ASHTEAD 256-8 DEC (64) beat DULWICH 135 (43.3) by 121 runs
Despite taking early wickets Dulwich were thwarted by the lower order and went down to a 121 run defeat in their Ryman Surrey Championship Division 1 match at Ashtead.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat, and Mark Kelly and Chris Lester exerted early pressure, with only 10 runs coming in the first 8 overs for the loss of one wicket, with James Balmforth pulling off a smart stumping standing up to Lester. The second wicket pair increased the scoring rate, and had taken the score to 49 after 19 overs when Lester struck again. Andrew Roberts, with 35 off 47 balls, and Stewart Cameron, 41 off 41, then added 39 for the third wicket in only 6.3 overs before Roberts fell to Charlie Leonard. James Price then took three wickets in three overs, all caught behind, to reduce Ashtead to 110-6 after 32.3 overs. Colin Pitt, with 38 off 39 balls, dominated a 7th wicket stand of 59 with Michael Sanderson before falling to Lester. Two runs later Balmforth brought off another stumping off Arun Mahey to dismiss Sanderson for 24. This gave the keeper five dismissals in the innings, without conceding a bye. Ashtead were now 171-8, but hopes of a further breakthrough were thwarted by Josh Pickering, with 57 off 66 balls, and Tom Deighton, 26 off 44, who added 85 in 15.4 overs for the undefeated 9th wicket partnership. Ashtead declared on 256-8 after 64 overs, with Price finishing with 3-45 off 13 overs, and Lester 3-66 off 19.
Dulwich were left with 56 overs to get the runs, and Richard Farrow and Ed Carlton started confidently, adding 31 in 9.2 overs for the first wicket before Carlton fell for 21, off 31 balls. The scoring rate slowed as off-spinner Deighton picked up the wickets of Farrow for 14, skipper Anil Mahey for 18, and Price for 9. Stuart Ferguson fell for 3 to reduce Dulwich to 77-5 in the 27th over. Lester then went on the attack, and was given good support by Balmforth in a stand of 32 in 10.2 overs for the 6th wicket. With steady drizzle falling and the light deteriorating Ashtead were forced to use spin at both ends, and it was Pickering who broke the stand by removing Balmforth. Deighton then picked up the last four wickets in twelve balls to finish with 7-32 off 12.3 overs. Lester was 9th out for 53 off 60 balls. This was his second successive innings of 50 or more, and was scored out of 64 runs while he was at the wicket. Dulwich were all out for 135 in the 44th over.
Despite their defeat Dulwich remain 4th in the table. Next week they are at home to East Molesey, who stand in 6th place, just 2 points below them.