DULWICH 176-9 (49.1)
OXTED & LIMPSFIELD 175-8 (50)
by 1 wicket
In a nail-biting finish, Dulwich Cricket Club’s last wicket pair squeezed out victory in the final over against Oxted & Limpsfield in Division 2 of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship. John Lewis reports
With both their regular opening bowlers unavailable, Dulwich gave debuts to Hugo Peterson and Felix Allocca, and they soon found themselves in action when Oxted won the toss and elected to bat.
Allocca struck in his second over, and Peterson was unlucky not to join him.
The Oxted second wicket pair of Joe Murtagh and Harvey Cutmore gradually increased the tempo, and had taken the score to 99 after 25 overs with a substantial total looking likely.
But the spinners had started to impose some restraint, and Ahmed Khan broke the stand in the next over, having Cutmore caught at slip for 39.
Frankie Brown now entered the attack, and bowled a miserly spell of 10 overs in which he took the next three wickets and conceded just 15 runs.
Only 33 runs had come from 16 overs as Oxted declined to 132-5 after 41.
The sixth wicket pair took the score to 150 in the 47th over before Peterson returned to remove Murtagh, whose dogged innings of 72 had taken 124 balls.
A late flurry lifted the score to 175 for the loss of two more wickets, both to Alex Gledhill, who finished with 2-35 off 10 overs, while Khan had 1-33 off his 10.
Dulwich could be well pleased to have kept their opponents down to 76 runs in the last 25 overs, and set up a chance of victory.
Acting skipper Chris Purshouse opened the batting, but lost Ollie Steele for 9 and Brown for 8 to make it 37-2 after 12 overs.
Purshouse and Paul Selvey-Clinton then added 56 in 12 overs for the third wicket, but were both dismissed by Murtagh, with Purshouse making 38 off 63 balls and Selvey-Clinton 34 off 48.
Will Bancroft then fell for 3 to reduce Dulwich to 118-5 in the 33rd over.
This brought in keeper Michael Harms, who kept the score moving while wickets fell at the other end.
Matt Marfani went for 17 with the score on 129, Khan for 3 at 143, and Peterson was run out for a single to make it 154-8.
The score had advanced to 169 when Harms became the ninth wicket to fall, having made 33 off 45 balls, with two fours and three sixes.
This brought number 10 Gledhill and number 11 Allocca together with seven runs still needed and 3.5 overs remaining.
They proceeded in singles, aided by a couple of wides, one of which brought the scores level in the penultimate over.
Gledhill nudged the first ball of the last over for a single to secure the victory. The Dulwich total had been boosted by 25 extras, including 19 wides.
Dulwich climb one place to third in the table, one point behind Dorking in second place.
Next week they travel to Chessington, who were relegated from Division 1 in the last full season and are currently eighth.