BY JOHN LEWIS
Dulwich got themselves into a commanding position in their Surrey Championship Division 1 match at home to leaders Banstead, only to see their opponents stage a remarkable recovery which condemned Dulwich to a heavy defeat.
The Banstead innings fell into three distinct segments.
The openers raced to 72 off the first 12 overs before Harvey Booth got the breakthrough, removing Neil Baker, who had played the supporting role with 20 off 33 balls.
Simon Harwood, playing his first match of the season, then accounted for Ayush Patel, who had made most of the running with 48 off 44 balls, and followed up with the wicket of overseas player Patrick Rowe in his next over.
Ahmed Khan took a wicket with his first ball and another with his 12th, and Kaif Ramzan then also took two wickets in successive overs as Banstead went into lunch in deep trouble on 132-7.
Another wicket to Harwood, shortly after the break, made it 135-8 after 34 overs. Banstead had lost eight wickets in 22 overs for 63 runs.
This brought in Mo Shahid at number 10, but he performed like a seasoned batsman in adding 28 for the ninth wicket with Paul Byrne, whose dogged 15 came off 45 balls, and then 59 for the last wicket with Tyler Meyer, who also belied his place in the order with an unbeaten 24 off 49 balls.
Shahid was last out, leg before to Harwood for exactly 50, off 73 balls, as Banstead were dismissed for 222 in the 60th over. Harwood finished with 4-40 off 12.4 overs, while Booth, Khan and Ramzan took two wickets each. Keeper Michael Harms took three catches and a fortuitous stumping.
The Dulwich reply got off to a steady start as Ollie Steele and James Schofield added 37 for the first wicket in 10.5 overs.
Steele had been the more aggressive, making 22 off 39 balls before falling to a stunning catch at backward point off a reverse sweep.
Skipper Chris Purshouse went without scoring and the Khan brothers managed just three runs between them as Dulwich lost four wickets for eight runs to teeter on 45-4 after 17 overs.
Left arm spinner Meyer had taken three of them and he continued to bowl unchanged for the rest of the innings to finish with 6-52 off 17 overs, while fellow spinner Arsalan Abbas bowled ten overs straight through at the other end to take 3-28.
Only Schofield, who went on to make 32 off 77 balls before being sixth out with the score on 77, Harms, with a quick 17 off 15 balls, and Booth with 26 not out off 35, made any significant contribution. Dulwich struggled to 127 all out after 41 overs to lose by 95 runs.
Dulwich gained just three bowling points from this disappointing defeat, but remain in seventh place.
This weekend they travel to Malden Wanderers, who are one place above them in the table.
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