Sat 2nd July – 2nd XI v Esher

DULWICH 180-9 (50.5) beat ESHER 119 (30.1) by 61 runs


In a week of both political and sporting upsets, title chasing Dulwich were very aware of the threat of an Esher side at the other end of the table.

After a warmup overshadowed by Scott Styris Matt Quaife’s quite frankly horrendous ‘80s red Adidas short shorts, skipper Bridgland finally lost a toss and Dulwich were put in to bat on yet another wet afternoon at the DSG.

Tulsiani (or ‘The Tulsman’ as he likes to call himself on WhatsApp) started in typical fashion with his powerful hitting down the ground and minimal running between the wickets. Another week, another jinx from our skipper – “Raj never gets caught at mid-off” – rather predictably, two balls later Raj was out, caught at mid-off. Despite good resistance and stroke play from both AJ and Ferguson, Dulwich continued to lose wickets at bad times (are there ever good times?) and found themselves 80-7 and needing the lower order to fire in order to reach a defendable total. Bridgland, knowing the importance of his own wicket, decided to review his LBW dismissal and, after about two or three minutes of waiting, he was politely reminded by the opposition that we didn’t actually have a referral system and had to trudge off much to his dismay.

At 90-8 Dulwich looked to be heading for a well below par total. However, Trott Quaife and Hirst put on a game changing partnership. Despite two vastly contrasting styles – with Maddy Quaife’s textbook cover drives compared to the rather more inventive and agricultural James Hirst – both were equally effective in rebuilding our innings. Hirst, on his first opportunity to bat all season, made a vital 22 before falling victim to another LBW. However, Bopara Quaife was in an unrelenting mood and continued to attack the tiring Esher bowlers. He ended his fantastic innings of 57* by launching a straight six over the bowler’s head leaving Dulwich with a very defendable 180-9.

Dulwich carried the momentum of their tail-end partnership into the field. The opening bowlers, without the selfie specialist Kamran, continued their superb form putting Dulwich in complete control. Stevens Quaife’s day was getting better and better as he took three early wickets. Bridgland, keen not to be outdone, took two wickets in two balls, before injuring himself mid run-up. However, Esher, unperturbed by early wickets, persisted with their own game plan which involved attempting to clear the boundary every other ball.

Dulwich were getting increasingly vocal in the field, being led by chief cheerleader Oli Steward, before he was informed by the Esher skipper that he had a lot of chat for an ugly bloke… The ever-willing Stuart Ferguson Matt Quaife, making the most of his NUS rate £10 match fee, returned to the action with the opposition 8 down and removed their captain for his fourth wicket of the day. Unfortunately, he was denied his opportunity for a memorable 5 wickets and a 50 as James Hirst only required one ball to seal the team’s victory.

Dulwich secured an unlikely victory after finding themselves 90-8 but the partnership between Quaife and Hirst seemed to deflate the opposition and change the course of the match. 24 points secured, it seemed like a perfect opportunity for the team to celebrate their unlikely win out in Clapham…

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