DULWICH 213-7 (40) beat PURLEY 99 (22.3) by 114 runs
Dulwich overcame both the elements and the opposition to record a convincing victory in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Purley.
Following the imposition of a four point penalty after receiving two reports of sub-standard pitches from their first three home matches, Dulwich decided to avoid the risk of further point deductions by transferring this match to the third team pitch at DSG, which had been playing well all season. A lot of hard work was done to make this happen, which was well rewarded as the DSG pitch gained high praise from both players and umpires.
Purley won the toss, and with rain forecast inevitably decided to field. They were unable to make an early breakthrough, as Ed Stolle and Tom Savill put on 41 for the first wicket in 7.3 overs. Stolle was first to go, having looked in good form while making 29 off as many balls, and Savill followed on the same score with 12 off 18. This brought together Ed Towner and Will Bancroft. The pair had taken the score to 136-2 off 31.4 overs when intermittent drizzle turned into heavy rain and drove the players from the field. By the time the rain had stopped and the Umpires deemed the outfield was dry enough for play to resume, 30 overs had been lost and Dulwich had just 8.2 left to post a defensible score.
Bancroft fell soon after the resumption without adding to his 43, but this brought in Naeem Iqbal, who proceeded to flay the Purley bowling to all parts, scoring 39 off just 17 balls with four sixes. He was out in the 38th over, and was followed in the next over by Towner, whose impressive 69 had come off just 86 balls. Two wickets fell in the last over as Jon Lodwick and Salaar Waqar both sacrificed themselves in going for ambitious second and third runs respectively. Four wickets had gone down in eleven balls, forcing numbers ten and eleven to frantically don their pads (and in one case his kit), but Leon Sealy and Levi Olver saw the innings to its conclusion without further mishap. The last 8.2 overs had yielded 77 runs, to lift the Dulwich total to 213-7 after their 40 overs.
With just 30 overs to bat, Purley needed to score at 7.13 per over for victory, or more realistically 5.33 to achieve 160 for a winning draw. Dulwich maintained attacking fields throughout, which enabled the batsmen to score at a steady rate but also had fielders in position for any edges or mishits that might come. And come they did! Iqbal took the first wicket, caught by keeper Bancroft, off only the third ball, and Kamran Munawar had the other opener well caught by skipper Alex Gledhill above his head in the second over. The innings was now led by Trinidadian OP Jason Batson, in stands of 28 for the third wicket and 24 for the fourth, but an excellent spell of 3-25 in seven overs by Lodwick destroyed the middle order. He was well supported by Sealy whose four overs for 16 runs included the wicket of opposing skipper James Scott, caught by Savill at second slip.
When Batson became Lodwick’s third wicket to make it 67-6 after 14 overs, there seemed to be nothing left for Purley but to bat out time, but the tail didn’t see it that way and indulged in a weird mixture of defence and attack. Olver was the beneficiary as he induced catches to midwicket (Gledhill), second slip (a superb low catch by Savill) and long off (Sealy), before finishing the innings by having the last man lbw. He had taken 4-9 off just 3.3 overs. Purley had been bowled out in 22.3 overs for 99.
This was Dulwich’s fourth win in six matches, but the two teams above them also won, so they remain in third place. Next week they will have their third consecutive home match, against Chessington who are currently in seventh place.