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Sat 11th Jul – 1st XI v Esher

EPSOM 208 (52) beat DULWICH 122 (44.5) by 86 runs

Scorecard

A determined rearguard effort was insufficient to save Dulwich after a middle order collapse, as they went down to defeat by 86 runs in their Ryman Surrey Championship Division 2 match at Epsom.

Dulwich won the toss for the tenth time in ten matches, and once again chose to field. The Epsom openers got off to a flying start against quickies Naeem Iqbal and Ian Toppin, racing to 58 off the first 11 overs. The advent of spinners Alex Gledhill and Salaar Waqar brought about an immediate transformation as three wickets fell with the score on 61. Waqar picked up a wicket in each of his first three overs and another in his fifth, while Gledhill struck in his second. The pair continued to maintain the pressure, conceding only 35 runs off their first 15 overs in tandem while a second wicket for Gledhill reduced Epsom to 93-6 in the 26th over. Stuart Knapman and Asim Zeb stopped the rot, adding 62 in 17 overs for the seventh wicket before Iqbal returned to dismiss Knapman for 39. But he was unable to force a further breakthrough as Zeb dominated a stand of 42 for the eighth wicket. It took the return of Waqar to break the stand, and Gledhill followed it up by taking the last two wickets in the next over, including that of Zeb, whose 64 had come from 85 balls. Epsom were dismissed for 208 off the last ball of the 52nd over, with Waqar taking 5-51 off 15 overs, and Gledhill bowling unchanged for 21 overs to take 4-71.

Dulwich were left with 48 overs to get the runs, but expected to bat a man short after Nick Hudson fractured his finger in the field. Ed Stolle fell for 9 in the sixth over, but skipper Michael Currey and Stuart Ferguson had taken the score to 41 after 10.1 overs when Currey gave a return catch to his opposite number, to fall for 23. There then followed a collapse as the next four batsmen could manage just eight runs between them, and Dulwich declined to 75-6 after 25.1 overs. Iqbal then helped Ferguson add 20 in 6.3 overs for the seventh wicket before the latter was given out stumped, having faced 73 balls for his 35. With 16.2 overs left there was no alternative but to try and hold out for the draw. Iqbal and Gledhill blocked stoically for 9.4 overs, but Gledhill fell lbw after facing 24 balls for an obdurate 2, and Iqbal fell the same way three overs later, having faced 62 balls for his 31. With 3.2 overs left Hudson bravely attempted to bat one-handed, but inevitably succumbed to a straight one first ball, leaving Toppin undefeated on 4. Dulwich were all out for 122, with only three batsmen having reached double figures.

Dulwich take just three points from the match, but were fortunate that neither of the sides below them won, so they remain in eighth place. Next week they face another tough match, at home to leaders Walton on Thames.