17 September 2007
Dulwich completed a nail biting winning draw over Sunbury to complete an escape act that at times this season looked all but impossible.
After losing the toss and being put into bat, the pressure was immediately piled onto Dulwich by fellow relegation battlers Farnham who completed a comprehensive early victory over Wimbledon, meaning they definitely needed a winning draw.
Were it not for opener Steve Hale, the innings could have sank without trace but the patient batsman formed a succession of small partnerships with Zoheb Sharif (9), Gareth Cornick (3), Raza Ali Dar (15) and Richard Farrow (15).
However, the dismissal of Farrow and Hale in successive balls caused a calamitous collapse with five wickets falling for four runs in seven overs. During this period Dulwich collapsed from a decent 163/4 to a potential disastrous 168/8.
Were it not for highly mature performances from both Ed Matten (27 not out) and Stefan Boss (22), the Dulwich innings would never have made the decent level of 222/8. This was helpfully boosted by no less than 47 extras including 26 byes.
Needing to get their opponents bowled out quickly, Dulwich got off to the ultimate start with Dave Burton taking a wicked from just the third ball of the match.
Richard Gould and Luke Woodcock then combined to add 43 before the introduction of Raza Ali Dar caused the end of Gould for 18.
Woodcock was joined by Olly Roland-Jones but after adding 65, Woodcock was run out in a bad misunderstanding, leaving Roland Jones to be joined by his brother Toby.
However Dar and Burton struck in consecutive overs, removing both brothers and leaving their opponents at 138/5 needing 85 for a win or 51 for a winning draw off a minimum of twelve overs.
Tight bowling by both Dar and Burton meant only seven came off the next seven overs and after Neil Farnsworth fell to Burton with the score on 145.
Dulwich worked incredibly hard to try and have a go at the Sunbury tail but both Gareth Lewis (14) and Adam Stanier (12) blocked stolidly to end them on 171/6 after 57 overs.
Dulwich’s four points for a winning draw were vital as Guildford pulled off an unlikely victory at Reigate to finish seventh. Despite Farnham’s crushing Wimbledon victory, they were relegated alongside Weybridge – who could manage a winning draw with Cobham Avorians.
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