Sat 10th July – Development XI v Spelthorne Melrose

DULWICH 195-9 lost to SPELTHORNE MELROSE 218-4 by 23 runs

A very young Development Team put up a gallant show against experienced opposition when they travelled to Sunbury Cross on Sunday, but had to concede defeat in this 35 overs a side contest.

Unfortunately, for the second week running the scheduled opposition scratched, but this time we were able to obtain a replacement fixture, and a good one it was too. Apart from the buzz of traffic on the nearby A308, the Spelthorne ground had much to commend it – well-kept, a fair-size pavilion and a decent batting strip.

The home side won the toss and elected to bat first. Their openers, in particular Donaldson, were severe on anything loose and keeping them in check proved a challenging task for the striving Dulwich bowlers. The fielders did their best to stem the flow of runs, but a dropped catch at mid-wicket when the total was barely in the 20s proved costly. The benefactor, Donaldson, took full advantage and proceeded to reel off a succession of boundaries. Having been dismissed for 99 the previous day, he went one better this time out and his maiden century was warmly applauded by both teams. The drinks break came and went with Dulwich still searching for a wicket and it was not until the 23rd over with the total on 153 when Jonny ‘Pebble’ Stone finally made the breakthrough, having Donaldson’s partner, Maynard, caught at extra-cover by debutant Max Flawn-Thomas. Donaldson himself followed shortly afterwards, bowled by ‘Pebble’ for exactly 100. But the departure of the opening pair brought little relief for the youngsters as number four Ward came in and promptly thumped a quick 42. After 35 overs the Spelthorne innings closed on 218-4, with only ‘Pebble’ (2-38) and Spencer Daws (1-43) of the Dulwich bowlers recording any success. Although he didn’t take a wicket, Felix Gilbert bowled very economically, conceding just 17 runs off 5 overs.

The Dulwich innings could not have got off to a worse start.  After edging a four from the first ball of the innings, Felix Gilbert holed out to mid-off from the second and ‘Pebble’ was bowled by an off-cutter off the very next delivery.  4 for 2!  Harry Chathli and Rordon Daws fared little better, making only six runs apiece before falling to smart slip catches, and the innings was in disarray at 26 for 4. But U14 Max Flawn-Thomas then joined surviving opener Chris Stone and together the pair did a fine repair job, putting on nearly a century stand. Chris was the dominant partner and completed a fine fifty before Max was out for an impressive 27. Cormac Meade came in at number seven and also gave Chris good support until the eldest of the ten teenagers in the side holed out to long-off, nine runs short of what would have been a deserved century. But overhauling the home side‘s total was too stiff a task despite the best efforts of the lower order.  Cormac was dismissed for a useful 18 and the innings closed on 195-9, 23 runs short but a valiant effort nonetheless.

Max and Cormac received a mention in dispatches but the young player of the match award went to Chris Stone for his 91.       

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