BY JOHN LEWIS
Dulwich experienced a disappointing return to Division One of the AJ Fordham Surrey Championship, losing their first match to Chipstead Coulsdon & Walcountians by 75 runs.
Dulwich put their opponents in to bat, and gained an early reward when Chris Harwood, making his debut in the Championship, struck in his second over.
Sam Ellison also struck in his second over with the score on 51, but this did not stop the Chipstead score from advancing rapidly, mainly due to former Dulwich player Chris Thompson, who raced to 50 off just 51 balls.
Ahmed Khan and new overseas player Daniel Crowley then slowed the scoring rate, to the extent that Thompson needed 19 balls for his next five runs before falling to Alex Gledhill’s second ball for 55.
Khan struck in the next over to make it 100-4 after 22 overs. But any hopes of further restraint were thwarted by skipper Robert Woolley, who dominated a fifth wicket partnership of 77 in 16 overs. He made 52 of them, off 63 balls, before falling to Salaar Waqar, who was playing his first game for Dulwich for three years.
Woolley had been partnered by Angelo Jayasinghe, who now added 50 in eight overs for the sixth wicket with Sam Blackburn, who made 25 off 28 balls.
Waqar and Gledhill each claimed a second wicket, before Jayasinghe fell to Harwood, having made 70 off 88 balls. The innings closed on 250-8 after 50 overs.
New skipper Chris Purshouse and Ollie Steele launched the Dulwich reply, but both fell within the first six overs to make it 26-2.
Khan then joined James Schofield and dominated the partnership as they kept up with the required rate, reaching 72-2 after 15 overs. But the scoring slowed as the spinners took control, with only 13 coming off the next five.
The stand had reached 60 in the 21st over when Schofield fell in Jeremy Ives’ first over, for 20 off 56 balls. Khan followed in Ives’ next over for 43, having also faced 56 balls.
Three more wickets for left-arm spinner Ives, who finished with 5-25 off his 10 overs, plus one for Charlie Edwards, saw Dulwich lose six wickets in 15 overs to decline from 86-2 to 129-8.
Assan Crawford-Khan joined Waqar with 15 overs remaining, looking to reach 150 for a batting point. This they achieved mainly in singles – apart from one hearty six from Crawford-Khan – and they had advanced to 166 in the 46th over when Waqar fell for 26.
Gledhill helped Crawford-Khan take the score to 175 before the latter fell for 20, immediately after scoring the boundary which secured a second batting point.
These were added to their two bowling points to give them four from the match. They will be hoping for a better result this weekend when they visit Stoke D’Abernon, who also lost their first game.