Dartington & Totnes 3rd XI cruise to 20 points courtesy of landmark bowling from Josh Thomas
On a sticky wicket and a good forecast for the latter part of the day, both captains Kevin Watling (Chelston) and Dave Griffiths were keen to win the toss. Griffiths won the first little victory and elected to stick the Chelston batsman in as soon as the coin had landed. After some tight bowling from Liam Cotton (10 overs for 14 runs), Griffiths made an early impact by clean bowling their skipper with his third ball (after bowling a bit of leg side dross to lead him into a false sense of security of course).
With the score on 2 – 1 openers Cotton and Griffiths toiled away without giving away many runs but not getting the batsman to commit to their shots or make a mistake. After a short spell, Dave brought himself off and brought on Darren Rowe and as Liam began to tire, Josh Thomas. Dave realised (after comments from some of the team) that they were both bowling from the wrong end and after drinks made no hesitation in changing them.
After a few looseners, Rowe took the all important wicket of C. Harrison (35) with deceiving swing and seam movement that rearranged his furniture. This is when something incredible happened.
Josh Thomas had also bowled a few looseners and because he had not played in a couple of weeks did not find his rhythm inside the first four overs. In his fifth is when the magic started to happen. After offering up a juicy full toss with his first ball of the over that was dispatched to the boundary for four runs he then trapped M. Bellamy (25) LBW with a well pitched, swinging delivery. What happened next can only be described as awesome. With the final ball of his over, Josh cleaned up his next victim with another perfect ball (the off stump got more action than the bat after the 28th over).
With the field in close for his first of the over and the hat trick ball, Josh sent down an absolute pearler to knock back the pegs once again. After being mobbed by his team mates and instructed to deliver more of the same, he did not disappoint and in his final over achieved another hat trick by bowling their seven, eight and nine with similar movement and precision. Knowing his bowling was coming to an end, he saved the best for last as those were his final three deliveries and during that period of excellence achieved six wickets for three runs off 14 deliveries (are you watching, Stuart Broad?).
Chelston were reduced from 57 for 1 to 80 all out and Dave took over from Josh to clean up the tail and finished with figures of 10.2 overs, 16 for 3. One wicket fell lbw and the other nine were clean bowled – it just goes to show that if you aim for the stumps at this level of cricket, you will most certainly get wickets.
After a quick tea, D&T suffered an early scare when Quentin was caught out trying to drive a good delivery from C Harrison (1 – 18) and was bowled for one but Chris Life and Sam Gornall batted aggressively and intelligently to knock off the runs against a lacklustre bowling attack in 17.3 overs (Life – 37 not out and Gornall – 31 not out).
My research shows that earlier this year that an under 13s cricketer (also by the name of Josh!) and an under 15s cricketer achieved similar feats to our Josh and that it was the first time it had happened since 1907.
Result – Dartington & Totnes 3rd XI beat Chelson 2nd XI by nine wickets