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Sat 30th July - 1st XI v Valley End

DULWICH 264-8 (57) drew with VALLEY END 278-6 dec (63)

A Dulwich side containing four 17 year olds made a valiant attempt to chase down a challenging target in their AJ Fordham Surrey Championship Division 1 match against Valley End, but in the end it proved just too much and they had to settle for a winning draw.

Valley End chose to bat, and got off to a steady start against the seamers, putting 50 on the board in the thirteenth over. Frankie Brown made the breakthrough in his second over with the score on 60, and he and Ahmed Khan put a brake on the scoring, with only 30 runs coming off the next 13 overs before Khan took two wickets in successive balls to reduce them to 90-3 after 28 overs. This brought in Charlie Dunnett to join opener Adam Gould, and they resisted the two spinners and gradually accelerated the scoring to add 114 in 25 overs for the fourth wicket. Gould eventually fell to Brown, having held the innings together for nearly three hours in scoring 79 off 174 balls. Khan snapped up another wicket in the next over, but Josh Dodd then joined Dunnett in an onslaught against tiring bowlers that saw them put on 62 in just eight overs for the sixth wicket. Dunnett had reached his century before Dodd became Khan’s fourth wicket, having made 24 off 19 balls. Valley End declared one over later having made 278-6 after 63 overs, leaving Dunnett undefeated on 108, off 101 balls. Khan finished with 4-80 off 20 overs, while Brown had 2-75 off 21.

Dulwich had 57 overs to get the runs, but got off to a bad start when then they lost Ollie Steele in the third over. James Schofield thus joined 17 year old Ollie Sykes and played second fiddle as the teenager raced to his maiden first team fifty. The pair had added 111 in 22 overs for the second wicket when Sykes fell to Dodd for 68, off 69 balls. Schofield and Chris Purshouse then added 46 in nine overs for the third wicket before the skipper fell for 16, off 23 balls. Veer Patel went quickly, but Frankie Brown (16 off 22) and Dan Crowley (18 off 19) helped Schofield lift the score to 222 in the 49th over when the latter’s innings finally came to an end. He had also batted for nearly three hours in scoring 81 off 136 balls. This was his third half-century of the season, and his second in successive weeks.

Crowley fell two balls later leaving Dulwich requiring 56 off the last eight overs. This brought together two of the 17 year olds in Khan and keeper Robbie Keaton, and they made a spirited attempt to go for the runs, securing a fifth batting point at 250 and the winning draw at 252. They had added 38 in 6.3 overs for the eighth wicket when Khan’s dismissal for 19, off 23 balls, left 18 still needed off nine balls. Keaton and Jon Lodwick settled on survival and saw out time to finish on 264-8. Left arm spinner Ed Young was the pick of the bowlers, with 5-61 off 15 overs.

This was the fourth time in six weeks that Dulwich have narrowly failed to close out victory and had to settle for a winning draw. They remain in ninth place, but they take 12 points from this match and have closed the gap behind eighth place to 15 points. Next week the format reverts to 50 overs per side where draws are no longer possible, so they will be hoping to turn these good performances into victories. But they have a difficult start next week, at home to second-placed Guildford.

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