Seconds again come second to Stoke Gabriel in thrilling finish

Dartington & Totnes II 166 for 8  Stoke Gabriel II 169 for 8

These two evenly matched sides produced another thrilling game which went right down to the penultimate possible over.    Jim Atwood, playing his first match of the season, scored 76 and proved to be Stoke’s match winner.

After electing to bat D&T’s openers Paul Taylor and Will ‘Combi’ Wyatt initially found scoring difficult against accurate opening bowling from Liam Mair and Harry Iqbal.  Following Mair’s four overs the run rate increased and 56 runs were on the board when Taylor(24) was caught by Donnelly off Kanwar. Kanwar’s bowling was more to the batsmen’s taste- 35 runs coming off his first 5 overs.  Wyatt continued batting sensibly, punishing any wayward delivery and Neil Colegate seemed to be digging in for a long innings.  At the half-way stage D&T were on 75 for 1 and in a good position to accelerate the scoring over the last 20 overs.   Neil tried to force the pace and Mair (1 for 16), back for a second spell, bowled him for 5.    However, the Colegates are like the Hydra’s many heads- get rid of one and another pops up.   Scott Colegate joined Combi and looked in fine form and was soon playing aggressively hitting a couple of sixes.     When Donnelly came on to bowl Scott hit him for three successive boundaries but Combi, in trying to do the same, holed out to Sean Rooney at long on for a valuable 41.   In came another Colegate- Glenn who had been in sparking form.   Kanwar had him caught behind by Mair as Stoke shuffled their keepers.     Tom, back after a long injury arrived at the crease determined to get the scoreboard moving or perish in the attempt.  Unfortunately after hitting a boundary he perished in the attempt, holing out to Rooney off Iqbal.

D&T collapsed from 110 for 3 to 147 for 8 with Kai Horsbrough picking up three quick wickets with some curate’s egg bowling.   Jon Perkin was caught behind for 7.  Scott hit a big shot which had six written all over it except that man Rooney was lurking on the midwicket boundary.    Rooney, unlike his famous namesake Wayne, was not caught napping and took a fine catch just inside the rope.  Horsburgh’s third wicket was D&T debutant Ishaan, who had the misfortune to be stumped off a wide.   Keith and Alex stopped the rot and added twenty useful runs at the end, both finishing on 8 not out.

166 was a bit below par but was a reasonable total to defend.   Scott’s first over was tremendous- he had Attwood dropped at slip and then trapped Rooney lbw for 0 as we got off to a great start.   Scott found Attwood’s edge several more times and it seemed to be just a matter of time before one went to hand- but it wasn’t to be.  Attwood batted well but had a charmed life being dropped several times and numerous mishits fell between fielders.   He confessed he was astonished to survive.  Stoke were scoring quickly and D&T were relieved when Ishaan caught a full blooded drive at mid on to dismiss Kanwar for 14 off Combi.  Mick foolishy or bravely (choose our own adverb) tried a couple of overs but luckily for us he soon recognised he wasn’t fit enough to bowl and Tom replaced him.  Attwood continued to be thorn in our side and it was clearly his day.

Horsbrough hit a lusty 17 before being bamboozled by a marvellous turning delivery from Tom.   Tom and Alex Perkin (2 for 19) bowled terrific spells, swinging the game back in D&T’s favour.   Alex bowled Iqbal for 0 and Donnelly for 3 and Stoke were rocking on 119 for 6.   The experienced Neil Robinson joined Attwood whose charmed life continued.   It seemed Attwood would never be dismissed but he finally holed out to Combi off Tom (2 for 23).  Combi (2 for 40) caught Charlie Holtom’s skier off his own bowling.  139 for 8- D&T were again in the ascendancy.

Ishaan bowled an over but it was a too high pressured introduction for him and he struggled to find any rhythm after the umpire no balled him for bowling too wide of the crease.  Hulme’s expert blocking and leaving allowed Robinson to use his know how to see Stoke home with 9 balls remaining.

An excellent match played in a great spirit.

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