Dulwich Cricket Club, bottom of the table in their first season in the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship Division 1, play a crucial match tomorrow …
Dulwich are bottom, but are still only 13 points behind Beddington in eighth place, writes John Lewis.
They visit Banstead on Saturday (13 August), who are currently fourth. Dulwich got a losing draw in their first encounter with them, and will be looking to recapture the form of the last few weeks to secure a victory in the return fixture.
In their previous match, Dulwich were thoroughly outplayed by Guildford and lost by 147 runs.
DULWICH 199 (37.5)
GUILDFORD 346-7 (50)
by 147 runs
Guildford chose to bat in ideal conditions and ,despite the loss of an early wicket had 74 on the board at the end of the first 10-over powerplay.
Relaxation of the fielding restrictions, coupled with an excellent spell by leg spinner Ahmed Khan, slowed their progress for a while. Khan claimed the wicket of Angus Lovell for a 69-ball 70, but Freddie Geffen advanced to his century and was eventually dismissed for 123, off 127 balls.
The middle order helped him keep the score moving at an ever-increasing rate, and a breezy knock of 24 not out off eight balls by Tom Humphreys helped lift the Guildford score to 346-7 at the end of their 50 overs.
Dulwich fought back with three wickets in the last four overs to collect two unexpected bowling points. Khan emerged with the creditable figures of 1-47 off his 10 overs, but none of the other four bowlers went for less than seven per over.
In reply, Dulwich lost both openers in the first five overs and then continued to lose wickets at regular intervals as the batsmen tried unsuccessfully to chase down their formidable target.
The first three wickets fell to paceman Anwar Khan, and the three main spinners picked up four between them.
Many of the batsmen got starts, but Veer Patel, who made 44 off 57 balls before being run out, was the only one to pass 20.
The score had reached 140-9 when Ahmed Khan was joined by Salaar Waqar. By this time Guildford had called up bowlers five and six, who could not command the same respect as their predecessors, and the last wicket pair made merry, adding 59 off the next 31 balls and gaining two unlikely batting points.
Shoaib Bashir was recalled with the score on 199, and it took him just five balls to dismiss Khan and claim his third wicket. Khan had made 35 off 37 balls, while Waqar remained unbeaten with 32 off 17.
Dulwich gained just four points from this defeat.
In their previous home fixture, a Dulwich side containing four 17-year-olds made a valiant attempt to chase down a challenging target, but it proved just too much and they had to settle for a winning draw.
DULWICH 264-8 (57)
VALLEY END 278-6 dec (63)
Valley End chose to bat, and got off to a steady start against the seamers, putting 50 on the board in the thirteenth over.
Frankie Brown made the breakthrough in his second over with the score on 60, and he and Ahmed Khan put a brake on the scoring, with only 30 runs coming off the next 13 overs before Khan took two wickets in successive balls to reduce them to 90-3 after 28 overs.
This brought in Charlie Dunnett to join opener Adam Gould, and they resisted the two spinners and gradually accelerated the scoring to add 114 in 25 overs for the fourth wicket.
Gould eventually fell to Brown, having held the innings together for nearly three hours in scoring 79 off 174 balls.
Khan snapped up another wicket in the next over, but Josh Dodd then joined Dunnett in an onslaught against tiring bowlers that saw them put on 62 in just eight overs for the sixth wicket.
Dunnett had reached his century before Dodd became Khan’s fourth wicket, having made 24 off 19 balls.
Valley End declared one over later, having made 278-6 after 63 overs, leaving Dunnett undefeated on 108, off 101 balls. Khan finished with 4-80 off 20 overs, while Brown had 2-75 off 21.
Dulwich had 57 overs to get the runs, but got off to a bad start when then they lost Ollie Steele in the third over.
James Schofield thus joined 17-year-old Ollie Sykes and played second fiddle as the teenager raced to his maiden first team 59. The pair had added 111 in 22 overs for the second wicket when Sykes fell to Dodd for 68, off 69 balls.
Schofield and Chris Purshouse then added 46 in nine overs for the third wicket before the skipper fell for 16, off 23 balls.
Veer Patel went quickly, but Frankie Brown (16 off 22) and Dan Crowley (18 off 19) helped Schofield lift the score to 222 in the 49th over when the latter’s innings finally came to an end. He had also batted for nearly three hours in scoring 81 off 136 balls. This was his third half-century of the season, and his second in successive weeks.
Crowley fell two balls later leaving Dulwich requiring 56 off the last eight overs. This brought together two of the 17-year-olds in Khan and keeper Robbie Keaton, and they made a spirited attempt to go for the runs, securing a fifth batting point at 250 and the winning draw at 252.
They had added 38 in 6.3 overs for the eighth wicket when Khan’s dismissal for 19, off 23 balls, left 18 still needed off nine balls. Keaton and Jon Lodwick settled on survival and saw out time to finish on 264-8
Left arm spinner Ed Young was the pick of the bowlers, with 5-61 off 15 overs.
This was the fourth time in six weeks that Dulwich had narrowly failed to close out victory and had to settle for a winning draw.