EAST MOLESEY 181 (63.5) beat DULWICH 178 (59.3) by 3 runs
In a nail-biting finish the last wicket pair just failed to secure victory for Dulwich, who went down by 3 runs in their Ryman Surrey Championship Division 1 clash at home to East Molesey.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat, and Tom Savill struck in the third over, thanks to a brilliant one handed slip catch by James Price. Mark Kelly put in a typically parsimonious spell, conceding only 26 runs from 12 overs, but once again was unlucky not to take a wicket. OP Henry Nicholls went on the attack, dominating a second wicket stand of 43 in 11.3 overs, but the advent of Price into the attack brought a second wicket, with Savill returning the favour by taking a slip catch off his bowling. Nicholls and Simon Barrett then added 46 in 12.2 overs before both fell with the score on 98, Barrett being bowled by Chris Lester for 27 and Nicholls caught and bowled by Arun Mahey for 53. Lester picked up a second wicket to send Molesey into lunch at 110-5 after 33 overs. After lunch spin twins Mahey and Levi Olver imposed a stranglehold, bowling in tandem for the rest of the innings while conceding only 71 runs off 30.5 overs. The sixth wicket went down on 136, and three wickets fell with the score on 164. A spirited last wicket stand took the score to 181 after 63.5 overs. Mahey finished with 4-40 off 18.5 overs, while Olver took 2-37 off 16. Remarkably the innings contained only one extra (a wide).
Dulwich were left with 62 overs to get the runs, but their reply got off to a bad start when Ed Carlton was out in the first over. Skipper Anil Mahey fell for 11 off 21 balls, but Price joined opener Richard Farrow and together they took the score to 63 before Farrow fell for 33, off 46 balls. Price, who scored 23 off 53 balls, and Simon May both fell with the score on 70 and Dulwich went in to tea at 82-5 after 25 overs. Savill and Lester took their sixth wicket stand to 38 off 11.2 overs, but the dismissals of Savill, for 23 off 40 balls, including 2 sixes, and Lester, for a dogged 10 off 46 balls, reduced them to 117-7 after 37 overs. Once again Dulwich found themselves in the familiar position of needing more than 60 runs with 7 wickets down, and once again it was keeper James Balmforth who played a crucial role in the recovery, adding 27 in 8.2 overs with Kelly. The latter's dismissal for 11 was quickly followed by Olver for 2, the ninth wicket falling with the score on 150 and 32 runs still needed. Balmforth was joined by Arun Mahey, and their last wicket stand advanced the score steadily, and mostly in singles, until Mahey's dismissal for 16 (off 43 balls) brought the innings to a close with 4 runs still needed. Balmforth remained unbeaten for a solid 29 off 66 balls.
This narrow defeat drops Dulwich to 7th. Next week they visit Valley End, who were promoted with them last season and have now moved up to 4th.