Sat 2nd Sept – 1st XI v Old Rutlishians

OLD RUTLISHIANS 139 (49.5) lost to DULWICH 140-7 (48.5) by 3 wickets


Dulwich travelled to Old Rutlishians for the last match of the season in Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship, knowing that the loser of this match faced almost certain relegation. They emerged triumphant in a low scoring match, securing victory by three wickets in the penultimate over.

Old Ruts chose to bat, but lost their first wicket in the third over when Jon Lodwick had Salman Mohammed caught behind by Will Bancroft. Dan Wood and Rory Pemberton took the score to 44 in the 13th over when the same combination accounted for Pemberton, out for 23 off 35 balls. Lodwick went on to complete his ten over spell with figures of 2-23. Left arm spinner Levi Olver had joined the attack as early as the twelfth over, and his sustained pressure was rewarded when he had Chris Mude caught for a painstaking 2 off 26 balls in the 20th. Wood was now joined by former skipper Joe Riches, called up in desperation for his first match of the season after returning from an overseas secondment. Together they added 31 for the fourth wicket to take the score to 98-3 after 32 overs, seemingly well poised to accelerate the scoring rate.

At this point the wheels came off. Salaar Waqar had joined the attack and obtained prodigious turn from the start. In his fifth over he had Wood stumped for 53, off 77 balls, and four balls later bowled skipper Sonny Cooper for a duck. Olver returned for a second spell and took two wickets with his first three balls, to finish with 3-28 off his ten overs. In his last over Waqar took two wickets in an over for the second time, and completed his ten with the remarkable figures of 4-13. Ruts had lost six wickets in eleven overs for just 17 runs. Last man Alex Barnicott thus joined Riches with the score on 115-9 in the 43rd over, and together they eked out 24 runs for the last wicket before Barnicott was stumped off Pat George from the penultimate ball of the innings, to give Bancroft his fifth dismissal. George, as the third spinner, had maintained the pressure, finishing with the creditable figures of 1-22 off 9.5 overs.

Tom Savill, in his final match for Dulwich, opened the batting with acting skipper Ed Stolle, but was out after facing just four balls, caught off Cooper for 4. This brought in Matt Balch, who was still there at the end of the innings, more than three hours later. The second wicket pair had taken the score to 39 in the eleventh over when Stolle was surprised to be given out caught at slip off the off spin of Barnicott. A second off spinner Richard Woolland now joined the attack, and bowled with unerring accuracy, with only 11 runs coming off his ten overs. Balch defended resolutely against him, while Nick Hudson went on the attack at the other end. The pair had added 35 in 13.3 overs when Hudson was caught off the third off spinner, Ross Trimmings, having made 24 off 30 balls. Waqar went quickly, trying to sweep Woolland, to leave Dulwich on 77-4 after 26 overs.

Balch was now joined by Lodwick. Balch continued to defend against Woolland and Trimmings, while Lodwick attacked the other bowlers. The pair had added 46 for the fifth wicket in 16 overs when Aussie OP Tom Collett had Lodwick caught behind for 30, off 49 balls. Cooper had Bancroft lbw three overs later, and in the next over Ed Hopkins fell to a remarkable running and diving catch by Woolland off Collett. Dulwich had declined from 123-4 to 132-7, leaving eight runs needed for victory off the last 4.3 overs. With nerves jangling, Balch and Munawar inched towards their target until Balch had the reward of hitting the winning run with seven balls to spare. He had faced 147 balls for his 44, a crucial innings in the context of the game.

Dulwich thus climb two places to finish the season in seventh place, while their opponents suffer relegation for the second year in succession. Dulwich will be hoping to recruit some fresh blood over the winter to help launch a successful season under a new captain next year. 

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