After having three of their first four matches in the Surrey Trust League cancelled, the Dulwich Academy side finally got onto the field again at Ripley. However a disappointing batting display saw them dismissed for 73, and despite a late fightback they went down to defeat by 6 wickets.
Dulwich chose to bat but got off to a disastrous start when two wickets fell in the first 8 balls. Euan Johnson dug in, taking 33 balls to get off the mark, while three more wickets fell at the other end to reduce Dulwich to 13-5 after 10.4 overs. Johnson’s dismissal, for 12 off 48 balls, was quickly followed by Tom Barnard to make it 28-7 after 16.5 overs. Jamie Hall also dug in, with an uncharacteristic 3 off 35 balls before falling in the 24th over to make it 41-8. Zabeh Mohammad counter-attacked with a spirited 27 off 45 balls, adding 26 in 8 overs for the 9th wicket with Kieran Reeves, who sensibly blocked one end while his partner went for the runs at the other. Reeves still hadn’t scored when Mohammad was out with the score on 67, but then monopolised the strike before being last man out for 6 (the third highest score of the innings!) with the total on 73 after 33.2 overs.
Hopes of an early breakthrough were dashed when the openers added 31 for the first wicket before Paddy Haddow was bowled by Johnson off the last ball of the 6th over. The score had advanced to 46 after 8 overs, with Johnson and Mohammad each conceding 23 of them, before the first bowling change brought Reeves into the attack. He struck twice in his first 3 overs, at a cost of only one run, to reduce Ripley to 56-3 after 12.1 overs. Conrad Clarke also joined the attack and removed opener Justin Langen, who had dominated the scoring (and the strike) with 36 off 51 balls. Ripley were now 61-4 after 13.1 overs, but Dulwich were unable to effect a further breakthrough and the hosts eased to their target, the winning runs coming off the last ball of the 18th over. Reeves completed his excellent spell with 2-5 off 5 overs.
Dulwich were left to reflect that a little more application by the batsmen might have produced a more competitive score. Next week they will be hoping for a better performance when they visit Beddington.