Action Photos
Dulwich College U17A vs  St Paul's School
On: Saturday, 01 May 2021
Venue: at Home

Match report and stats below:

After a long year with no cricket and the devastating hiatus of COVID, it was a delight to see the newly restructured U17 side take the field at 2pm on Saturday, one of several, London derbies. It was a pleasure to welcome St Paul’s to Dulwich, and after a vigorous warmup, Captain Saunders, despite a gentle word from the more cautious coach (having considered the sporadic groupings of green grass as well as the top two, rather damp inches where early movement may undo openers), Rhys decided to boldly open the batting after winning the toss.

After a slow start, we lost our first wicket at 10 for one off 3 overs, seeing Brockman bowled for four. Fred Griffiths made his way to the wicket and enjoyed a 69-run partnership with Rhys, before he fell, bowled for 22. However, Saunders continued in a bold and aggressive stance, landing five enormous sixes on a decent size boundary, but always keeping the scoreboard ticking over with important ones and twos. The new school captain came and went without scoring, popping one up to the bowler and McGuinness also fell, for nine, a victim to the same bowler. At this stage, Dulwich were teetering at 108 for four off 22 overs, and with 18 to go, acceleration was needed. With the introduction of Finlay Johnston (who also kept very well), his innings, after a gentle start of ones and twos, saw a rapid acceleration after the first three overs, where previously he had scored just ten, captain and keeper clearly had a conversation, and the run rate increased dramatically. Indeed, in the next three overs, these two plundered nearly 40 runs, taking the total to a much healthier 140. We aimed for 160 to 170 at the start of the innings, and to finish on 162, we felt, placed us in a strong position and gave the bowlers plenty of wiggle room for a successful defence of the total. Three significant totals contributed to a very solid total: Saunders on 74, Griffiths on 22 and Johnston with an excellent 37, Dulwich felt confident they could defend the total.

With the ball being cleaned every six overs and drinks taken at 18, no high-fives and huddles kept to a minimum, the COVID restrictions added a slightly different perspective to the game. However, the boys’ determination to score a win in the first game this season was clear to see, and after a quick bite at tea, the energetic 11 took the field and looked forward to early success.

Opening with McCubbin and McGuinness-Smith, they collectively, through their first 10 overs went for 32, a very impressive start indeed. Just as with the innings of Dulwich, St Paul’s started slowly, and their first wicket fell with just 8 on the board. Wickets then fell intermittently every 2 to 3 overs and at 73 for six, off 17 overs, the boys felt extremely confident of finishing the game inside the 30 overs, with just 4 wickets left to take.

The drinks break at 84-6, however, came at a time that we hoped would provide quick sustenance and a chance to regroup and focus on the next 5 to 10 overs after the break. However, it clearly benefited St Paul’s rather than Dulwich, and if we been told at the drinks break, that the next wicket would fall at 148 for seven, Dulwich would have been very surprised indeed. Their big hitter, who scored a very impressive 62 not out, and was joined by the number eight, who offered a rapid fire 44, including four huge sixes, simply took the same away from us. Over number 27 saw the game totally change – with victory beckoning and just 12 runs needed by St Paul’s, McGuinness-Smith bowled a beautiful yorker, taking out their number nine batsmen and then two crazy run outs, took the game away from St Paul’s. The final three batsmen ended on zero and an absolute rollercoaster of a game ended with a 12-run victory for the Dulwich 11.

This game typified everything that is good about schoolboy cricket and it was such a shame that we could not have the crowds to enjoy such a spectacle. The boys were a delight to coach and manage and Fred Griffiths made a whole new set of friends with his delightful banter from deep mid-wicket, as he enjoyed deep and meaningful conversation with the boys as they sat on the deckchairs watching and actually cheering Fred. It was lovely to see The Master, Mr Scarisbrick, Dr Griffiths and Mr Read patrol the boundary and supporting the boys in the first game in a long, long time.

Congratulations must go to several bowlers, who bowled with remarkable consistency in this, their first game. Will McCubbin finished with figures of two for 16 from six and Jago McGuinness-Smith, three for 14 off 5. Khan bowled a ‘Warne-esque’ leg break, taking out their third batsmen, but for me, seeing the way the captain managed expectations, battered so beautifully for his 74, but essentially, made sure boys who did not bat, had a bowl, and with constant encouragement in the field, was lovely to see. This is essential to creating a culture of enjoyment for the boys, win, lose or draw, but today, after such a long time away from the green grass of Dulwich, it was a joy to see 22 boys play hard, accept victory and defeat and relish the opportunity to again play school sport. Next week, we welcome Hampton School, where I am sure another action-packed game will follow.

SCJM

DC v St Pauls (U17/2nd XI) 1/5/2021 2pm 30 overs

DC 162-7

St P 151-10

Won by 11 runs

1-10

2-79

3-80

4-108

5-133

6-133

7-137

7-162

DC won the toss and elected to bat

162-7

Saunders 74

Brockman 4

Griffiths 22

Wright 0

McGuinness-Smith 9

Johnston 37 not out

Gough 0

Khan 1

McCubbin 2 not out

Bowling:

McCubbin 2-26 off 6

McGuiness-Smith 3-14 off 5

Seward 2-18 off 3

Khan 1-14 off 3

Wright 0-26 off 3

Howard 0-33 off 4

Saunders 0-19 off 3