Sat 13th May – 3rd XI v Ashtead

ASHTEAD 137 (38.5) lost to DULWICH 139-2 (25.3) by 8 wickets


Hello, my name is David, and this is my story.

I awoke late Saturday morning. Vague memories of a particularly wild Friday night came flooding back as I tried to open my eyes, where had I been? Who knew. The mud on my shoes and knees of my jeans gave a few clues, but they were only clues.

‘Cricket!’ I suddenly thought to myself, as I raced around my mansion block apartment skidding across the mahogany floors as I desperately tried to pack my kit for the day. Whites – check, boots – check, hair straighteners – check, I was good to go! I threw my bag in the back of the Audi TT, put the top down, and raced around to the home of cricket, Dulwich Sports Ground. I was aware I was a few minutes late and in for a tough time from some of the more mischievous lads, but I didn’t mind.

A few snide comments from Hopey greeted me as I joined the group mid warm up. "Hi lads" I said, but me being late clearly created an early divide. John Morris, or Animal as he’s affectionately known, came over to offer a big olive branch. "Don’t worry Knighty" John said in his fading northern accent, "Stick close to me, and you’ll be just fine."

After a quick hard toss Captain Bails informed us we were bowling. "Great! If I take some early wickets, the lads might forgive me for being late," I thought to myself. After the team talk I changed into my whites, applied a quick touch up of hair product and with one final spray of Davidoff, Cool Water. I was good to go. Bails informed me I was opening the bowling, "Come on Knightbridge," I thought to myself.

Jezza and I opened the bowling and, although we found it tough to settle into an early rhythm (not something I usually struggle with), I dug deep. Ball after ball, yard after yard I kept going, I was tired but hey – that’s super fast bowling for you. I showed good pace, but we failed to get an early breakthrough as the Ashtead openers looked well set. I was done in, knackered. "This must be what Mo Farah feels like at the end of a marathon," I thought to myself and, after a mighty four overs, Bails brought me off.

A double bowling change worked, Chudders bowled brilliantly from the top end, taking two wickets in two balls, and Hopey bowled number 4. A few dropped catches cost a few extra runs, but another double bowling change brought Gokhul into the mix and Toby Lester’s brother, Ben. The spin twins showed no mercy to the batsmen. "Wow, I’m impressed," I thought to myself. Four wickets for Toby’s brother (who had also taken an outstanding catch earlier) and a three for Gokhul brought the innings to a close and were chasing 137.

We ate tea quickly, focusing on the job at hand. Morris said he’d brought his own picnic with him and there was enough for two but I didn’t want to sit in his car away from the lads. After a quick team talk from Captain Bails, Faz and Chudders were out in the middle. Faz went early. "Oh no," I thought to myself. Chudders however went about constructing a fine innings, punishing anything short and, once Assad was removed, was joined by Chris Marshall. The pair regularly hit boundaries and the game never looked in any doubt, both looking a class above. I watched intently from the side as they both went to 50. No doubt Chudds was the real hero of the day, two wickets and 68* to see us home, even battling a migraine during his innings.

"A win!" I thought to myself. After a quick spruce up, we were over to the bar to join the victorious 2nd XI. One Daiquiri and I had to be away to a friend’s birthday down in Vauxhall. "Pack your swimmers," he’d said, not sure why… but I knew I was in for a big one.

So until next week, cricket fans, this is yours – David Knightbridge. The 3rd XI season is well underway, bring on next week.

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