DULWICH TWICE recovered from unpromising positions to achieve a winning draw off the last ball in their Travelbag Surrey Championship Division 2 match at home to Oxted & Limpsfield last weekend.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat, and Leon Sealy and Matt Wright kept Stuart Fletcher under a tight rein while skipper Simon Jackson scored more freely at the other end. Fletcher had scored just eight runs off 34 balls when he was dropped off a straightforward catch to mid-off, which would have given Wright a wicket on debut.
The pair had added 83 off 17.1 overs when Kamran Munawar bowled Fletcher for 34, off 63 balls. Munawar and skipper Alex Gledhill then imposed such restraint that only 20 runs came off the next ten overs for the loss of three more wickets.
In that time the next three batsmen faced 49 balls between them for 13 runs, starving their captain of the strike to such an extent that he faced just eleven balls in that time, off which he scored six. He did add 38 for the fifth wicket with Ross Powell, who was bowled by Salaar Waqar for 20, and thirteen for the sixth with Isaac Miller.
Sealy returned to have Jackson caught behind for 71 (off 82 balls). Veteran Gordon Boxshall joined Miller with the score on 154-6 after 40.1 overs, but tight bowling and judicious field placing kept them to eleven runs off 5.4 overs before Miller was run out for fourteen off 35 balls. Ned Lack then obliged with 20 off fifteen balls before being bowled by Waqar.
Munawar returned to take the ninth wicket, but Boxshall then hit thirteen off the next four balls to set up the declaration on 206-9 after 51 overs. Munawar finished with 3-39 off nine overs, Gledhill 2-48 off thirteen and Waqar 2-32 off ten, while keeper Will Bancroft picked up three catches.
Dulwich were left with 49 overs to get the runs, but only thirteen runs came off the first thirteen overs for the loss of three wickets, with Ed Stolle, Kristian Williman and Matt Balch facing 66 balls between them for just ten runs. Nick Hudson then made 35 off 27 balls, dominating a fourth wicket partnership of 45 in 6.5 overs with Henry Hazlewood.
His dismissal was followed by Hazlewood in the next over for eleven, and Bancroft fell four overs later having scored just a single. At 74-6 after 25 overs an assault on the victory target seemed unlikely, but Waqar and Sealy had other ideas. Waqar had already reached fifteen at a run a ball, and Sealy played himself in carefully, scoring just two off his first twelve balls, before smashing four huge sixes.
The partnership reached 50 after ten overs and 100 after 20 to whittle the target down to 33 for victory or 24 for the winning draw off the last four overs. They had taken their partnership to 109 in 21.3 overs when Jackson had Sealy caught on the boundary for 46, made off 60 balls.
Waqar was bowled in the next over for 79 – his second half century of the season – having faced 87 balls. They had both recorded their highest scores for Dulwich. Munawar and Gledhill thus found themselves together at 191-8 with sixteen needed for victory off the last over, or seven for the winning draw.
In a tense finale, six runs came off the first five balls, leaving Munawar to face the last ball. With the field brought in to save the single, he drove through them for four to reach 201 and claim an extra batting point along with the winning draw. Dulwich gained ten points from the match, against seven for their opponents.
They remain in ninth place, but are now just one point behind Epsom. Next week they have their third successive home game when they welcome Old Rutlishians, who are currently fourth in the table. Result: Oxted & Limpsfiled 206-9 (51) drew with Dulwich 201-8 (49)