Sat 20th Aug – 6th XI v OD Cuaco

DULWICH 149-8 (40) lost to OD Cuaco 179-4 (40) by 30 runs


There are still parts of London that have no specific name – the pocket between West Wickham, Beckenham and Elmers End is just such a place. It does, however, boast a Toby Carvery. Your correspondent revisited this hostelry on Sunday and enjoyed a pint of Cattle Shed Pale Ale and a mixture of Honey glazed Gammon and Lamb Rump with the usual trimmings. The Cricket the previous day did not have such a sumptuous feel to it, however. Dulwich offered thin gruel in this bottom of the table winner takes all clash.

In many ways, the pattern of the game resembled many previous 6th XI games this season. It is no exaggeration to say the team relies heavily on a SuperHero if it is to maintain parity with its opponents in the highly competitive Divison 2C South of Thames League. On several previous occasions, the Bat Silhouette in the sky has been answered with the arrival of Sajkan (104), SuperRees Williams (95) or Alec "Robin" Evens (69 not out). Though none of these batsmen wore their underpants outside their Lycra tights while scoring these runs, their efforts were far more than the other mortals of Gotham City had a right to expect.

In an unusual twist, Jabagyl Jumagul was late for the start of the game and Dulwich took the field with 10 men. It is a matter of conjecture as to why Jabagyl Jumagul arrives late every week, but then the White Rabbit in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was not a great timekeeper either. To be fair to Jaba, he was earlier than he has ever been before (15 minutes late) and he was trying to find a place with no name with no A to Z (see previous paragraph).

Dulwich bowled adequately without ever threatening to bowl CUACO out for a modest total. The 20 over drinks break produced an animated discussion between  Captain Colin Tucker and the rest of the team (with one notable exception). Tucker announced that the veteran finger spinner Gibson would be bowling next in order to pierce CUACO'S hitherto unbroken opening stand. Nine members of the team expressed severe doubts as to the wisdom of this decision and the hapless Gibson returned to his specialist mid-on fielding position. In many ways, Gibson is a perfect example of a Stoic: a person who subscribes to the school of philosophy founded by Zeno, and refuses to be be moved by adversity, joy or grief. CUACO scored 179 for 5 from their 40 overs. Justus Van Lare took 3 for 27 and 9 byes were conceded. Dulwich left the field in a less than enthusiastic state. Although 205 were scored last week, it must be said that 179 in 40 overs was a big ask for a team without at least one icon from the pages of DC Comics in their batting line up.

Gibson, who may best be described, in this context, as the beleaguered Police Chief of Gotham City, was asked to open the batting. Gibson is a man who believes in truth, justice and the American Way, but, it must be said, lacks some of the resources to restore Law and Order without "back up". Gibson's Gunn & Moore bat does actually bear the legend "3 star Super Hero", but there all similarities end. Nevertheless, First lieutenant Owen and Chief Gibson set about their Herculean task with resolve and diligence. Boundaries were struck, singles were scampered. Martin Couch (an old adversary from Surrey Championship days, when Couch was playing for Mitcham) bowled left arm over dibly dobblies but with scant success. At the other end 15 year old Will Black fired in some precociously fast and straight deliveries, one of which struck the Chief of Police on the pad, who was surprised when an appeal was made. His surprise doubled when Justus Van Lare (presumably filling the role of Judge Dredd here) raised his finger and the Chief was obliged to return to his desk at HQ. Tucker and Owen then proceeded to bat with some elan and it looked as if Gotham City PD might not need to persuade the likes of Clark Kent or Bruce Lane to remove their trousers and replace them with jeggings of primary colours.

Then the Joker weaved his evil spell: Owen, clearly affected by the mind drugs which the evil Joker had slipped into his tea, set off for a lunatic single which sadly left the hard hitting Tucker run out on 41. The ebullient antipodean is, I understand, shortly to return to the Convict Colony and we will all miss him, his partner, and his swashbuckling batting. More wickets fell and despite some forthright batting from the solicitor Griffiths and Van Lare, both of whom briefly looked as if they might restore the City of Gotham to its former glories, but then, alas, fell victim to the leg breaks of Ariez Mehta. Jabagyl Jumagul and Kushal Patel struck some mighty blows at the end, but the overs were running out and a gloom fell over the city of Gotham as the match ended with yet another defeat for Dulwich 6th XI. They remain above bottom placed CUACO, but must hope for better things next week.

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