Sat 3rd June – 3rd XI v Wimbledon

WIMBLEDON 175 (44.2) beat DULWICH 125 (37.3) by 50 runs

Scorecard

Dulwich 3rd XI travelled to top of the table Wimbledon on Saturday full of confidence after three wins on the spin. Arrival at the ground this year indicated that there had been a significant change to the football-esque pitch prepared the year before. The beautifully mown outfield sparkled in the sunshine and the marquee erected in the corner may have confused some that this week was ‘yet another’ wedding rather than a cricket match.

Having quickly changed in the tent, the boys went out to the middle to find a pitch looking a bit green but generally true. Skipper Bailey, changed his mind about 4 times before dutifully losing the toss and being asked to field. Knighty, fresh from doing very little over the last few weeks, managed to convince Jez that he deserved the top end and started well. Bowling at a good pace he troubled both opening batsmen, with a few plays and missed as well as a number of inside edges from their skipper, Slater. The run-rate was good, however, as anything loose was punished.

Jez at the other end took a couple of overs to settle, but once he did managed to cause a few problems for Slater as the run rate began to be reigned in. Knighty finally found some luck to catch the edge of the right hander McArthur’s, only for Lester (in at first slip due to bending Bailey’s ear about how he had the most catches in the league) to shell the chance. Zaki immediately removed himself from second slip, to the delight of Marshall who proceeding to grass another chance off Knighty at second slip only a few balls later. The following over continued with more of the same, Jez this time the unlucky bowler as Lester was targeted again at first slip, only for the same result to occur. Euan therefore was brought into the firing line, due to having the best hands in the club, as the others were all dispensed of. He showed these great hands by shining the ball meticulously for the entire innings and wishing he was fielding at cover.

With no luck for the opening pair, debutant Loz Taylor was thrown the balls and was immediately into his stride. His first wicket was a bit of the gift as MacArthur mistimed a full toss back to the bowler for 52 in the 23rd over. Wimbledon quickly tried to rush the the drinks out, only to be sent back by the Dulwich team who sensed there was an opportunity to nip out the nervous looking number 3. And right they were as Loz angled through the gate of the picture perfect defensive and removed the leg pole.

Looking to put the squeeze on after drinks saw Abu brought into the attack, but it was Loz who was in the action again straight away. Fuming that a toe crusher in front of middle stump was given the shake of the head by the umpire he managed to get his man courtesy of magnificent catch at mid-wicket. Jones at full length managed to hang onto the ball that was timed to perfection by Anand, and would certainly have been given the chorus of “shooooottttt” in the nets.

Dulwich really had their tails up now and things were only going to get better a couple of overs later. Cooper pushed the third ball of the over to the left of Lester at cover and sheepishly called for the single. Broken, but keen to make up for earlier mistakes, Lester swooped in and fired into the gloves to run out Slater for 62. Two balls later, new batsman Roodt (number 3 of 4 left handers) left a straight one from Abu around the wicket, before playing a shot a minute after it hit the pad. Stingray saw right through the attempted deception sent him on his way LBW. Sixth ball of the over, same delivery, and same result, this time with an attempt to actually play the ball!

It got even better for the Doggies 2 overs later when a thin edge from Cooper, still mulling over the run-out of his skipper, went through to Bailey. 104-0 had become 142-7 in the blink of an eye.

The chaos began to calm as numbers 8 and 9 dug in, even playing the odd leave, which those who have played with Dulwich long enough know is frowned upon by the Wimbledon masses. Thankfully Loz, starting to tire, got one to shape away to take the edge of Hetherton’ bat, through to the gleeful Bailey behind the stumps.

Whipple unfurled the shot of the day, lofting Abu (4-37 off 11) effortlessly down the ground for a maximum, before Abu managed to entice the number 10 to try the same, only to be caught at mid-on. Loz was pulled from the attack, with fantastic figures of 4-40 off 11 on 3rd XI debut, and replaced by the ‘fresh’ legs of Knightsbridge, who finally got into the wicket column thanks to an excellent catch by Ismail full length at short cover. All out for 175 was an excellent comeback, but left the team wondering what might have been if the two openers hadn’t been given as many lives.

It’s safe to say the rest of the match didn’t go to plan. New opening pair Zaki and Ismail strode out to bat looking to get us off to a good start, but Zaki was trapped LBW to an inswinger lbw from the left armer Roodt. Euan soon followed after a few nice shots, caught behind to one that moved away from the same bowler. Johnny Stone played all round a straight one that he’ll want to forget and suddenly we were 38-3. Ismail was looking solid at the other end however, and in tandem with an expansive looking Marshall they begun to get the scoreboard ticking over at a decent rate. However just when they were looking on top Ismail fell to a good delivery just kissing the top of off, and Wimbledon sensed blood.

Marshall was beginning to be tied down by Roodt, angling the ball across him. There were a few plays and misses, with Marshall just trying to lay a bat on him, but when he did, he could only find first slip who made no mistake. At 83-5 Bailey and Lester attempted, and failed, to dig in, both being sent back in quick succession, followed not too long after by Abu.

When Jez and Knighty ended up next to each other at the bowlers end, to complete a simple run out, the game was as good as gone. Euan was at the vets getting his booster injection, Marshall was already on his fourth piece of chocolate cake and Loz was reminiscing his 30-odd once a few years ago. Unfortunately he couldn’t replicate this on the day and we were bowled out for 125.

A poor batting performance letting the side down this week, but a great effort in the field to give ourselves a chance. Spencer visit DSG next week, so we will need to be on our game to defeat the reigning champions.

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