Mr Winch writes……………
Dartington and Totnes First Eleven returned to winning ways on Saturday with a comfortable 6 wicket win against Ashburton at Foxhole.
D&T skipper Harold Stevenson won the toss and elected to field on a pitch that had a bit in it for the bowlers. His decision looked like a good one early on when opening bowler Alex Hartridge had the dangerous Lloyd White trapped LBW without scoring. New man in Ashley Berry then survived a strong caught behind appeal off his first ball and set about rebuilding the Ashes’ innings.
Berry, alongside opener Kevin Nicholls, had taken the score to 65 when he was well-caught by the outstretched hand of bowler Matt Sevior for 36. In the next over, Nicholls had to retire hurt having pulled a muscle while going for a quick single and there followed a mini-collapse from the Ashburton middle order.
Spinner Chris Cook took the third wicket to fall when he bowled Matt Churchill without scoring to leave Ashburton 72-3. Four runs later D&T had their fourth wicket and Sevior his second when Daniel Coles was caught by a diving Ben Hartridge at third man for 7 and new man Dom Durman didn’t last long either, bowled by Aussie Sevior for just one to leave Ashburton struggling on 81-5.
5 Ashburton wickets had fallen for only 20 runs when Tom Higgs fell victim to a combination of Hartridges for a duck. Ben Hartridge was the bowler and Alex, his brother, the catcher. Ben Hartridge had a second 9 runs later when Matt Coon was bowled for 1. After the fall of another wicket to Hartridge, injured opener Nicholls returned to the crease with Ashburton desperate for some more runs. With the help of a runner, he was able to add 18 valuable runs with partner Rob Lambert but Lambert then became Hartridge’s fourth wicket when he was bowled for a patient 5.
In the final over of the innings, D&T picked up the final wicket when Nicholls was bowled for a brave 34. It was Ben Hartridge’s fifth wicket of the innings. Ashburton had been bowled out for 126 with Nicholls and Berry the main run getters for the Ashes and Ben Hartridge the standout bowler with 5 wickets for 16 runs.
The mood in the D&T changing room was of a job well done in the field but with a potentially tricky chase lying ahead. Openers Sevior and James Howrihane had taken the score to 40 when the first wicket fell. Howrihane had struck the ball cleanly for a quick 24 but eventually played one big shot too many and was caught by Coles off of the bowling of Matt Churchill.
Fellow opener Sevior joined Howrihane back in the pavilion just 8 runs later when he was caught and bowled for 16 to become Churchill’s second wicket. With two new batsmen at the crease, Ashburton may have sniffed a chance to get back into the game but what followed was a match winning 67 run partnership between Josh Orrall and Chris Cook.
Both batsmen were very patient in their approach taking no risks and punishing any loose bowling. The Ashburton bowlers were struggling to prise either Cook and Orrall away from the crease and it came as a surprise when a wicket eventually fell.
Cook who had made 40 was caught by Matt Coon off the bowling of Lloyd White with the score on 115-3. Just one run later Orrall was also dismissed LBW by Rob Lambert. He had made a patient and well-made 22 and left D&T needing just 12 to win off of 10 overs.
A D&T victory was now pretty much a formality and keeper Alex Winch and first-team debutant Charlie Nichols hit the required runs and see D&T home with an unbeaten 5 and 6 respectively.
It was an excellent maximum point victory for D&T with the key performances coming from Ben Hartridge with the ball and Chris Cook with the bat. D&T first team are in action next week away at Shaldon and the second eleven are at home to Ashburton Second Team.