EPSOM 251-6 dec (53)
DULWICH 121-7 (47)
Dulwich were thoroughly outplayed in their A J Fordham Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Epsom, but managed to cling on to secure a losing draw before this week’s crunch match with Bank of England. John Lewis reports
The Epsom innings was dominated by Simon Rivers, who made 131 off 145 balls, his maiden first team century.
Dulwich had put their opponents into bat, and reduced them to 41-3 after 14 overs as Assan Crawford-Khan took a wicket in his second over, 14-year-old opener Ben Berry was run out after being sent back by Rivers, and Ahmed Khan also struck in his second over.
Acting skipper Asim Zeb joined Rivers and they started circumspectly, taking the score to 70 after 23 overs.
But the next 30 overs produced 181 runs.
The fourth wicket pair took their partnership to 122 before Khan had Zeb lbw for 48, off 89 balls.
The fifth wicket pair added 56 in 6.3 overs as Rivers advanced to his century in company with Sri Lankan O P Sanjaya Chathuranga, and then went on the rampage.
Crawford-Khan returned to have Rivers caught at midwicket, and struck again two balls later to make it 223-6 after 49.4 overs, but Chathuranga, with 35 not out off 30 balls, lifted the score to 251 before the declaration after 53 overs.
Crawford-Khan, with 3-39 off eight overs, and Ahmed Khan, with 2-66 off 14, were the only bowlers to take a wicket.
Dulwich were left with 47 overs to get the runs, but got off to a poor start as the opening bowlers each took a wicket, removing Chris Purshouse for 5 and Lachlan Skinner for 13 to make it 28-2 after ten overs.
Frankie Brown and Veer Patel added 30 for the third wicket, but neither was able to force the pace against tight bowling.
Chathuranga’s leg spin posed particular problems, as he dismissed Brown for 22 and Patel for 19, both by means of sharp return catches, and followed up by snaring Michael Harms for 4.
He completed his first nine-over spell with figures of 3-12.
Opening bowler Fazalhaq Jan returned to dismiss George Pearson for a single and reduce Dulwich to 76-6 in the 29th over.
Skipper Jon Lodwick joined James Schofield to add 21 for the seventh wicket before edging to slip for 13.
Ahmed Khan thus joined Schofield at 97-7 with 12.3 overs left and no alternative but to try and bat out for the draw. This they did successfully.
Zeb tried six different bowlers but was unable to separate them as they took Dulwich to 121-7 at the end of the innings.
Khan survived 41 balls in making 7, while Schofield finished with 27 off 67.
Dulwich have taken just six points from their last two matches, but had previously built up such a gap that they still remain second, though Old Wimbledonians are now only five points behind them in third place.
Dulwich will be looking to return to winning ways next week when they have a crucial match at home to Bank of England, who are just four points above them at the top.