Bexley 6th XI v Dulwich 6th XI
By Steve Griggs
Overcast Day at Loring Hall - Balaji to the rescue!
We entertained Dulwich CC at Loring Hall. A very polite and friendly bunch who unfortunately had suffered two late drop outs. It was rather cloudy with the hint of rain in the air. The wicket looked fine and the coin toss went in favour of Griggsy who invited Dulwich to have a bat. Missing a genuine medium pace seamer, Griggsy and Shelvers opened up with what is a very mature opening pairing. Their opener showed what he could do and a couple of boundaries followed but with the drizzle now persistent, both kept toiling away and edges were found but not going to hand, a couple of very genuine LBW appeals were turned down and yorkers were dug out. Returning the same figures of 9 overs 0-24, their job was done. Jack Bleksley making his 6th XI debut soon removed the opener with I believe his first ball, bowled him!! This was followed by yet another direct hit run out by Joe "Jonty Rhodes" Howard. Jack bowled with good flight and pace and his second victim picked out guess who, Joe who took the catch. Jack then lured their number 4 down the track who played all round it leaving it only for Balaji to whip off the bails for a well worked stumping. Next ball their number 6 hit it straight back at Jack who held a sharp chance. Four for Jack. Max bowled his six overs for only 16 when their number 5 was going for it but could not get amongst the wickets this week. Shri and Steve Shanks finished off the bowling taking a wicket apiece but despite our best efforts, we failed to get the last one that would have given us maximum bowling points.
An truly amazing tea was taken with the Dulwich players piling lots of praise on the quality and quantity!! Thank you tea ladies, you did us proud.
Peter B and Joe opened and we sat back to relax and watch the run chase. Only 3 an over required needed no panic or rash shots. Blekkers chased a filthy wide one and snicked off to the keeper........he trudged back to the Loring grass bank muttering under his breath. Apologies to the skipper followed. Joe was the next one to go bowled and 25-2 whilst not a disaster it was not the start we were hoping for. More wickets fell; Neil caught behind (15), Viraj c&b 11 and Steve Shanks 7 snicking off. Enter Balaji Balakrishnan at number 6. 55-5 needed a batsman to secure a good innings. Bala was joined by Shri and between them they worked the ball around and the occasional boundary helped out. With the score on 116 Shri was another victim for their keeper so now 6 down, Max Hallett strode to the middle. 20 required and Max played well with two very good sweep shots, working well with Bala taking sensible runs, no risks and thinking about the field placings. The remaining overs were ticking away but going at 3 an over saw the 6ths reach the target with three and a bit overs to spare.
A great knock by Bala supported well by Shri and Max. Another good points tally (18) and with OD Cuaco losing badly, the gap at the top of our division is now looking promising. The Dulwich players came back to Manor Way and commented on what a great club set up we have. Good day all round despite the early crisis being 55-5!!!!! Well done all.