andrew Inglis, took a blinding catch at second slip without gloves on. After this, patience was in order as Malden’s batsmen settled in, with their captain showing a particular liking for the pull shot which DCC’s opening bowlers began to increasingly feed. Sam Hunt replaced Knightbridge and bowled a jaffa first up to take the second wicket, followed by what felt like five full tosses! Sunil Isaac replaced Jones with the captain very nervous about introducing spin with batsmen set. Malden’s opener was proving obdurate and their number four showed an interesting technique but could hit the ball. With the score now over 100 with just two wickets down time for some F&G.

Captain Hough replaced Isaac and stuffed keeper Bailey first ball down the leg side for four byes – that will teach him! – but he quickly settled in to a rhythm and took the 3rd wicket bowling Malden’s captain. Dan Peters had entered the fray by this time with his full toss count and ratio well down on last week, but he still tested law 42.6 every now and again. Yes, reference to law 42.6 is getting boring now but people should read and understand it and, even better, stop bowling high full tosses !! Comedy moment of the day was a full toss no ball from Peters, catch at long on, batsmen sets off for a run, run out completed. All part of a Peters’ cunning plan!

145 for 3 quickly became 178 for 9 as Hough and Peters turned the screw aided and abetted by an excellent fielding performance (which does not get written often!). An annoying last wicket partnership took Malden’s score to 206 all out – Hough four wickets and Peters with two.

After tea, John Morris and James Chudley strode out with 48 overs to chase down the total. Some tight early bowling saw just 7 runs off the first 6 overs. With a good pitch and small boundaries no need to panic you would have thought, though the captain needs little invitation so was beginning to. He really should have more faith as Morris and Chudley began to unleash the ball to all parts – Chudley strong off his legs, Morris on the pull shot. But shot of the day was a booming 6 from Morris over long off from their young quickie who, it turned out after, had begun to rile Mr Morris – not a wise move.

The partnership moved to 100 before Chudley was dismissed for a valuable 37 – he must have been getting a bit tired the poor soul! Morris continued plundering boundaries and was joined by Sam Tennant who quickly got in to his stride and played some pleasing shots before he was out for 33 with the score on 159. Not over and still plenty of time for a ‘Dulwich wobble’. Although Inglis came and went and Morris eventually departed for an excellent 76 – a previously thought of impossible run 3 on such a small ground maybe tipped him over the edge – Hunt and Bailey saw Dulwich home with 8 overs to spare.

Whilst the team downed a well-earned post match drink, Malden thanked umpire Chris Reardon by inviting him to down three shots which he did with consummate ease – legend!

Five out of five wins, top of the league so the excellent start continues. No time for let up, however, as testing fixtures at Spencer and Reigate loom. Standards, confidence and team spirit are high with the strength in depth of the Club clearly evident giving genuine competition for places. What is most pleasing to see is that valuable contributions to victories are coming from different players and there is less reliance on a handful of key players with bat or ball.

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