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Sat 16th July - 1st XI v Stoke D'Abernon

DULWICH 230 (64.3) drew with STOKE D’ABERNON 192-9 (55)

Dulwich had the better of their clash between the bottom two teams in Division 1 of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship, but for the third time in four weeks they were unable to separate the last pair and had to settle for a winning draw.

Stoke D’Abernon won the toss and put Dulwich in to bat. Their innings was built around another half century by opener Ollie Steele, his fourth in six weeks. Aided by a succession of byes the score advanced steadily as he shared stands of 27 for the first wicket with James Schofield, 23 for the second with Frankie Brown and 18 for the third with skipper Chris Purshouse. Veer Patel joined him at 64-3 in the 17th over and they added 66 in 16.4 overs for the fourth wicket. Patel’s dismissal for 39, off 57 balls, brought in Dan Crowley, who smashed 33 off 39 balls while dominating a stand of 39 for the fifth wicket. His dismissal was followed four overs later by that of Steele, who had faced 132 balls for his valuable 69. At 190-6 in the 48th over the stage seemed set for a late onslaught towards a declaration, but the innings lost momentum against tight bowling by the spinners, and they subsided to 230 all out after 64.3 overs. Robbie Keaton, with 23 off 47 balls, was the only one of the later batsmen to make double figures.

Stoke had 55 overs to get the runs, but got off to a bad start as Crowley took two wickets in his third over to reduce them to 14-2. Junaid Allie added a bright 21 off 31 balls before falling to Ahmed Khan, and they went in to tea at 58-3 after 18 overs. After the interval Alistair Curran rode his luck to smash 57 off 61 balls and take his side to 115 in the 32nd over before falling to Brown. His dismissal was followed in Khan’s next over by that of opener James Corbishley, who had been largely strokeless while taking 84 balls to compile just 18 runs, out of a total of 115.

Tom Frost and skipper Ian Hopton thus came together in the 33rd over with 116 still wanted off 22 overs. Hopton batted obdurately while wickets fell at the other end. Salaar Waqar removed Frost for 21 to make it 145-6 after 40. Alex Gledhill removed Ben Townsend, also for 21, to make it 179-7 in the 48th. The lower order now tried to bat out time and reach the winning draw target of 197, but a wicket for Khan in the 53rd over and one for Crowley in the 54th left the last pair with nine balls to face for survival, which they duly achieved. Hopton remained unbeaten on 28 off 75 balls as the innings closed on 192-9. Khan troubled all the batsmen to finish with 3-61 off 19 overs and would have had more with better support from his fielders. Crowley put in his best performance for the Club, taking 3-36 off 10.

Dulwich will reflect on another missed opportunity, which could have been avoided if all the chances had been taken. Nonetheless they take 13 points from the match against seven by their opponents and move one point above them. They are now only three points behind Beddington in eighth position, as just four points separate the bottom three. Next week Dulwich have a difficult away trip to Spencer, who are third.

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