Sun 19th June – Development XI v Franklin Lewin

DULWICH 73-8 (39.2) beat FRANKLIN LEWIN 72 (45.1) by 2 wickets

The Development XI continued their recent good run to make it three wins and a draw from their last four games with this narrow victory over Franklin Lewin CC at Netherne on the Hill near Coulsdon on Sunday afternoon. The feature of the game was the snail-like scoring rate with the home side taking 45.1 overs to reach their meagre tally of 72, whilst Dulwich had to battle through 39.2 overs before emerging as the winners. But there were extenuating circumstances. The wicket was not only damp and slow, but also low, and sometimes exceedingly low! The outfield posed even greater problems. Uncut all week due to the recent rain, the grass was even longer than this scribe’s back-lawn and in consequence boundaries were as rare as a lottery win.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat, but it quickly became evident that this was going to be a low-scoring game. Runs came ever so slowly, barely one an over for a long time, as the ball seldom travelled far off the square once it had beaten the infielders. The Dulwich bowlers had little difficulty exerting pressure and with the odd ball ‘popping’ too, wickets fell at regular intervals. At one stage, Franklin Lewin had been reduced to a desperate 38 for 7, but the tail rallied somewhat and they eventually took their score to 72. The home side’s number eight shrugged off a nasty blow to the back of his head after being felled at the non-striker’s end and returned to make 18, which was to prove the highest score of the match. It was not until the 38th over that John Lewis was able to record a four in his immaculate scorebook, and as the ball inched over the boundary line there were cheers from the batting team and the Dulwich fielders alike. Only Patrick George failed to join in, but perhaps not surprisingly as he was the bowler!

Six of the seven bowlers used took wickets, with Dan Edwards (3-8) the most successful. Seb Connor took 2-18 off 12 overs, Patrick George 1-20 off 12 after starting with four maidens, Jonny Stone took a wicket with his first ball, U14 debutant Felix Gilbert captured his first senior wicket, and Matt Balch picked up a couple at the death. The bowlers were well backed up in the field, with Julian Dean taking a fine running catch at mid-on, Chris Stone pocketing two at cover-point, and Matt Balch holding a couple in the old-fashioned leg-slip position. Even the skipper clung on to one for his first catch of the season!

Chasing such a modest total was never going to be easy for the Dulwich batsmen and every run had to be worked for. Felix Gilbert lost patience and skied one into the covers, out for 3, and Chris Stone perished for 12, out to a smart catch at square-leg. Matt Balch temporarily livened things up and hit the only two boundaries of the innings, off successive balls, only to be trapped lbw to a ‘shooter’ from the last delivery of the same over. He made 11. Patrick George was the only other Dulwich player to reach double figures, he also made 11. Harry Chathli, Jonny Stone and Dan Edwards each succumbed for the same score (4) and defeat was looking a real possibility with the scoreboard showing 53 for 7. However, after a little help from Seb Connor (5), the experienced pair of Tony Ebert and Julian Dean, eventually saw Dulwich home. Fittingly perhaps, on a grey afternoon and with rain starting to fall, the winning run came from a no-ball!

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