DULWICH 219 (53.1) lost to CHEAM 221-4 (44.4) by 6 wickets
An unbeaten century by visiting batsman Will Brown condemned Dulwich to a six wicket defeat in their crucial relegation tussle with Cheam in Division 2 of the Ryman Surrey Championship.
Dulwich lost the toss for the first time this season, and were put in to bat. The innings got off to an extraordinary start when Ed Stolle hit the first ball onto the adjacent railway line for six, necessitating a lengthy search for a suitable replacement. Stolle went on to score 67, his highest score of the season, off 98 balls. Andrew Cornick fell for 5 and Jon Lodwick for a single to make it 25-2 after six overs, but Stolle then enjoyed partnerships of 60 in 16 overs for the third wicket with Tom Savill, who made 27 off 43 balls, and 35 in ten overs for the fourth with Stuart Ferguson, whose 15 came off 33 after taking 16 balls to get off the mark. Stolle’s dismissal was quickly followed by those of Ferguson and Euan Johnson as three wickets fell in 18 balls for just one run, to reduce Dulwich to 121-6 in the 35th over. Naeem Iqbal once again launched a counter attack, scoring 24 off 27 balls and making all but one of a seventh wicket stand of 25 with Sam Tennant. The latter was then joined by Salaar Waqar and together they added 57 in 9.1 overs before Waqar fell for 32, having faced just 27 balls, with the score on 203. Acting skipper Alex Gledhill helped Tennant add a further 16 before falling for 6 off eight balls. Tennant was last man out in the next over, having made a valuable 36 off 48 balls. Dulwich were all out for 219 off the first ball of the 54th over.
Cheam were left with 46 overs to get the runs, but Iqbal and Lodwick proved quite a handful at the start, frequently beating the bat. Iqbal picked up the first two wickets to reduce Cheam to 22-2 in the ninth over. Hopes of a further breakthrough were thwarted by Brown and opener Steve Horne, who added 76 for the third wicket in 17 overs. The spinners were unable to exert their usual control but picked up a wicket apiece, with Waqar removing Horne for an obdurate 43 off 87 balls, and Gledhill dismissing Joe Bracher for 11. Brown and Rob Hendry thus came together with the score on 123 in the 31st over, and continued to score steadily. Gledhill turned to the seamers in a bid to break the partnership, but this served only to accelerate the scoring as the pair romped to victory with eight balls to spare. They had added 98 for the fifth wicket in just 14 overs, with Brown finishing on 110 off 103 balls, while Hendry faced 41 balls for his 37.
Dulwich fall to the foot of the table following Ashford’s surprise victory over Old Rutlishians. They are now 12 points behind Ashford and 22 behind Cheam, who remain in eighth place, and they badly need to start winning again if they are to turn the season round. Next week they play their last “time” game, away to third placed Chessington.