Century 2nd wicket stand can’t prevent seconds from coming second to Stokeinteignhead firsts.

Dartington & Totnes 2nd XI 124 all out Stokeinteignhead Ist XI 128 for 5

Whilst the firsts are enjoying a record-breaking season, things are going less well for the seconds.   With players unavailable for a variety of reasons including injury, attending gigs in Poland and watching the Cricket World Cup,  we were only able to field nine players.

Batting first we looked like we might be able to get a decent total on the board but following a marvellous 100 run partnership for the second wicket between skipper Gavin and Keld  nobody else, bar extras, made double figures as we slumped from 102 for 1 to 124 all out.

The sun was finally shining again and sweaters were cast off with the arrival of proper cricket weather.   On a damp pitch, we got off to just the start we didn’t want when the stylish Tom (Petherick) was caught out by a low delivery from Fraser and played on after scoring just 1.   Gavin and Keld dug in against accurate bowling, then gradually picked up the tempo and by the half-way stage we’d scored 71.   Gav was driving particularly well and brought up his first 50 of the season which included 7 fours.   The run rate slowed for several overs with Wills, in particular, tying the batsmen down.   Wills produced a good delivery to bowl Gav for an excellent 54.   Keld had battled to bat himself into form and  looked set for his 50 but departed three overs later, bowled by Russell for a fine 43, with 6 fours.

112 for 3 with just 8 overs remaining.  The demise of the remaining batsmen was due to scoreboard pressure as much as anything- Glenn and Keith were both caught trying to force the pace- the latter to a fine slip catch by Russell.   Rew, 2 for 19, then bowled Josh Bowhay and hesitation by Alex Perkin caused him to be run out.   Fin was the last man out bowled for 4 with 2 overs remaining.

Josh and Fin spent most of our innings lying in the sun which probably contributed to Josh having his glasses stood on by Keith, though he was alleged to have denied this.   Meanwhile Alex was experiencing severe restlessness and boredom.  We attempted to alleviate this by encouraging him to update the scoreboard, but this failed to arouse any enthusiasm.

With a small target to defend and we needed to take early wickets and keep runs to a minimum.   Unfortunately, neither happened and 36 extras contributed to our downfall.   Fin and Josh opened the bowling and both struggled for accuracy.   Mick was soon brought into the attack and though he briefly stemmed the tide, his second over went for 11 runs.   Glenn began his spell with a fine over and produced the breakthrough when Carpenter lofted a drive and Keith took a very good catch low down at cover.  66 for 1 after just 11 overs.

Mick got into good rhythm, bowling Clarke for 14 and then bowling new batsman Bushby with his next delivery.   Lang narrowly averted the hat trick before offering a straightforward catch to mid-on which Josh was unable to hold-though he had a good excuse since his spectacles had been broken. Mick  trapped Lang plum lbw to finish his 8 over spell with 3 for 21.

Opener Russell was batting well and was steering Stoke ever closer to their target.  Glenn picked up his second wicket producing a beautiful turning delivery to bowl Wills for 3.  21 runs were still required but any hopes we may have had were quickly dashed as Russell (43 not out) and Rew (11 not out) needed just 2 further overs to finish the game off with a flourish.

Despite only having 9 men for the second consecutive week Gavin praised the team’s spirit and effort.

Ornithological  update: just the odd swallow and a wood pigeon spotted this week.

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