It’s been said before by more educated and knowledgeable people than me that it doesn’t rain in Dulwich.
This has flummoxed many, mostly visiting teams, but those in the know don’t refer to the BBC weather App showing an 80% chance of rain, they just carry on as if a dry Summer’s day. It’s easy for those of us that live around the corner to forget the commitment required to travel across London or drive from outside for a game. Even more so when it’s pouring. Credit to you that do so, and our thanks and faith to the captain’s, that make those tough calls to try to get a game in and summon that commitment – we’re at your service.
Irregular Occasional’s arrived with some travelling stragglers and chose to bat first. Notably among their batting line, Rahul Nair, who may be familiar to some of you. If this were a football team, Rahul may suffer ‘judas’ chants from the stands, but anyone watching the warm-up would be clear where his heart is, as he had catching practice with his newly adopted Plough teammates, even though turning out for OI for this fixture.
For Plough, Greeney opened the bowling keeping it tighter and drier than a camel in a sandstorm and the run rate trickled at 2 an over. Eventually, the Irregular bounce did for the, ahem, Occasional openers. Each Ploughman bowler picking off one apiece.
That camel analogy continued with the first (Ridgway) and second (Stephenson) change bowlers. As the ball dampened, we all knew reverse swing was not to be offered today.
Fielding too was of the highest quality, given the slippery conditions throughout the match. A special mention to one Justin Cash (nickname pending, answers on a postcard) in his first Plough match opting to field in brogues sans-spikes and taking two of the cleanest catches in the match – you’ve got to want it and he does. Justin splashed around the outfield staying mostly on his feet thwarting many an opportunity for a run.
Tom Lane has some shiny cricket spikes that provide excellent grip. He’s also one of the kindest people in the Plough. The sort that’d readily help a granny carry home her shopping, going out of his way in the process. Not to be outdone by kindness, Rahul and Tom had some sort of kindness challenge mini-comp. Coming in three down, the score on 28 of 13 overs, Rahul strode purposefully to the wicket. A master of cunning, Ridgway offered the first ball, an-eyes-light-up-length and Rahul obliged looking into Sydenham to find a target. Tom, sure of foot in his shiny spikes and alert at point, ready as the ball rocketed into the slightly cloudy sky. Aeons passed, and Skipper Grant took this opportunity to make a quick phone call to Tis for emergency sub. Tis put on a quick wash, ironed his whites, packed his bag, then strolled over to the ground, just as the ball reached its apex and began to descend to the very spot Tom’s standing on. Given this time to think Tom clearly felt it would be a poor show to catch someone out first ball, particularly with Rahul’s plan to showcase his skills, so he waved the ball past his shoulder.
Tis, curious at the strange habit of a clearly successful Sunday team that he was now part of, noted the approach.
Never one to miss a free lunch, Rahul tucked into the occasional bad ball. An astute bit of Skippering place Tis at Cow, where, the kindness battle recommenced this time between Rahul and Tis. Rahul thumping the ball down Tis’ throat. The Skipper’s fable is that this happened twice, each with the same outcome of 4 runs and two dropped catches.
Plough’s fielding, in tough conditions, was otherwise at a good standard along with bowling. The Occasional four and six taking the oppo to 130-6 from their allotted 35 overs. Credit to the groundsman for the pitch standing up.
By now the rain was steady, consistent and getting heavier. The covers came on in the break and a brief lull was pounced upon for 8 overs while the rain steadily got heavier.
Plough reached 28-2 (a special mention to Tis for hitting the ball across the ground choppy seas for a four, no mean feat) when the weather was declared the winner for the day and both sides took up positions at the bar to talk through the merits of being kind.