DULWICH 179-9 (55) drew with ASHTEAD 163-9 (44.1)
A downpour after the first ball of the final over deprived Dulwich of the chance to pull off a remarkable victory in their Ryman Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Ashtead.
Dulwich were put in to bat, and got off to a poor start, losing James Balmforth in the fourth over for 8. Acting skipper Michael Currey joined Ed Savill, who dug in for 26 balls without scoring while Currey advanced the score to 33 in the ninth over. Stuart Ferguson then joined Currey, who had reached 35 off 44 balls before falling lbw in the 18th over, and Ed Stolle followed soon after to make it 70-4 after 20.3 overs. Ferguson was joined by Matt Balch, making his first team debut, and together they played out five consecutive maidens before the score got moving again. Ferguson then fell for a solid 20, off 59 balls, with the score on 84. Balch and Euan Johnson then batted enterprisingly, adding 47 in 14.5 overs for the sixth wicket before Johnson fell for 22. Naeem Iqbal went for 4, but Andrew Corbin, making his first appearance of the season, then supported Balch in a stand of 38 in 6.2 overs for the eighth wicket before falling in the last over for 7. Solaar Waqar was run out to leave Dulwich on 179-9 after their 55 overs. Balch remained undefeated for a fine 62, off 106 balls.
With 45 overs to get the runs Ashtead needed to score at exactly four an over for victory. They also got off to a poor start as a direct hit by Stolle from deep square leg brought a wicket in the second over, and Corbin struck twice in his first five overs to reduce them to 37-3 after ten overs. Paul Harrison then dominated the rest of the innings. He was joined by Sam Homes, who supported him in a stand of 23 for the fourth wicket before falling in Waqar’s first over for 5. Waqar followed up with the wicket of John Vaughan-Davies, who made 11 out of a stand of 36 for the fifth wicket, but Josh Pickering then proved another staunch partner for Harrison as they took the score to 122-5 after 34 overs. Opening bowler Iqbal, who had bowled a threatening opening spell without any luck, now returned to take two wickets, removing Pickering for 15 and Tom Williams, who failed to score as Harrison farmed the strike in a stand of 24 for the seventh wicket. The score had advanced to 158 when Waqar took the crucial wicket of Harrison, whose 82 had taken only 96 balls. With eight wickets down, 22 still needed for victory off 21 balls, and the winning draw target already achieved, skipper Tom Deighton and Will Pereira set themselves to see out time. They were thwarted by Iqbal, who dismissed Pereira off the first ball of the last over, to set up the prospect of five balls at the last man to try and secure victory for Dulwich. However before he could reach the middle the heavens opened and the match had to be abandoned, leaving Ashtead with four points and Dulwich one.
Six of Dulwich’s ten matches this season have been rain affected, and they remain in seventh place. Next week they visit Walton-on-Thames, who are currently fifth, but only four points above them.