Sat 2nd September – Dulwich D!ckheads vs Pillockshire Pilgrims

D!CKHEADS 158-4 (40) lost to PILGRIMS 149-9 by one wicket

It is the custom these days to give Cricket teams nicknames. It is not enough to call Warwickshire, "Warwickshire" anymore. They have to be called the Birmingham Bears, Nottinghamshire are now known as the Outlaws. Presumably, Sussex will become known as the Inlaws owing to the fact that Max Miller, who came from Brighton, told a great number of jokes about his mother-in-law: "when she comes round our house, I cut the tail off the dog. I don't want no sign of welcome. She went for a swim in Loch Ness, the monster got out and picketed the lake …"and so on ad nauseam.
So I have decided to call today's game a battle between the Dulwich Dickheads and the Pillockshire Pilgrims. Or Dickheads v Pillocks for short. The selection of the teams itself was a dubious process conducted in smoke filled rooms from which the 2 captains Rutherford and Brown, emerged whitefaced and withdrawn. A pairing system was apparently in operation., where two players deemed to be of equal abilities (I am not sure who did the deeming) were placed as a pair and each captain was invited to choose one of the pair. An agonising choice I am sure.

And so to the match played on a sun kissed day where the cotton wool cumulonimbus clouds wandered across the sky as if they were all bit part players in a Poem written by Wordsworth.

In the late 1950's and early 60's the Dulwich 1st XI boasted a Cambridge blue, who also played for Lancashire and opened the bowling for the Gents v the Players (he also managed to design the Dulwich pavilion in his spare time),  a South African who played in 3 tests in the 1960 tour of England, a man who scored 79 not out for the Club Cricket Conference against the West Indies team of 1963 and a man who played for Kent whenever Colin Cowdrey was playing for England. None of these players was named Peter Rice, but, nevertheless, he was the first choice opening bat in this glittering array of talent. In 2017 he is not mixing with quite such illustrious co. But he was still opening the batting. Chivvying his way to 34 in his last ever game ably supported by Blench who one would like to describe as something of a renaissance man: A bass guitarist of some skill, a property tycoon and and a househusband. The meat and two veg of the innings was, however, the innings played by Rhys Williams who swashbuckled his way to 69 not out. A batsman who takes no prisoners. Simon Moore essayed some classic off drives at the end of innings and the Dickheads amassed 158 for 4 off their 40 overs.

One should also mention Farhad Ahmed's opening spell of 6 overs 6 maidens 1 wicket for 0 runs. It must be said that several of these overs were bowled against the septuagenarian Gibson. A player who, on occasion, has been known to "dig in" in a rather unnecessary fashion in a 40 over match.

During this innings Gibson found himself having an interesting if not enlightening conversation with the wicket keeper Kira Chathli, when her father, Harry, came on to bowl.

"What does your Dad bowl, Kira?"
"You know what, I haven't the first idea".

Sadly, Forhad Ahmed's analysis was vandalised in his second spell when he went for 14 in 2 overs. As Shakespeare once said : "O World thy slippery turns." Scholars are divided on whether he was talking about Stratford on Avon's off spinner of 1564, but your correspondent thinks it is highly likely. 

The Pillocks innings was an altogether more pedestrian affair. David Begg was treated with perhaps unreasonable respect by both Father and daughter of the Chathli family and Griffiths the solicitor played an innings which the scorebook eloquently described as ………2……………2……..1……. OUT

Only Rutherford with a commendable 63 was able to extract himself from the vice like grip of the Dickheads parsimonious attack. Grimsey managed to bowl an over full of event and Gibson produced a ball of such devastating originality that it succeeded in dismissing Matt Craig on the second bounce. The Pillocks held on to to 149 for 9 but one felt the result was never really in doubt. A great day out for all, and one I hope Peter will remember with fondness as his last game of cricket in a career which began in the halcyon days of 1958.

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