Sat 20th May – 5th XI v Bickley Park

BICKLEY PARK 166-7 (32) lost to DULWICH 167-7 (32) by 1 run

Scorecard

As a result of the fairly widespread restructure of the Kent Regional League we had new opponents in Bickley Park. With the two sides in 2nd and 3rd a close game was expected although it ended up closer than anyone expected. Rain was around and a quick downpour just at the wrong time livened up conditions and the captains agreed to reduce the game to 32 overs a side.

Tim lost the toss and not surprisingly we were put in. The ball was seaming, swinging and in contrast to previous years at DSG bouncing too. Raps on the knuckles and nudged singles for the openers were interspersed with a couple of fine shots from Richard Blench before he fell lbw for 13. Tim played across the line and got a leading edge and when Piran also fell lbw we were three down and at that stage Bickley Park were on top. Enter Siraj Durrani who was only at the game after several frantic Saturday phone calls as Tim realised the midweek communication had gone astray. Siraj and Tony Simmonds both played really well. Either the conditions had settled down, or more likely these two were more able to manage the Bickley Park bowlers as they put on a fantastic 104.

We were back on top but as both fell, probably as a result of a little bit of fatigue on a sticky day, Bickley Park battled there way back in. James Worley had spent an hour padded up practicing ramp shots and reverse sweeps and delighted the crowd when early in his innings he charged the bowler and played the perfect ramp. Unorthodox but effective as we shall see later too. Alex Owen managed one glorious cover drive and Raman Sarao that perfect innings where he was the non facing batsmen for the last ball of the innings. James Worley was bowled to leave us on 167 for 7.

The weather had improved and we went out after tea confident that if we bowled well and fielded well that we would win the game. The innings started perfectly with Simon Peters putting the ball in a perfect spot, getting a fine edge and Tony gathering the catch safely. Raman opened at the Turney Rd end taking a wicket with a full toss but despite that both bowlers had fine spells. Tim was to replace Raman with Jaba Jumagul (another who was late due to midweek communication confusion) but the bowler wanted the other end. David Begg entered the contest and managed to get another edge which Tony gratefully took. Simon bowled straight through his eight and picked up another wicket to end with 8-2-27-2. By far his best bowling of the season and when he is in that rhythm he is a serious handful at this level.

Jaba replaced Simon as Bickley Park fought to rebuild their innings. We dropped 6 chances in the innings and a few loose bits of fielding also released the pressure on the batsmen. One throw from Richard Blench resulted in a large volley of expletives (at himself). Jaba went wicketless and the left hand right hand combination started to hit out in chase of the 9 or 10 an over they needed. Tim had two very expensive overs and with little warning to the bowler played the last throw of the dice, the unorthodoxy of James Worley's bowling. A stunning one handed diving catch from Piram Legg raising our mood and our chances. One good over and another from David Begg left 6 to get in the last over but with the main scoring batsmen on strike. After much scampering, swinging and missing and field changes we ended up with them needing three off the last ball to win.

A drive to mid off and the first run taken but Piran fielded cleanly, returned the ball safely above the stumps and into the hands of James who removed the bails. Out by 3 yards and we had won by 1 run. Bickley Park 166-7. A great game of cricket that swung backwards and forwards.

Picking up 17 points out of the possible 20 we are still in 3rd place as Catford and Cyphers jumped ahead of us. If we have reasonable availability we will be competitive in this league. Next week Blackheath away as several of the team are away on the 7th team tour!

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