Thurs 26th October – Tour XI v Chandigarh Veterans

CHANDIGARRH VETERANS 359-6 (30) beat DULWICH 79 (21.3) by 280 runs

Who can forget the Tony Richardson classic "The Charge of the Light Brigade"? In this film, John Gielgud, Harry Andrews and sundry other elderly military buffoons sent a brigade of light cavalry consisting of 600 young men, and horses, let us not forget the horses, to their death in a hopelessly one sided fight against the entire Crimean Army. Watching today's game between Dulwich and a Chandigarh XI was not an entirely dissimilar experience. Some of you may recall the Manfred Mann hit of 1967 "Into the valley of death they thundered 54321. Onward onward rode the 600's 54321. Ah huh it was the Manfreds"

The inept and incompetent top brass of the British Army/DCC Selection committee in the shape of Kanak Patel (alias Lord Raglan) and the moustachioed John Smith (also known as Lord Lucan and we all know what happened to his grandson) . But I digress, this inept and incompetent top brass positioned themselves under an awning of golden silk above the Valley of Death while below their feet, all was carnage. Lieutenant Quaife led the charge but was mercilessly count down with figures of 6 overs 2 for 75. Even the seasoned, battle hardened Subaltern Veness was not spared. He retired from the field of battle nursing his wounds with 4 overs 1 for 53. The brave Captain Peters was unceremoniously unseated from his mount and conceded 75 runs in 5 overs. Bailey mounted a rearguard action by stumping the rampaging Rajesh off Veness, but batsman Puri went on cutting and cleaving the Dulwich Light Brigade into small pieces of red meat until, sated with blood lust, he retired with 121 runs to his name. Meanwhile the callous old buffers of Great Britain's military establishment stood by and watched this debacle, offering nothing but bottles of Bisleri Water to the poor suffering cavalry.

Meanwhile, Jim Gibson (alias Florence Nightingale also known as Vanessa Redgrave) offered some succour to the wounded troops, but many of the soldiers were beyond repair. And it was a relief when the Chandigarh high command mercifully called a halt to the carnage at 30 overs, with the score 359 for 6. It was fortunate for Dulwich that the rules of the Geneva Convention on unnecessary suffering in wartime were invoked.

After an excellent lunch Florence Nightingale decided she could witness no more bloodshed and, instead had a very pleasant net where she scored 43 against the Bolatic F735 Bowling Machine in an adjacent net. Many of the Chandigarh fielders witnessed this innings full of flowing back foot drives into the off side and could only surmise why Florence had been denied the opportunity to show her nursing skills by batting for Dulwich. But who can explain the deliberations and machinations of the aloof and enigmatic Dulwich selection committee? Of those who did make it to the middle, only Steward, Anthony and Peters made it to the enchanted land of double figures and the Dulwich innings was wrapped up at 2.46 p.m. Chandigarh's Karanveer was the main architect with 5 for 13 in 5.3 overs. As the game wore on, Dulwich edged tantalisingly close to victory: but ended the innings a mere 280 runs short of what could have been a remarkable turnaround in the touring side's fortunes. But it was not to be! Dulwich's quest for victory on this tour is becoming like Monty Python's search for the Holy Grail. Maybe they will find it in Amritsar against the Mighty Knights who say “NIH!”

Or maybe they won't.

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