DULWICH 105 lost to OLD WHITGIFTIANS 111-9 by 1 wicket
A much changed Dulwich side containing five new players took the field for their first game of the season in the Ryman Surrey Championship Division 1, away to Old Whitgiftians. They fought back well after being dismissed for 105, but in a thrilling finish went down to a one wicket defeat.
Dulwich elected to bat, and were confronted by their former player David Burton, who had joined their opponents after playing first class cricket for three different counties. Burton broke through immediately, taking a wicket in each of his first three overs to reduce them to 7-3. Debutant Ed Stolle responded well, adding 33 in 7.2 overs for the fourth wicket with keeper James Balmforth, who fell to Murtaza Hussain for 13, and then 24 in 4.1 overs with another newcomer, Tom Fox. Stolle was fifth out with the score on 64, also falling to Hussain, having made 32 off 41 balls. Wickets continued to fall steadily, as former Surrey off-spinner Hussain bowled his ten overs straight through to finish with 4-25. Burton returned to take the last wicket and finished with 4-24 off 8.2 overs. Fox remained undefeated for a gritty 16 not out off 42 balls, while Chris Lester, with 12 off 16 balls, was the only one of the last five batsmen to make double figures. Dulwich were dismissed for 105 off 30.2 overs.
Rain during the tea interval delayed the resumption, and when play eventually got underway the openers started confidently, putting 20 on the board in only 3.3 overs before young keeper Matt Stiddard was bowled by Lester for 10. The score had advanced to 38 after 5.3 overs when two more wickets for Lester and two for new skipper Tom Savill turned the game around, reducing them to 43-5 after 10.2 overs. Inevitably it was Burton who led the recovery, adding 32 in only 4.5 overs with Mo Raza before the latter was bowled by Lester for 13 with the score on 75. Lester followed up with the wicket of Vishal Patel in his last over, having bowled his ten overs straight through to finish with 5-36. At 86-7 Luke Fisher joined Burton, and together they had taken the score to 94 when Burton was well caught by Ed Carlton off James Bridgland for 25, made off 25 balls and containing six boundaries. Fisher and Brendon Taylor had advanced the score to 101 when Fox had Taylor lbw with his first ball to make it nine down. A single off a no ball (worth two runs in this format) took the score to 104, whereupon Fisher played an outrageous scoop shot which nearly had him caught, and could have resulted in a one run defeat. Instead it rewarded him with a single, and he hit the first ball of the next over for a straight six to secure a one wicket victory.
Dulwich will be encouraged by a strong performance in the field, but will be looking for a better batting display next week, at home to newly promoted Leatherhead.