Sun 17th August 2020
Sunday saw a long overdue visit to the hallowed turf of Dulwich Cricket Club, often gazed upon from the overgrown boundaries of Turney Road. “Some day my son, some day…”
That day arrived, and it was a bit of a let down to be honest, less hallowed and more furrowed. An outfield that would test and tease both teams all afternoon. A hill on one side probably more severe than Lords but not as bad as Wytham, Oxford circa 2014.
The rest of the facilities were top notch, as the Gardeners gathered in front of the pavilion with the occasional grunts of a top spin forehand drifting over from the tennis courts. Either that or it came from the croquet lawn.
In the most democratic of tosses, Skipper was asked what he’d like to do and chose to field. The Nome and Greg took the new conker starting well but without penetration. After both having plumb lbw appeals turned down it took Tom to point out to the umpire that he wasn’t actually standing behind the stumps so how could he possibly judge.
Over to Nick to make the first breakthrough. After some pitched up stuff from both Greg and Rob, trying to get it to swing in the muggy air, Cunners was successful with his back of a length stuff cramping Crawford-Khan for room and skying it to square leg for Greg to pouch.
Enter Chathli at no.3 complete with attempted ramp shots and switch hits. Amongst the funky shots were classy strokes putting away our bad balls (and not so bad balls) with aplomb. We finally get an lbw, this time from the other end, and in contrast the finger goes up before we’ve finished asking. Cunners had his second, Shattock falls for 13.
Time for drinks and a sanitiser break. 55 for 2 after 20. GCC have a lid on it for now.
Fully hydrated, Chathli advances down the wicket to Cunners, her confidence knows no bounds. Tom takes over from the pavilion end and has Davis stumped for 9. Chathli goes for one sortie too many down the wicket but Tom sees her coming and gives it some more air, Steven does the rest behind the sticks, stumped for 35. Paddy bowls a miserly 8 over spell with the pitch doing plenty but the batsmen resist.
Jake takes the ball from the far end, fresh from his 8 mile walk from Kentish Town, (training to be a goat herd apparently. No, really!) He’s bowling with good pace, beating the bat of Lane who seems adamant on dabbing it to third man but only succeeds in parting the air and having the slip cordon reinforced.
It’s a real two-paced wicket so Jake tries the ol’ cross seamer which grips and spits. The Dulwich batsmen remain untroubled and begin to up their run rate. Tom gets his third when Lane tries to go over the top only to dump it straight to Rob at mid off. A great spell from Jake ends without reward. Rob takes over and gets one of his inswingers past the bat of Aftab knocking his leg stump back. Greg does the same with a Struthers special removing Cosway for 11, not before pushing their total to 168 in the final overs with no.5 Conner who finishes on 54 not out.
Jake and Phil open up for The Gardeners’ reply and they start well, looking very solid but crucially finding the fielders with regularity. Raghavan A. gets through Phil’s defences and he falls for 6. Ed’s tidy knock last week rewards him with a number 3 spot only to be beaten by Higgins for just 1.
Steven is in at 4 and steadies the ship with Jake with a nice 40 partnership. Some lovely shots which last week would have shot to the boundary get held up in the velcro-like outfield. Steven falls for 11 off Aftab caught behind bringing the skipper to the crease. Before he can get settled Jake falls to Raghavan H. three short of his fifty, nicking off. A fine innings, but is it enough?
The big levers of debutante Tom Cartledge come in at 6. The two Toms set about getting us toward our target of 169. Tom C takes a few sighters before connecting with some lusty blows to cow. Consecutive fours get us moving again after the loss of those quick wickets. A quick fire 25 is ended abruptly by a calf injury forcing Tom C to retire hurt. Skipper Tom remains to play a captain’s innings, and Cunners joins him.
With the run rate climbing Nick falls for nought trying to force the issue, holing out to mid on. Paddy suffers a similar fate shortly after, leaving a little too much for the lower order to chase down. Greg and Rob see out the overs in a sedate manner, falling short by 43 runs.
Elbow bumps all round. A good game and competitive until the last 10 overs when we lost our way somewhat.
As we have come to expect, the youngsters of The Dulwich Development XI run hard, chase everything down in the field and rarely bowl many bad balls. We were perhaps a batsman or two short this week. Fielding was much improved and we held our catches. Small mercies eh?
We play most of our games in Dulwich and net during the winter at The Oval. Send us an email at email@example.com
Jamie Elliot (life)
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Hugo Nisbet (life)
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