By John Lewis
DULWICH ENSURED their survival in Division 2 of the Travelbag Surrey Championship with an emphatic victory by 131 runs against relegation rivals Old Whitgiftians last weekend.
Dulwich opted to bat first, and Nick Hudson and Ed Towner took the score to 22 in the fifth over, assisted by an assortment of wides and no balls, whereupon both were dismissed in successive overs.
Sam Ellison and Salaar Waqar then came together in a stand of 63 in 11.2 overs for the third wicket. Waqar was the first to go, having made fifteen off 30 balls. He was followed two overs later by Ellison, who had continued in the same vein as last week and looked on course for a second consecutive fifty before running himself out for 37, off 49 balls.
Nick Gunning settled in, but lost Arun Ayyavooraju and Kamran Munawar as the score advanced to 128-6 after 27 overs.
With memories of previous Dulwich collapses in mind, there was a danger that they might fail to use up the overs.
Acting skipper Jon Lodwick had other ideas, defending staunchly and scoring mainly in singles, while Gunning advanced to a maiden half century off 54 balls in just his second innings for the first team. The pair had added 65 in fifteen overs for the seventh wicket when Gunning was caught behind for 64, scored off 80 balls.
At 193-7 after 42 overs the stage was set for Will Bancroft to hit an unbeaten 26 from 30 balls, enjoying stands of 24 with Lodwick, who perished for 28 as he tried to push the score along, and an unbeaten 20 with Alex Gledhill.
The Dulwich innings closed on 237-8 after 50 overs. Each of the six bowlers took a wicket, but Shaz Rana, who bowled his ten overs straight through to take 2-30, was the only one to take more than one. The bowlers contributed 26 wide balls, which increased to 34 runs scored as wides, in a total of 42 extras.
Syed Fawad and Harshil Shah launched the reply with fifteen runs off the first three overs, but the rate slowed as Lodwick and Munawar stepped up the pressure. Only ten runs had come from the next five overs when Shah was bowled by Munawar off the last ball of the eighth.
Lodwick picked up the crucial wicket of Fawad three overs later when he played on for 20, and struck again in his next over to make it 35-3 off 13.
An amusing interlude then ensued as Arun Ramamurthy repeatedly forgot that he was batting with a runner. The opening bowlers came off after eight overs apiece, with Lodwick taking 2-20 and Munawar 1-22, to be succeeded by Patrick George and Ellison.
Rana and Ramamurthy had added sixteen in six overs when the latter fell to a sharp catch by Lodwick in George’s second over. The spinner then bowled the home skipper Adam Clarke in his third. Ellison followed this up with a wicket in each of his third and fourth overs. Old Whits had lost four wickets in 5.4 overs as they declined from 51-3 to 63-7.
Rana had survived the collapse, and opening bowler Ishan Kalra now joined him in putting on 27 for the eighth wicket, the highest stand of the innings. George and Ellison came off after bowling six overs apiece with figures of 2-14 and 2-17 respectively.
But this afforded no respite for the batsmen as they were replaced by Waqar and Gledhill. Waqar unusually went wicketless in bowling four overs for fourteen runs, but Gledhill finished off the innings by taking the last three wickets in successive overs to finish with 3-17 off 3.3.
Rana was the last man out having played a lone hand in making 34 off 54 balls. Old Whits were all out for 106 leaving 14.3 overs of their allocation unused.
Dulwich have thus won three of their last four matches, rising from tenth to seventh in the process and escaping the spectre of relegation.
Their final game next Saturday is at home to Malden Wanderers, who are second in the table having secured their promotion with a vital win against Dorking.
Dulwich will be looking to maintain their recent form and gain revenge for their heavy defeat against these opponents earlier in the season.
Result: Dulwich 237-8 (50) beat Old Whitgiftians 106 (35.3) by 131 runs.