Sat 3rd June – 6th XI v Shooters Hill

SHOOTERS HILL 112 (30) lost to DULWICH 114-8 (38.3) by 2 wickets

Scorecard

A 70 year old man, who has spent much of his life as a thorn in the side of the British establishment, railing against the many injustices perpetrated by the corrupt and effete establishment of Dulwich Cricket Club, was today, unexpectedly, handed the reigns of power in Dulwich’s match against Shooters Hill today at the DSG. Old Etonian* John Smith, had not only cried off from captaining the side, but also removed himself from the team entirely! 

Many speculated on whether the new man was capable of leading a team in the seething cauldron of the Kent Regional League 2C South of the Thames Section. There could be little doubt that a new broom was needed. The new skipper pointed out to the rest of the team what dire straits they were in: bottom of the league with the uninspiring total of -2 points. (They had been previously been penalised 10 points for failing to get 11 men on the pitch in the first game of the season). 

After a pep talk (largely based on Al Pacino’s “inch by inch” speech in the film “The Mean Machine”) by the skipper, the team set about their task with vigour and enthusiasm. This was a team of great variety, including the youthful Cormack Meade, Nikki Scull from the Women’s section, Tony McGill from the Squash section, Russ Charlesworth and Amyn Haji (Coaches and Organisers in the Colts section) and captain Jim Gibson (who, rumour has it, has been sectioned many times for the benefit of the rest of the community!)

Jim inserted the opposition on a pitch that had an untrustworthy verdant tinge to it. Seam bowlers Kanak Patel and Amyn Haji  subjected the Shooters Hill opening bats to a testing investigation. Liam Harrison eventually succumbing to a good length delivery by Haji. Shooters Hill never really recovered from this breakthrough. Patel closed one end up with 2 excellent spells of controlled medium pace. Meade chipped in with a further two wickets, as did Charlesworth. Off spinner Cook excelled with figures of 4 for 24. Indeed, so well did Cook bowl, Captain Gibson did not feel the need to call upon his own mixture of teasing, finely flighted full tosses, long hops and general ordure. At length, Shooters Hill were bowled out for 112 in 30 overs.

It must be said that the Dulwich 6th XI batting has frequently resembled an inflatable dinghy with a slow puncture in recent years. Passengers get into the boat, hoping that someone has brought a puncture repair outfit with them and that things will be alright at the end of the day. It was to be hoped, however, that today, the modest target of 113 could be reached before the boat finally disappeared between the waves taking all hands with it. Comerford and Skull started the initial baling operation with 9 runs each, but it was Meade (22), Haji (29 not out) and that reliable batsman known as Extras (27) who saw Dulwich to dry land, but not without a certain amount of anxiety as experienced veterans Gibson, Griffiths and Cook all contrived to get out at precisely the time they were supposed to stay in, to assist the excellent and capable Haji. He finally found a reliable partner in the shape of Kanak Patel, and the game was finally won by 2 wickets. 

Dulwich leapt up the table with a total of plus 18 points and are now above Streatham & Marlborough, who are occupying the wooden spoon position.

Peter Rochford brought the drinks, did the scoring and collected the money.

*It might have been Marske Grammar School, but we live in the fake news era now, so no verification required. Smith also has a moustache.

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