Sat 6th Aug – 6th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 160 lost to STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 203 by 43 runs

In the mid 70'S the DCC First Team was a superb Cricket match winning machine: (Surrey Championship winners 3 years running and runners up in the 1976 National KnockOut Competition. It was a team that contained not one, but two West Indian fast bowlers, an Australian leg spinner of unerring accuracy and a fast scoring batsman who was later to play a number of Test Matches for the "green baggies". Peter Rice and David Woods also played. One of the fast bowlers (Joe Fortune) still retains the unique distinction  of hitting the bowl over the Pavilion roof from the far end. The team also contained a young silkily wristy left handed batsman who could also bowl tantalisingly unreadable leg breaks and Googlies. After 41 years, Sajid Khan made a welcome return to the club.

DCC 6th's took the field with a side with a team that boasted a 78 year old wicket keeper, a 14 year old opening bowler, a blind deaf 69 year old opening batsman and, of course, the aforementioned Sajid. How would this heady mixture fare against the same team that had defeated them by 50 runs as recently as the previous week?

It was something of a relief to discover that few of last week's S&M team were actually playing in this match. Their free scoring opening bat had been replaced by "Wacka" (an old adversary, but it is fair to say, one who has seen better days). S&M's batsmen wasted no time establishing their authority and it was not until Khan was brought on to bowl, did Dulwich manage to take a wicket. Khan's first for DCC for 41 years.  Nevertheless, S&M managed to accrue 203 runs from their allotted 40 overs and Dulwich returned to the dressing room at tea, with some resolve, but with little supporting evidence to back up this fortitude: having been dismissed for 83 last week.

Gibson and Khan set out on their quest with some early brio, however, and 36 runs were scored in the first 4 overs. Gibson had scored 35 fewer runs than Khan at this point, but was perfectly happy to play Rosencrantz to Khan's Hamlet. At this point, however, (as in all classic tragedies) fate took a hand. Khan played the ball past mid wicket with yet another wristy on drive and set off for a run. The ball was hurled in from the outfield but misfielded by the bowler. Was there a second run to be had? Gibson and Khan debated this issue in mid pitch at some length, along with the issues thrown up by the Brexit referendum and whether global warming was a reality, finally reaching a consensus that there might be a second run. In an act of self-destruction, similar to that of  the eponymous hero in "Antony & Cleopatra", Gibson threw himself upon his sword in order to preserve the wicket of the hitherto free scoring Sajid Khan and was Run Out by several yards. It is to be hoped that the selection committee will take note of this selfless gesture when they continue their deliberations for next week's teams. This dismissal was all the more galling for the hapless Gibson, as several members of the Squash Club were watching and they wasted no time in making certain ribald comments about Gibson's lack of athleticism. In order to console himself Gibson purchased a consolation bottle of Erdinger Weiss Beer and scored for the rest of the match. 

Meanwhile, Khan continued to "roll back the years" with a series of drives, pulls and cuts and, at one point, it seemed that S&M would be avenged at the first opportunity. Ably assisted by "greenhorns" Osmond, Meade and Gouvraj, all of whom batted with great maturity in their shot selection and manipulation of the bowling in trying to get the "potential match winner" on strike as often as possible. Khan duly arrived majestically at his century when the Dulwich innings suffered another tragic blow: in attempting another mighty blow to the long on boundary Khan found himself brilliantly caught by a youthful member of the S&M team. A catch of such excellence, that one almost felt it had no place in a game between two 6th XI's. As is the way of things, it transformed the game and the rest of Dulwich's "mature" batting order folded up rather like a timid bunch of Herdwicks being shepherded into the fold for the night. 160 all out. The game finally concluded in the small hours of Sunday morning due to the necessity for several drinks breaks and the when the Dulwich captain stopped proceedings to provide each member of the team a Maynard's Wine Gum when 4 wickets had been taken.

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