Sat 6th May – 4th XI v Reigate Priory

REIGATE PRIORY 64 (30.4) lost to DULWICH 65-0 (12.1) by 10 wickets

Scorecard

After two seasons where we deserved more, the 4th XI are looking to settle a score. Reigate bowled out for nothing, Jules gave them a buffing and we were back in the clubhouse by 4!

After coming excruciatingly close to winning the title in each of the past two years, going into the 2017 season the target for the 4s is crystal clear – win the league. First up was Reigate at the DSG, the team who had denied Dulwich on the final day of the 2015 season.

Skipper Dixon won the toss and, with the pitch looking green and slightly damp, duly inserted the opposition. With revenge in mind, Dulwich kicked off the season with Prasanna opening up from the top, backed by a stiff breeze, and Sunil swinging the ball into the wind from the clubhouse end.

Sunil was first to strike, dismissing opener Chay via a sharp catch from keeper Peters, taking the ball one handed in front of a recoiling Julian at first slip. One wicket soon became three, as first Yapahugedara and then Coxon mis-timed swipes at Sunil’s deft outswingers, skying simple catches to Woodgate and Chuds. With Prasanna tearing in from the other end and causing the batsmen numerous problems with his (inconsistent) bounce and pace, the pressure soon told and Sunil picked up his 4th wicket, sticky opener Brewis toe-ending a hack at a tempting outswinger, sending the ball into orbit and safely down into Chuds’ hands/chest/shoulder region.

Reigate 4 down for not many, the skipper rang the bowling changes. Prasanna had bowled quickly and accurately and was unlucky to go wicketless, finishing with 0-19 off his 7. The pressure he had built undoubtedly contributed to the reckless shots at the other end, and he must take some credit for Sunil’s haul. Swain replaced him at the top end, and soon settled into a good rhythm, bowling five good balls an over and getting a lot of help from a misbehaving pitch.

Pickles replaced Sunil at the other end, and his usual variations had the batsmen in all sorts of trouble, unable to score off his miserly bowling (0-6 off 5). Swain eventually managed to get one to rear off a length and take Cass’s glove, before the next ball (pitching in a similar spot) scuttled along the floor and bowled Morris. A true batting paradise.

A rare piece of genuinely good cricket saw Swain bring Pickles into a short third man/fly-slip position, and 2 balls later he enticed De Mello into a top edge straight to the reliable Pickler. 7 down and an early tea on the cards.

Dixon brought back Sunil to try to finish off the Reigate innings, and his faith was rewarded when Sunil enticed Brewis Jr into a leading edge straight to mid-on. Unfortunately said mid-on was Dixon himself, and a dropped dolly was the only result. Sunil finished with 4-16 off 9, very well bowled and cruelly denied a 5-fer.

At the other end, Swain (3-20 off 8) had gone wicketless for an over, so Dixon pulled him from the attack and introduced newbie Tobin, who set about demolishing the Reigate tail. 10 balls was all it took for him to remove Makelow, Irwin and Chovil, 2 bowled and 1 caught at slip – a devastating display of accurate, pacey bowling, with good movement in the air and off the pitch. Innings wrapped up and a great debut performance from the northerner, finishing with 3-1 off his 1.4 overs (the 1 being a misfield by Pras!).

With Reigate all out for 64 in 30.4 overs and tea not yet ready, the players switched sides and the Dulwich openers strode to the middle with purpose. 11 taken off the first over, and the game was already coming to a close.

Some average bowling from the Reigate opening pair, coupled with some powerful top edges from Julian and a couple of sweet leg-side flicks from Chuds, pushed the Dulwich score towards the target at a rate of knots. A beautifully struck 6 over long-on from Julian brought the score to the brink, and with Reigate’s first change bowler running in for his first ball, Chuds ended the game with a single into the off side.

A potentially tricky run chase on a difficult pitch made to look comfortable by Dulwich’s opening pair. Julian’s normal powerful hitting and watchful defence saw him finish on 36*, with Chuds 20* at the other end. A 10 wicket win completed by 4 o'clock, leaving ample time to enjoy the 5th team’s victory and several beers.

Next week Oxted away, and a chance to send another strong message to the rest of the league. In the spirit of Sunil & Prasanna’s beloved Liverpool, this year is our year.​​

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