Sat 23rd July – 2nd XI v Woking & Horsell

DULWICH 103-3 (20.5) beat WORCESTER PARK 101 (31.1) by 7 wickets


Dulwich travelled to deepest darkest Surrey to try and leave the narrow defeat of the week before behind. In fact they started off by leaving their leading run scorer and criminally under-bowled Zaki Rostami behind. Possibly an ageist thing – but more likely that, since his Beatles revival haircut, nobody recognised him at the club for the two hours he was there before the meet.

That said, the team assembled and got into some complex fielding drills courtesy of our own Level 2 coach Ian 'Straight Trippin'" Toppin – advanced throwing and catching was followed by the two lines drill. Matt 'Two Times' Balch – disrespected by not being in charge of the fielding drills or even being the one hitting the ball – proceeded to challenge the pro's drills. Suffice to say the quality of our warm up fielding was pants – which kind of explained how we caught everything and fielded well all day.

A lost toss meant we took the field on what felt like the hottest day of the year. The heat was evident from both ends. Samer Saleem playing his first Dulwich game of the year post terrorising the school circuit, terrorised the opposition's opening batsman with a good spell of fast bowling, grabbing a caught behind and adding to his reputation as a top prospect during his 6 over spell before succumbing to being a bit hot. 

At the other end skipper Quaife  bowled two foot out side the off stump and got a premeditated, instantaneous lbw with his only straight ball before succumbing to the heat after a lionhearted 3 over spell down hill.

At 9-2, despite the double change and obsessive sledging about footwork from Euan 'The Prince' Johnson things were looking good. A small partnership was broken by Trippin' Ian getting the Bailey-sized number three caught at slip off an attempted cut shot.

Their number four hung around for 45 balls for 18 which, constantly moving his feet towards Bauchy at square leg which only encouraged The Prince's efforts to coach him –  including a two over chat about keeping a strong base when attempting to hit the ball (see Johnson dismissal later). 

Wickets continued to tumble – generally all caught behind the wicket on the cut or chipped up to the ring with the batsman camped on the back foot.

The only other incident of note, as they were dismissed for 101 with Ian and Zaki taking 3 each, was our very own Mr Smiley 'Happy Face" Hirst throwing an absolute benny. After talking himself on for the cheap wickets, Happy took his customary wicket straight away – caught on the cut by Andy 'Baggy Pants' Inglis – and then settled in to bowl his customary line and length before being promptly taken of to allow skipper Quaife his 6th spell. He was later brought back, spitting feathers, and took a wicket caught on the drive with his first ball back. In between his two spells few were spared his wrath and liberal use of very rude words generally pointed at the captain and anyone else bowling, fielding, batting or in the vicinity of the ground. Dark side indeed.

After tea Dulwich had a shakey start with long on and long off posted back from the first ball. A single saw them brought in immediately much to the disappointment of opener Julio Inglis – who departed for a sparkling 6, all through point, taking issue with his dismissal by reluctantly trudging off after a humongous inside edge to the keeper.

Playing his 65th game of the year, run machine Zaki clearly was still angry at being left at the club so decided that evey ball should be played through mid on. After being missed at slip playing to mid on and then getting lbw doing the same, he walked off nodding his head in agreement with umpire Bridget's pre meditated instantaneous decision. 

At 16-2 some jitters may have started to surface, as we had 6 of the 3rd XI side soundly whooped by Wimbledon a couple of week, before and more importantly The Prince was on his way to the wicket – a one man chaos engine.

The Prince proceeded to get hit on the pad, play and miss and get all the sledging in a short innings that one might expect in a 100 over Croydon Derby. Much was made of his own 'Come Dancing' footwork – roundly scoring zero from the judges. An authoritative clip through mid on for four was followed by him telling the bowler that he could hit him there all day every day, for ever and ever. This increased the sledging until the ex captain of the colts and proud wearer of his 2007 London schools kit simply could take no more and finally folded with a tame chip to mid of – a shot which was he later  described, after smoking 18 of Hirst's fags and drinking liberally from the multiple jugs, as a mistimed hit for six brought on by the non-striker Tulsiani laughing uncontrollably when the oppo were calling him Elton John (still not sure why). #talkedoutprincey

This brought 'Skin Up' Skinner PhD to the crease, who played well for 21 not out including some lovely timing through midwicket. In the end the final result looked easy, Tulsiani finishing on 55 not out and also being the only person staying for a beer with the opposition – although that may have been to complain about something.

Dulwich enjoyed another win without some of our best players. With 124 points to play for, and Cranleigh and Old Whits still to play, the season has a long way to go.

Nice to be top though!

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