DULWICH 185-9 (50) beat ESHER 175 (49.1) by 10 runs
Dulwich gained their first victory of the season in Division 2 of the Ryman Surrey Championship, winning a tense game at home to Esher by 10 runs off the first ball of the last over.
Dulwich elected to bat, but got off to a bad start as skipper Michael Currey fell lbw to the last ball of the opening over. Fellow opener John Morris then held the innings together with a solid 54 off 114 balls. He lost Stuart Ferguson for 7 with the score on 31 in the 11th over, and Ed Hopkins for 10 at 50 in the 18th. Salaar Waqar then joined Morris in a stand of 67 for the 4th wicket in 15.3 overs. Waqar fell for 31, off 49 balls, with the score on 117, and was followed by Morris to make it 133-5 after 37.2 overs. Spirited hitting by the lower order, led by Ben Rosser, with 15 off 21 balls, and Zakir Rostami, 16 off 20, lifted the score to 185-9 after 50 overs. The total was boosted by 33 extras, including 26 scored as wides. Spinner Richard Parsons picked up the last five wickets and finished with 5-29 off his ten overs. For the second week running the eighth and ninth wickets fell in the last over to give the fielding side their third bowling point.
The Esher innings started cautiously in the face of aggressive bowling by Naeem Iqbal and debutant Ian Toppin, with Iqbal picking up the first wicket with the score on 12 in the seventh over. Will Edwards increased the scoring rate, dominating a second wicket stand of 31 in 5.5 overs with Charan Gill. The latter’s dismissal for just 7 in Jordan Chapman’s first over brought in Pakistani OP Shoaib Khan, and together they took the score to 81 in the 22nd over when Edwards fell to Waqar for 38, off 51 balls. Khan then took on the dominant role, adding 38 in ten overs with Al Shelley, who contributed just 8 before giving Waqar his second wicket. Khan lost momentum after reaching his half century and fell to Ferguson for 60, made off 75 balls. This made it 133-5 off 37.2 overs, an identical score to the Dulwich innings. The rest of Esher’s innings did not follow the same pattern, however, as Iqbal returned to take two wickets off successive balls and Ferguson also picked up two more to reduce them to 145-9 off 39.2 overs. Five wickets had gone down for 12 runs off just 13 balls. Hopes of a quick end to the innings were thwarted by the last wicket pair of Parsons and Nawaz, who pushed the ball around sensibly against tight bowling by Ferguson and Chapman to lift the score to 175 after 49 overs. With 11 wanted off the last over it was a relief when Nawaz skied the first ball to Mark Rose, who was also making his first team debut, to give Dulwich a ten run victory. Ferguson finished with the excellent figures of 4-19 off 7.1 overs, while Iqbal and Waqar bowled their ten overs for 3-21 and 2-33 respectively. Dulwich conceded only 16 extras, 17 less than their opponents, a crucial difference in such a tight match.
Under the new points system Dulwich gained 20 points from this victory, which lifts them to fifth in the table. Next week they face a difficult journey to Walton on Thames, who are joint leaders having won both their matches.