Sat 13th May – 2nd XI v Cranleigh

CRANLEIGH 101 (28.4) lost to DULWICH 102-6 (29.5) by 4 wickets

Scorecard

A four wicket win against fellow newcomers Cranleigh CC was enough to place Dulwich firmly at the top of the 2nd XI Surrey Division 1 and underline their credentials as early season promotion favourites.

Dulwich welcomed back opening bowler Matt Quaife to their ranks as Bridgland won the toss and elected to field – sticking to a formula that’s turned him into one of the most feared captains in Surrey cricket.

Bridgland and Quaife took the new ball and made early inroads, destroying Cranleigh’s hopes of setting anything resembling a competitive total. The pace and swing combination proved too much as Quaife recorded a season’s best haul of 5-35 off 10 overs, removing four of the top six, most noticeably the threatening Max Barson (22), while Bridgland happily took the back seat picking up 2-32 off his eight overs.

At 46-6, an early finish seemed inevitable yet Cranleigh’s captain, Josh Cummings (44) stood strong, protecting his partners with mature crease and strike management. It was left to Dulwich legend, Graeme Hough, to clean up the tail, finishing with figures of 2-6 off just 2.4 overs.

Such was the clinical efficiency of the home side’s bowling, only two Cranleigh batsmen reached double figures in a miserable total of 101 off 29 overs. Dulwich’s caterers had misjudged the strength of Cranleigh’s batting line up and weren’t prepared for the players to take an early tea, therefore both teams were instructed to head straight back onto the field of play for 20 overs. Many spectators were questioning whether Dulwich even needed that long.

Tulsani (13) and Towner’s (11) dreams of a 10-wicket win were quickly dashed as both were removed cheaply. It was left to Northern Irishman, Ross Ewing, on his Dulwich 2nd XI debut, to take control of the innings. He played with trademark panache, dominating Cranleigh’s bowling attack while carting them to all parts, before being bowled by Sam Wade for a promising 33.

A middle-order crisis ensued as Dulwich lost a number of wickets, AJ Patanker (0), Jacko The Aus (5) and Lloyd Edwards’ slightly dubious innings of 0, all fell in quick succession. Bowling hero Matt Quaife (2*) and a solid looking Ishy Baksh (23*),who was keen to finish the job and crack on with some Year 9 marking, were both calmness personified as they steered Dulwich to a four wicket victory and another 20 points.

Another win means, once again, Dulwich are top of the league (ignore the fact it’s purely by means of alphabetical order), it’s certainly a promising start for a team yet to field a full-strength side. Joyous captain, James Bridgland, reflected on the win with cautious optimism: “I’m proud of the lads, racking up the wins at this stage of the season is essential.

“Frustratingly, a couple of us are unavailable next week, I’m getting married, but the lads are in safe hands with Matt Quaife. I’m not sure what I’m more nervous about, getting married or how the team will get on without me. I’ll be checking my phone throughout the ceremony”.

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