DULWICH 196-8 (WINNING DRAW) WEYBRIDGE 168-9
At home to Weybridge the seconds finally managed to achieve a positive outcome, taking a winning draw, and coming within a single wicket of an outright win.
Having been inserted on a damp track, things weren’t easy in the early part of the game, but a patient and accomplished stand of 63 between Andy Cornick (36) and Stuart Ferguson established a base. After Cornick fell, Ferguson took advantage of a very short bottom boundary to accelerate rapidly from the 20s and reach his half-century. Although he was out for 51 soon afterwards the innings did not falter too dramatically, and for the second week in a row Gareth Cornick produced a level-headed and high-quality knock. Although largely unsuccessful in his attempts to swat the opposition’s wily old spinner into the tennis courts, he combined with Gareth Peers and Nick Hudson in tidy partnerships that kept the score moving along, and he later unflinchingly protected James Bridgland from the strike for as long as he could. When the innings was declared on 196-8 Cornick was unbeaten on 53, and Dulwich had a total that looked defendable.
By the time Weybridge started their reply the pitch had dried out, and batting had become easier. Nevertheless, Dulwich approached things with discipline and purpose, and made it tough for the batting side. Captain Zakir Rostami struck in his first over, the second of the innings, but for a while wickets were hard to come by. As the opposition built a stand of 66 for the second wicket Dulwich had to work hard, and life was not made any easier for bowlers Bridgland and Charlie Leonard by keeper Adam Parkinson repeatedly slapping catches out of first slip’s hands and down to third man for runs. Leonard and Gareth Cornick were able to apply some pressure, however, and eventually wickets started to come. The opposition’s target switched from the win to the winning draw. Bobby Iftikhar provided a classic example of bowlers finding superhuman fielding abilities off their own bowling when he held a superb skier to complete a caught and bowled, and Sam Adcock found some sharp turn with his leg breaks. Then Ferguson took the ball, and in a three-over spell of first-class dobbing picked up 3-8. When the skipper returned to pick up a further two wickets (finishing with 3-17) Dulwich were on the cusp of the win, but Weybridge managed to survive a tense final over.