OLD WIMBLEDONIANS 198-5 (41) beat DULWICH 193 (47.1) by 5 wickets
After last week’s complete washout, when every match in the division fell victim to the rain, a much changed Dulwich side featuring six newcomers got their season underway in Division 1 of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship with a five wicket defeat at Old Wimbledonians.
The home side won the toss and put their visitors in to bat on a cold, overcast but mercifully dry day. New overseas player Apoorv Wankhade and James Schofield saw off a hostile spell by the quicker bowlers, adding 44 for the first wicket in 12 overs, before both fell to the spin of opposing skipper Ewan Parker. Schofield was the first to go, having defended resolutely for 10 off 30 balls, while Wankhade followed for an impressive 30 off 52. This sparked a collapse as the first six Dulwich wickets went down in 15 overs for just 45 runs. Ollie Steele, who was out hit wicket off Palmer, and skipper Chris Purshouse both made 9, Ahmed Khan was lbw to Palmer for 4, and newcomer Tom Bishop battled away for 32 balls to make 13. Parker finished with 4-46 off his ten overs.
Another newcomer, Kaif Ramzan, thus joined Jon Lodwick with the score on 89-6 in the 28th over, and set about repairing the damage. The pair added 67 in 14 overs for the sixth wicket before Ramzan fell for 40, off 44 balls. Lodwick’s patient supporting knock ended three overs later, having made 27 off 59 balls. A brief cameo saw debutant Harvey Booth smash 19 off 13 balls before the last two wickets fell in successive overs to see Dulwich dismissed for 193 with 2.5 overs of the innings unused.
Early wickets were required if they were to defend such a total, and these were duly obtained as both openers were caught behind by Steele to give Booth and Ramzan a wicket each on debut and reduce their opponents to 19-2 after eight overs. But this proved to be a false dawn as Sushant Marathe and Brandon McCabe put on 162 in only 27.4 overs for the third wicket to take the score to 181. Purshouse tried seven bowlers in a bid to break the partnership, but only Lodwick, who conceded just 22 off his nine overs, and Ramzan, who finished with 1-37 off ten, held the batsmen in check. Marathe led the way, as he has done so often against Dulwich, and looked well on course for a century when he surprisingly hit Wankhade to cover having made 92 off 102 balls. Khan, who had received unaccustomed stick early on, followed up by catching McCabe off his own bowling for 62, off 81 balls. Khan took another wicket in his next over to give Dulwich an unexpected bonus point, but Wimbledonians completed their victory by five wickets with nine overs to spare.
Dulwich take just three points from this match. Next week they have a home fixture against Walton on Thames, who were promoted from Division 2 last year. Dulwich will be looking to put this defeat behind them and get back to winning ways.