BEDDINGTON 145 (43.5)
DULWICH 175 (48.3)
by 30 runs
After another match of fluctuating fortunes, Dulwich completed a crucial 30 run victory over Beddington in Division 1 of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship. It kept alive their hopes of avoiding relegation after just one season in the division. John Lewis reports
Dulwich chose to bat and got off to a good start as the two Ollies, Steele and Sykes, saw off the threat of former Leicestershire opening bowler Ryan Cummins and Tom Bevan to put on 54 in 14 overs for the first wicket.
Sykes fell for 29 off 40 balls in the first over from spinner Harry Gardner, and the scoring rate slowed as the Beddington spinners conceded just 28 runs in the next 10 overs before Gardner took the wicket of James Schofield for 8.
Steele and Chris Purshouse lifted the score to 101 whereupon both were caught on the boundary in the same over.
Steele was the first to go, having resisted staunchly for 98 balls for 47, and his skipper fell two balls later for 4.
Frankie Brown was run out without scoring in the next over, and Dan Crowley fell two overs later for 7. Dulwich had lost four wickets for nine runs to be teetering on the brink at 110-6.
This time the rescue was spearheaded by keeper Robbie Keaton, who made 25 off 32 balls while taking part in partnerships of 28 for the seventh wicket with Simon Harwood (10) and 27 for the eighth with Ahmed Khan (13).
But Khan and Keaton fell in successive overs with the score on 165, and it fell to Jon Lodwick and Sammy Fookes to lift it to 175 before Lodwick became the second run out victim, for 2, leaving Fookes undefeated on 5.
The spinners had been the main threat in the first innings, and it was therefore a bonus that the first three Beddington wickets all fell to the pacemen.
Crowley took the first wicket with his first ball, and Lodwick and Harwood took a wicket apiece to reduce their opponents to 39-3 in the twelfth over.
The spinners then took over. Brown bowled a mesmerising spell of eight overs for 13 runs, while Fookes picked up the next three wickets at the other end to make it 63-6 in the 21st over.
Cummins then joined Simon Lewis in the best stand of the innings, adding 31 in eight overs before Khan had Lewis caught by Lodwick, his third good slip catch of the innings, for 33 off 65 balls.
Fookes took his fourth wicket to make it 104-8, but tension then mounted as Cummins and Seb Chmielinski added 26 for the ninth wicket.
The stand was broken by a superb one-handed catch above his head by Harwood off Khan to dismiss Chmielinski for 17.
Cummins then scored the next 15 runs off his own bat before falling leg before to Khan for 36, off 60 balls, with the score on 145.
Fookes had finished with 4-37 off his ten overs to give him seven wickets in his first two matches for the first team, while Khan had 3-25 off 8.5.
This was Dulwich’s second consecutive victory and lifted them above their opponents and into seventh place.
But, to avoid relegation, in their final match they will need either to beat leaders Cranleigh, who themselves need victory to be sure of promotion, or rely on other results falling in their favour.