PURLEY 147 (48.2) lost to DULWICH 149-6 (32) by 4 wickets
Dulwich defeated Purley by four wickets to record their third win in as many weeks in Division 2 of the Ryman Surrey Championship.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat on a green pitch, but had to wait until the 15th over before claiming their first wicket when Naeem Iqbal struck with the score on 40. Spinners Frankie Brown and Salaar Waqar then bowled their ten over spells in tandem. They kept the Purley batsmen tied down while picking up the next four wickets, Waqar finishing with 3-34 and Brown 1-24. The score had reached 116 in the 40th over when Iqbal returned to take a wicket in each of his last two overs to reduce them to 123-7, and complete his ten overs with figures of 3-24. These included the vital wicket of West Indian OP Tion Webster, whose 46 had come off 61 balls before he was well caught by Alex Gledhill, his second good catch of the innings. Gledhill followed this up by taking two quick wickets to reduce them to 126-9 after 44.4 overs, but a late flourish by Tishan Wanigaratne, who hit an unbeaten 20 off 22 balls, lifted the score to 147. Gledhill removed the last man to finish with 3-17 off 6.2 overs, as Purley were dismissed in the 49th over.
The Dulwich reply was launched in fine style by Australian OP Michael Currey, who went for his shots from the start. Despite losing skipper Tom Savill for 6 with the score on 15 in only the second over, Currey raced along, monopolising both the scoring and the strike. He had reached 51 off 53 balls before becoming the second wicket to fall with the score on 69 after only 13.2 overs. Stuart Ferguson was then joined by Brown and together they took the score to 120 when Brown fell for 15. His dismissal sparked a mini-collapse in which three more wickets fell for just 16 runs in five overs, with Matt Balch falling for 1, Ed Stolle for 5, and Ferguson, who had earlier survived when the ball trickled onto the stumps without dislodging a bail, for a solid 41. Waqar and Iqbal then joined forces to see their side to victory with 18 overs to spare.
The match was unusual in that both sides had to replace their keepers during its course. Dulwich keeper James Balmforth suffered a neck injury early in the innings, and had to hand over the gloves to Stolle after 12 overs. Purley’s Stuart Glassington injured his leg while batting (and was out next ball after making 39), and was unable to keep, with Harry Hanford deputising. Both stand-in keepers performed well, with Stolle pulling off a sharp stumping and no byes being conceded in the match.
Dulwich have now defeated the bottom three clubs in successive weeks. They remain in sixth place, but have opened a large gap over the sides below them and are now assured of a mid-table position. Next week they face tougher opposition when they visit leaders Ashtead, who will be looking for a win to sustain their promotion challenge.