Sat 2nd July – 3rd XI v Wimbledon

DULWICH 158-10 (42.5) lost to WIMBLEDON 267-7 (45.5) by 109 runs


The 3rd XI got a thorough reality check at DSG on Saturday as they were comprehensively beaten and outplayed by a strong Wimbledon side.  Whilst Dulwich had a rare off day all credit to Wimbledon who took the game to Dulwich from the off and did not take their foot off the gas all day.  However, heads should not be down too much as this represented the 3rd XI’s first defeat of the season at the halfway point.  Sometimes it is just not your day.

With showers forecast skipper Graeme Hough once again won the toss and invited Wimbledon to bat.  The first ominous sign came immediately as Jeremy Jones’s first ball was a perfectly reasonable one, but which was effortlessly clipped through midwicket for four by Wimbledon’s skipper Eddison.  With Ian Toppin operating at the other end to Jones they troubled the Wimbledon openers occasionally but anything loose was routinely dispatched to the boundary.  With the 50 brought up at around 5 an over it was clear it might be a long day in the field.  Toppin eventually bowled one of the openers, but this did not stop the runs flowing.

Skipper Hough replaced Jones and was soon swept for four and summarily dispatched for six over long off.  Ben Lester replaced Toppin and his first ball was a juicy full shot, which Eddison hit straight to deep square leg for a welcome, if fortuitous, wicket.  In the course of his innings, Eddison passed 500 runs for the season which is a monumental effort and not a surprise as he played many pleasing shots all around the wicket.

It should not go without passing at this point that, however well Wimbledon had played in the early stages, Dulwich did not help themselves by shelling numerous catches.  A clear area for improvement and one of those things that seemed to become contagious, and certainly does not help the bowlers or general spirit and morale.

The rest of Wimbledon’s innings continued in the same vein with the run rate increasing to six an over.  Although Hough eventually exerted a small degree of control (in relative terms) runs were coming freely at both ends as the bowling changes became more frequent.  Only the introduction of Matt Balch (too late with hindsight) put the brakes on, as well as making the scoreboard look more respectable as he bagged four wickets at less than four runs an over – exceptional in the circumstances.  But continued hard hitting, errant bowling, average at best fielding saw Wimbledon able to declare after 45 overs with a mammoth 267 on the board with three batsmen making 50s – all at a run a ball.

With 55 overs to bat, a small boundary in places, this was a gettable score and Dulwich’s batsmen seemed up for the challenge at tea.  What was needed was a good start that would enable a push later with wickets in hand.  That grand plan soon went out of the window as Dulwich were fairly quickly reduced to 27 for 3 with the two Guys  (Woodgate and Skinner) plus Balch all departing to a mixture of good bowling and less good shots.  Thoughts of victory were diminishing fast but Andrew Inglis (35) and Euan Johnson (21) dug in and began to score more freely taking the score to 75 for 3.  At which point Johnson saw a quick single… short midwicket….and the inevitable run out followed.

Wickets then fell at a regular rate though Bailey (32*) and Jones (19) added some respectability against more easy pickings from some of Wimbledon’s change bowlers.  But the inevitable happened and the return of Wimbledon’s quicker bowlers soon brought the innings to a close at 158 all out in the 43rd over.  So no big scores in the batting, good bowling from Wimbledon and indifferent shots all led to a comprehensive down to earth defeat.

With 6 wins out of 9, one defeat and a drop to 3rd place it is vital that the team re-groups for the matches ahead.  You do not become bad players or a bad team overnight and the measure of a good team is how you respond to setbacks like this.  With Reigate improving to 2nd spot and with Spencer on our heels, Dulwich are one of four teams well clear of the rest and the winners will come out of this group.  As the lowest ranked team in the league by some way, to be mixing with these teams at the top is a credit to the players and the strength at this level in the Club.  It is vital, however, that the second half of the season does not just drift into anonymity.

Onwards, and hopefully upwards, to Sunbury next Saturday,

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