Bickley win a thriller at Dulwich
Looking for a much needed win Bickley boys headed to Dulwich with a young resilient side on another dry “Sunny” day! However much to the players’ dismay it looked likely to be the trickiest pitch and outfield we have played on this season, and it was certain the pitch would play a major role in deciding the outcome – which turned out to be the case.
Bickley’s skipper won a vital toss and elected to bowl with Chris Jacob and Vishesh Mantri opening the bowling. Chris got us an early breakthrough in his first over sending W. Javed for a duck and together with Vishesh made runs hard to come by for Dulwich as they both bowled a disciplined opening spell and Dulwich were 32/3 after 10 overs. The pitch was behaving very strangely (as expected) while Dulwich’s reliable middle order S.Bailey and S.Anthony bravely stood firm to give them some hope of keeping the scoreboard ticking along. S. Anthony looked settled and was swinging, lofting and slicing his way but Sunny sent him back clean bowled at 26 to put pressure back on the opposition and followed up with another quick wicket of Johnson. Both upcoming youngsters Denzel and Will Harrod bowled a tight line to keep Dulwich in check and when things were looking likely to be wrapped up soon, R. Sarao and S. Bailey forged a stubborn partnership to take them to a decent total with Sarao not out at 39. However the tail could not withstand the pace of Vishesh in the second spell and Dulwich were all out at 179 with Vishesh bowling a superb 32/4 alongside Sunny 55/3 and Chris Jacob 26/2.
Chasing Dulwich’s 179 on an unpredictable track Vishesh Mantri and Sean Jayasekara opened the batting for Bickley. When both were looking settled Sean lofted a catch back to the keeper. Sahil Bhagat also got out quickly, caught at point to Davies’s bowling. On the other hand, Vishesh with a few fours kept the scoreboard ticking over, while the skipper fell prey to Nasri’s in-swing bowling and Bickley’s chase looked to have stalled at 32/3. Vishesh Mantri, nicknamed the new “Hammer of Bickley”, kept on swinging and slicing quality stroke play and alongside Mark Hardy developed the best partnership of the season. At the other end Mark was back in form after last weekend, hit sensibly and bravely as Dulwich’s bowlers were ruthlessly punished by both and Vishesh went on to score his first ever 50 for the club and was caught at point leaving Bickley at 97/4. Mark Hardy took charge of the situation and alongside Chris Jacob once more built up a valuable partnership with some solid stroke play by Chris, taking Bickley to 158/6 however Chris was caught off Sarao’s bowling scoring 26. Mark Hardy, aka the man of the match, needed to stay there for us to win and with Will Harrod featured in a nerve wracking situation with 6 overs to go and just the tail left. Unfortunately Mark was bowled by Nasari, Dulwich’s best bowler by far, after scoring a brilliant knock of 57 leaving Bickley at 168/8. With Will and Denzel at the wicket we still had 12 runs to get, in stressful circumstances but a courageous effort by both youngsters took us to victory.
The much needed win was achieved by a brilliant team effort and with a few remaining matches to go for the season, it will be crucial for the boys to keep the winning momentum up as next week Bickley will be hosting Roan and Lambethians at the Warren.
Dulwich CC 5th XI 179 all out
Vishesh Mantri 32/4, Sunny Saikia 55/3, Chris Jacob 26/2
Bickley Park CC 3rd XI 180/8
Vishesh Mantri-59, Mark Hardy -57
Nasari 23/3 and Davies 31/3
|21 July 2018||1:30 pm||1B - Metropolitan 2018||2018|
|Dulwich Sports Ground|