Following last week’s defeat to OD CUACO, where Sunny’s extensive contact list was stretched to breaking point, the 3s headed to Dulwich with a strong line-up looking to get back to winning ways.
With the now familiar ritual of losing the toss complete, Bickley were asked to bowl on what looked like a fairly decent pitch. With Leo and the skipper opening up, Dulwich got off to a good start with some quick running between the wickets and aggressive shots – assisted by three, albeit difficult, chances going down in the field. Sunny’s perseverance was rewarded when he had their opener caught behind, and Leo followed this up by claiming the next wicket shortly afterwards in similar fashion. Further aggressive batting saw Chaudhry help Dulwich to 100-3 at drinks, with the ball regularly finding the boundary and a big total looming.
However, once Mr Cricket claimed Chaudhry’s wicket for the second time this season, the introduction of Richard Horner (10-3-29-3) saw some excellent bowling stem the run-rate; it was painful at times to see their batsmen play and miss with such regularity. With Dulwich struggling to add to their score as the overs played out, Simon Davis, the Welsh Wizard, ran through the tail with Horner, and despite more chances going down in the field, Bickley managed to peg Dulwich back to 171-9. Special mention should go to Owen Davies for rivalling Marco’s catch of the season with a spectacular one handed, over the shoulder grab which he had no right to take.
After a cake-heavy tea, Bickley set out knowing that they would need a strong batting performance to complete a successful run-chase, but that they had the strength in depth to do so. Openers Simon and Marcus navigated a difficult opening spell where the ball, having offered very little to Bickley throughout, starting swinging around corners. Chances came and went for Dulwich as the openers looked to push on, and when Marcus departed, a promising opening partnership (54) had laid the foundations.
With many of the middle-order falling cheaply, it was left to Owen Davies (52) to lead the charge, mixing aggressive strokes with well-placed singles. The introduction of Moore (9-2-27-4) had tied up our batsmen, who found it difficult to work the ball around the field off a nagging line and length, but a tight finish looked possible with Bickley reaching 150-6 with 4 overs remaining.
Unfortunately the tail, which has added valuable runs on so many occasions this season, could not quite get us over the line once Owen’s knock ended, and the final 3 wickets fell for 2 runs. Having excelled with the ball, Horner
ran himself having faced just one delivery so that he did not have to face the pressure of the final few overs was sold down the river by Chewitt’s call of YES… while leaning on his bat, and the innings was eventually ended when Mr President returned a chance to their opening bowler when looking to hit over the top.
A second loss in two weeks then – though 7 wins from the first 9 games would have been seized upon at the beginning of the season. Bickley remain top of the table, with OD CUACO closing the gap to just 6 points with a game in hand. With Bexleyheath (19pts) dealing Natwest Blues (3pts) a significant defeat at the weekend, there now appears to be a clear divide opening up at the top of the division, with just 24 points separating 1st from 4th and OD CUACO, Natwest Blues and Bexleyheath all having a game in hand on the leaders. Next week’s game against Natwest Blues looks crucial in Bickley’s bid for promotion.
|6 July 2019||1:30 pm||1B - Met/West 2019||2019|
|Dulwich Sports Ground|