After last season’s Covid-induced hiatus, the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship returned this year to take up where it left off in 2019.
Dulwich overcame a late hiccup to launch their Division 2 campaign with victory by four wickets at newly promoted Old Wimbledonians.
Heavy overnight rain, followed by morning drizzle, delayed the start by 90 minutes, causing the 50 over match to be reduced to 41 overs per side.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat, and reduced them to 56-8 after 20 overs. The main architect of this destruction was Simon Harwood, who bowled his nine overs straight through to take the first six wickets for just 15 runs. Fellow seamers Jon Lodwick and Sam Ellison backed him up with a wicket apiece.
Number 6 batsman Javier Frost then launched a counter-attack against the spinners, adding 20 for the ninth wicket with Harry Chappell, who faced five balls without scoring before falling to Lodwick, and 42 for the last wicket with Greg Nielsen, who contributed 11 before being bowled by Alex Gledhill.
Frost remained undefeated with 48, scored off 37 balls and containing four sixes. He had contributed 41 of the 62 runs added for the last two wickets.
Frost then opened the bowling but was unable to make a breakthrough as Chris Purshouse and newcomer Paul Selvey-Clinton added 28 in 10.4 overs for the first wicket, aided by several wides from Frost. Purshouse was the main scorer with 18 off 44 balls before being bowled by Chappell.
Selvey-Clinton was joined by Frankie Brown, but the pair found scoring difficult against Chappell and skipper Clint McCabe, who bowled 17 overs between them for 41 runs. They had just started to accelerate and had taken their partnership to 68 for the second wicket in 21.1 overs when Selvey-Clinton fell to Frost for 38, having faced 76 balls.
Brown fell two balls later after facing 72 balls for his 25. He was soon followed by Ollie Steele (the second newcomer) and Ellison, both without scoring, and Matt Marfani who made 5.
Dulwich had lost five wickets for five runs in 5.4 overs, to go from 96-1 to 101-6. Eighteen runs were still needed off 3.4 overs, but the rest of the 38th over yielded 13 runs, including a six and a four by keeper Michael Harms. Four overthrows in the next over secured the victory.
Dulwich will feel relieved to have got over the line, and will be aiming to build on their victory in the coming weeks. This weekend they have their first home match, against Epsom, the other promoted side, who lost their first game in a tight finish against Dorking.
Result: Old Wimbledonians 118 (27.5) lost to Dulwich 119-6 (38.3) by 4 wickets