Sat 27th Aug – 1st XI v Esher

DULWICH 188 (46.5) lost to ESHER 190-3 (37.4) by 7 wkts

Scorecard

Dulwich’s hopes of promotion evaporated as they threw away an encouraging start to slide to a seven wicket defeat in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match against Esher.

With the teams level on points and needing to win to stay in the promotion race, this was a crucial contest for them both. Esher surprisingly opted to field on winning the toss, despite a delay to their opening bowler Henry Foster (son of former Essex and England seamer Neil), which meant he might be over an hour late and would not be allowed to bowl until he had been on the field for as long as he had been off it. In the event he arrived 57 minutes late, so could not bowl until the innings had been in progress for 114 minutes.

The Dulwich innings was opened by Ed Stolle and Tom Savill, who posted their seventh half-century partnership in nine starts. This week it was Savill’s turn to take the lead, and he had already reached 46 when Stolle was bowled by John Mason for 18, with the score on 69 after 13 overs. Stuart Ferguson then joined Savill and played a similar supporting role as they took the score to a seemingly commanding 133-1 after 30 overs.

At this point the umpires confirmed that Foster was cleared to bowl, and he responded by removing Ferguson for 19 with his second ball, and Will Bancroft first ball with his third. Left arm spinner Nick Winder then followed up with two wickets in his next two overs, removing Naeem Iqbal and Ed Towner. Dulwich had gone from 133-1 to 136-5 in the space of 18 balls, with their numbers four, five and six scoring one run between them. Savill and Salaar Waqar added 25 in six overs before Savill was caught behind off Mason for 94 off 114 balls. This was his fifth half century of the season in nine innings, and equaled his highest score. It takes his aggregate to 476 runs at an average of 59.50.

Waqar fell in the next over for 14 with the score on 167. Leon Sealy (14), Levi Olver (6) and Kamran Munawar (2) provided some late resistance before Foster removed all three in ten balls to dismiss Dulwich for 188. Foster finished with 6-19 off 8.5 overs, while Winder bowled his ten overs straight through for 2-30, and keeper Alex Martin picked up four catches. Dulwich had lost their last nine wickets for 55 runs in 16.4 overs.

Dulwich needed early wickets and Iqbal, returning from injury, obliged by removing the opposition skipper in his second over. But neither he, Munawar nor Sealy were able to make any further inroads. Martin joined Mark Hopkinson and the pair had lifted the score to 83 after 15 overs when skipper Alex Gledhill had Hopkinson well caught by Savill at slip for 43. Gledhill was soon joined in the attack by fellow spinners Olver and Waqar. All three bowled first spells of six overs for 27 runs, but no more wickets fell until Martin and overseas player Shoaib Khan had lifted the score to 170 in the 36th over. Olver returned for a second spell and had Martin caught by Gledhill for 95, also scored off 114 balls, but that was the last wicket to fall as Khan and Mason saw their side to a seven wicket victory with 12.1 overs to spare.

Victory in this match would have lifted Dulwich to second in the table, but defeat means that Esher have that reward while Dulwich slip two places to sixth. Their final match next week is against bottom club Purley, who are already relegated. Dulwich will be hoping for a victory to lift them to a top five finish.

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