Cricket: Dulwich emphatic victors in Surrey Championship opening match of new season


Dulwich got off to an ideal start in the new season of the Surrey Championship Division 1, bowling out Old Wimbledonians for 89 and winning by eight wickets.

Dulwich won the toss and invited their opponents to bat.

Harvey Booth bowled a superb opening spell, conceding just six runs off six overs (four of which were maidens) and regularly beating the bat. Runs came more freely at the other end, and the score had reached 32 after 10 overs when Kaif Ramzan made the breakthrough in his first over.

The score then advanced to 50 in the 15th over when Alex Peggie, making his first-team Championship debut, took the second wicket.

Ahmed Khan now entered the attack and struck in his second over with the score on 56. He was soon joined in the attack by newcomer Felix Watson-Smyth, who took his first wicket with the score on 69. Wimbledonians reached the 25-over drinks break on 71-4.

The two spinners resumed after the break and needed only three overs to leave the innings in tatters.

Khan struck again in the 26th over, and Watson-Smyth followed up in the next over with the crucial wicket of Ahsan Salim, who had held the innings together with a dogged 34 off 73 balls.

Khan took two more wickets in his next over.

Wimbledonians had declined from 72-4 to 75-8. The last two wickets limped to 89. Watson-Smyth took the ninth wicket and finished with 3-16 off eight overs, and Khan took the 10th with the last ball of his allotted 10 overs to finish with the remarkable figures of 5-13. Keeper Michael Harms held three catches, while six of the remaining wickets were bowled and the other one leg before. Wimbledonians had lost all 10 wickets for just 57 runs.

Visiting skipper Ewan Parker launched the reply with pace from one end, and brought himself on to bowl spin at the other. He got an immediate reward as he bowled Khan with the fifth ball of his first over. But any fears that this would herald a similar collapse were soon dispelled by overseas player Apoorv Wankhade, returning for a second season.

He hit his first ball back over Parker’s head for six, and continued in the same vein, racing to his half-century off only 30 balls. He holed out two balls later for 55, having hit seven fours and three sixes.

Dulwich then inched their way to victory. Opener James Schofield, who had played a solid support role, finished on 28 not out off 50 balls, while new skipper Ollie Steele had the satisfaction of scoring the winning run. Dulwich had needed just 16 overs to knock off the runs.

Dulwich secured a comprehensive victory which should set them up well for tougher matches ahead.

This weekend they visit Walton on Thames, who lost their first match against relegated Normandy.

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