Sat 1st July – 4th XI v Streatham & Marlborough

DULWICH 127 (37) beat STREATHAM & MARLBOROUGH 122 (37.1) by 5 runs

Scorecard

On Saturday afternoon, Dulwich 4th XI welcomed Streatham and Marlborough to the DSG. It was understood that S&M had endured a difficult week with the news that a long serving clubman and father of two of the players at the club had sadly passed away. A minutes silence was held before the game and on behalf of Dulwich I would like to pass on our thoughts and condolences to S&M at what must be a challenging time.

Onto the cricket and stand in skipper Inglis lost the toss and was duly asked to make first use of the deck. With a strong batting line up this caused no worries to Dulwich which was backed up by an excellent start with the scoreboard rocketing to 32 for 0 off 4 overs, Durrani taking a particular liking to opening bowler Guest who went for 27 from his first two overs. However, revenge was soon served as after Choudrey was adjudged LBW to Harris, Guest finally found his line and length to not only induce a caught behind for Durrani (24) but also quickly picked up Marshall and Peters, both also caught behind to leave Dulwich at 32 for 4. It was great faith shown by the S&M skipper to leave Guest on and it paid dividends.

A rebuilding job was needed by Woodgate and Meade but unfortunately the S&M bowlers had really hit their straps, bowling excellent line and length on a wicket offering something for the bowlers. With the score just above 50, Meade drove to short cover where James took a wonderful reflex catch and shortly afterwards Inglis also nicked off after the ball popped viciously off a length and Dulwich were suddenly 61 for 6.

Mahoney joined Woodgate at the crease and the two were excellent foils for each other with Woodgate watchful whilst Mahoney counter punched. The score ticked just over 100 before Woodgate (33) was the 5th caught behind of the innings and a jug was due from the S&M keeper Lansdown. Some lusty blows by Mahoney (32) and good nudging from Woods lifted the Dulwich total to 127 before Scott-Coombs became the last man out, caught at mid-on.

At tea, the general feeling was that if the bowlers could hit a good line and length there was plenty on offer in the wicket and the score was perhaps not as below par as what was first thought. However, a quick look at Whatsapp showed that 4th team regular and club nutritionist Prassana had put a few quid down on an S&M win declaring Dulwich had no chance.

Rea and James opened for S&M facing Mahoney and Taylor. After 4 evenly matched overs, S&M found themselves at 24 without loss with a mixture of good shots and plays and misses. Rea in particular looked impressive whilst James struggled with the pace of both Mahoney and Taylor. In the end, Mahoney was too good for James who edged to slip where Woods took a sharp chance with some minor juggling and commentary before it was finally snaffled. Gray did not last long, being clean bowled by Taylor and suddenly S&M were 30 for 2.

Bartolo joined Rea, with Bartolo seeming more interested in providing commentary to the game than actually batting. With a partnership materialising, the first bowling change was made with Peters coming on for Mahoney. The change worked instantly, Bartolo looking to sweep Peters first ball, but only managed to glove the ball to Durrani, shortly followed by skipper Hughes who pinged Peters straight down Woodgate’s throat. S&M were now 55 for 4 and worse was to follow quickly as Woods, who had replaced Taylor at the Pavillion end trapped Henderson LBW.

A real cat and mouse period ensued in which Peters and Woods probed and nagged the batsmen but S&M held firm with Davis and Rea steadily getting closer to the target. Woods eventually broke the deadlock, enticing Rea into one drive to many where Inglis used midrift and hands to keep the ball from the ground. This was the important breakthrough as Rea had scored a magnificent 59 and was the real key wicket in the S&M line up.

There was one more wicket apiece for Woods and Peters, bowling Lansdown and Taylor catching Davis respectively. The latter being a fantastic diving catch on the 45 by Taylor, before Inglis turned back to opening pair Taylor and Mahoney to try to capture the last two wickets with about 15 runs needed for victory.

Taylor did the damage, his first ball enticed Harris to edge through to the keeper. Mahoney thought he had also struck with his first over back trapping Guest full on the toe without much foot movement but the appeal was turned down. 

Tension grew as Davies and Guest brought the runs required down to 5 with very cautious and sensible batting. The tension, similar to that of Edgbaston 2005 was mounting, Mahoney came steaming in, a good length ball, a faint edge, a regulation catch for Durrani… cue wild scenes of celebration by Dulwich and 24 points for the league.

Unconfirmed reports quickly circulated that club nutritionist Prassana has agreed to fund the next team social for doubting the Doggies' ability to defend the total so well worth getting ahead of the game and getting required passes for the night from other halves. A special mention should also be made to Tom Scott-Coombes who agreed to play on Saturday morning following a late withdrawal from the team, it was very much appreciated. Next up, Walton-on-Thames away.

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