Dulwich staged a remarkable recovery, spearheaded by a superb century by Ollie Steele, but still had to settle for a losing draw in their Surrey Championship Division 1 match against Banstead, writes John Lewis.
Dulwich chose to bat, but got off to a bad start when the first wicket fell in the second over without a run on the board. Skipper Chris Purshouse then joined opener Steele, and they seemed in little difficulty as they put on 41 in 13 overs for the second wicket. But Purshouse’s dismissal, caught behind for eight, sparked a collapse in which five wickets fell in nine overs for just 20 runs, with three of them falling to the Banstead captain, left-arm spinner Tyler Meyer.
Steele, who had remained unruffled by the comings and goings at the other end, was joined by Simon Harwood with the score on 61-6 after 21 overs. Together they turned the innings around. The partnership had reached 82 off 23.3 overs when Harwood fell for 37, made off 58 balls.
This brought in keeper Michael Harms to join Steele with the score on 143-7 in the 45th over. The pair upped the scoring rate against a tiring four-man attack. Steele advanced to a chanceless century, which he reached off 182 balls. This was the first Championship hundred by a Dulwich player for five years.
The partnership had reached 102 off 19 overs when Steele’s innings ended on 110, off 195 balls. Harms then led an assault which saw 25 runs come off the last two overs. He finished on 83 not out, his highest score for Dulwich, off 76 balls, as the innings closed on 270-8 at the end of the permitted 66 overs.
Banstead had 54 overs to get the runs, and their openers set off at high speed against attacking fields, adding 42 in just six overs before Dan Crowley claimed the first wicket.
The seamers had gone for 66 in the first 10 overs when Purshouse turned to Jon Lodwick and Alex Gledhill.
Lodwick put a brake on the scoring, conceding just 15 off his first eight overs, but it was leg spinner Ahmed Khan who made the breakthrough, removing the dangerous Ayush Patel for 60, off 70 balls, with the score on 105 in the 24th over.
Gledhill took the third wicket, but when Khan had Patrick Rowe lbw for 61 to make it 154-4 in the 36th over Banstead’s chance of winning faded. Accurate bowling by Khan and Gledhill kept them in check as they set their sights on making 221 for the winning draw. This they seemed to be achieving with ease until three wickets in three overs, two to Khan and one to Gledhill, set them back.
At 214-7 after 50 overs Dulwich had four overs left to take the last three wickets, but the batsmen held out and managed to advance past the winning draw total and on to an extra batting point. Khan bowled 18 overs straight through to take 4-57, while Gledhill had 2-61 off 14.
Dulwich picked up nine points but remain bottom of the table. However they will feel that they can take many positives from it, which they will be looking to carry into tomorrow’s match at Old Wimbledonians.
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