EPSOM 211-4 (50) lost to DULWICH 212-6 (42.1) by 4 wkts
Dulwich returned home for the first time in four weeks, but continued their winning ways by securing their fourth win in succession in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match against Epsom.
Epsom chose to bat in exceptionally strong winds, and were indebted to an unbeaten century by South African overseas player Godfrey Stevens, who batted throughout the innings for 111, off 147 balls. Jon Lodwick bowled a probing opening spell with the wind, conceding only 17 runs off eight overs, but Kamran Munawar struggled to bowl into the wind. Leon Sealy also took time to adapt to the conditions, but it was he who took the first wicket with the score on 56 in the 16th over, and he then tightened up to complete a seven over spell with 1-26.
Spinners Alex Gledhill and Salaar Waqar both started with a wild first over while they worked out how to bowl in the conditions, but then imposed their usual control. Skipper Gledhill bowled an eight over spell for 1-24 (12 of which had come from his first over), while Waqar bowled his ten overs straight through for 1-36. Richard King also bowled tidily, conceding 27 runs off nine overs, and the score had advanced to just 142-3 after 43 overs. Stevens and skipper Phil Edwards then launched an assault on Sealy and Gledhill that saw them concede 34 and 26 respectively off their last two overs. Gledhill was rewarded with a second wicket, having Edwards caught on the boundary off the penultimate ball for 39, but 69 runs had come from the last seven overs to take Epsom to 211-4 after their 50 overs.
Tom Savill returned to the side after three weeks out with injury, and resumed his successful opening partnership with Ed Stolle. They needed just 7.5 overs to post their sixth opening stand of 50 or more in eight attempts. Stolle made most of the early running but was the first to go, bowled by Stevens for 30, off 30 balls, to make it 53-1 after nine overs. King now joined Savill, and they continued in similar vein, adding 41 in 6.5 overs for the second wicket before two wickets fell in five balls. King, having made 20 off 19 balls, was brilliantly caught by that man Stevens, who followed it up by bowling Ed Towner in the next over. Savill reached his fourth 50 in eight innings before becoming the fourth wicket to fall with the score on 121, having made 54 off 58 balls.
The innings now hung in the balance, but Will Bancroft once again dug in effectively in a supporting role, this time in company with keeper Ed Hopkins who continued to push the score along. The pair had reached 177 when Bancroft was lbw to the last ball of the 33rd over for 17, off 41 balls. With 35 wanted off 17 overs Hopkins and Waqar had time to consolidate, and had added 10 in 5.2 overs when Waqar was caught behind for 6. Sealy now joined Hopkins, and the pair saw Dulwich home with 7.5 overs to spare. Hopkins finished unbeaten on 67, his best knock of the season, off 74 balls.
Dulwich thus completed their second victory of the season over Epsom and rise one place to fourth, two points behind their opponents who slip from second to third. Dulwich can still secure promotion if they win their last two matches and other results go their way. They start with a difficult home match against Esher, who are level with them on points and who will therefore have similar aspirations for a successful end to the season.