Alex stars with bat and ball; while the other Alex makes reporting debut.

A tale of two Alex’s here.   Winchy made a fantastic effort with his first published cricket report.   You may have seen it in The Totnes TImes but here is the unedited version!

19th May: Led by a man of the match performance from Alex Hartridge, Dartington and Totnes First Eleven overcame a spirited Plympton Second Team Side by 25 runs in a high scoring contest at Harewood Park.

The home side won the toss and elected to let the visiting D&T side bat first on a very good batting surface. The decision was one that raised a few eyebrows given the beautiful sunny day and the good-looking nature of the wicket but may have been one influenced by the chance to watch the FA Cup final later in the day!

However, the Plympton’s skipper’s decision to bowl first looked a good one when the dangerous Harry Baxendale was bowled without scoring by the sharp Matt Draper. Baxendale could count himself a tad unlucky however edging the ball onto the stumps off his pads. New man Josh Orrall steadied the ship alongside Aussie import Matt Sevior, putting on 50 runs, before Orrall was caught at first slip for 16 off the consistently dangerous bowling of Josiah Caunter. Caunter had a second wicket soon after when Chris Cook was trapped at the crease and was given out LBW for 13. As is often the case one wicket brings another and soon after opener Sevior found himself back in the pavilion. He had made a fluent 64 at a run a ball, his first half century for D&T since coming over from Melbourne. New man James Howrihane showed some classy stroke play before he was Caunter’s third wicket, leaving D&T struggling at 115-5. This quickly became 119-6 when Captain Harold Stevenson was run out going for a quick single to try and push the score up.

What followed next was quite extraordinary. Alex Hartridge, a player who doesn’t play as often as many would like due to footballing commitments, went on a rampage dispatching the Plympton bowlers all around Harewood Park. Joined by wicketkeeper Alex Winch, the pair put on 38 for the seventh wicket, their running between the wicket putting pressure on the tiring Plympton fielders. Winch, the more cautious of the pair was then trapped LBW for 5 by Tim George. However, the wicket didn’t stop Hartridge’s flow. Punishing any loose delivery by the Plympton bowlers he had spectators ducking for cover from the barrage of boundaries coming their way. Opening bowler Draper came back on to try and stem the flow of runs and was able to pick up the wicket of Tyler Walton for 4. Hartridge’s destructive innings was ended in the next over when he was caught off the bowling of Jake Campbell-Beattie. He had struck a game changing 79 off 64 balls with 10 fours and 3 sixes. Last pair James Hartridge and Phillip Power saw out the remaining deliveries to close the D&T innings on a formidable 219-9. The D&T innings was based around half centuries from Sevior and Hartridge while Caunter was the pick of the Plympton bowlers taking 3-25 off of 9 overs.

After tea, Plympton began the chase. Not content with striking 79, Hartridge then picked up the first wicket to fall when opener Sam Agnew top-edged a pull to Walton at mid on. The two opening bowlers of Hartridge and Howrihane caused the Plympton batsmen all sorts of trouble with pace and accuracy. Hartridge then picked up his second when he bowled the other opening batsman Charles O’Higgins for 15. New man Caunter and Jason Degg set about rebuilding the Plympton innings and it took the introduction of Baxendale to break the partnership. Baxendale who is in a rich vein of form with the ball had Caunter caught at cover for 8. D&T employed their two key spinners at either end with Cook and Baxendale exerting a tight squeeze on the Plympton batsmen. Ed Degg decided that attack was the best form of defence and launched Baxendale over the boundary for a big six. However in the next over he was undone by a sharp piece of keeping from Alex Winch and found himself back in the pavilion with Plympton struggling on 80-4. Cook then picked up this second wicket when he had the dangerous Jason Degg LBW sweeping for a patient and well made 39. Two more wickets fell in quick succession when Sevior got in on the action having Campbell-Beattie caught at cover and Cook picked up his third wicket bowling Tim George for 4.

At 116-7 and still over 100 runs behind many thought that a D&T victory was highly likely and that the end was nigh. However, complacency began to creep into the bowling side and some wayward bowling allowed the Plympton pair of Chris Dawe and Stephanie Hutchins to increase the score and put the pressure back on the D&T bowlers.  Dawe was the aggressor of the pair striking 3 sixes and 2 fours in his 38 off 29 balls. It took a truly fantastic catch by Baxendale to break the D&T slump and shift the momentum back in favour of the visitors. Baxendale dived full length to his left at point and took a one-handed catch just a few inches above the ground. It was a catch that gave Hartridge his third wicket. He did not have to wait long for his fourth when he bowled new man Draper for a golden duck leaving Plympton 184-9 and still needed 36 for victory. Despite the ninth wicket falling Hutchins, the Devon Women’s first team player continued on her way taking the Plympton score to 194 when last man Gopalakrishnan was LBW to Baxendale for 1.

In the end it was a maximum point victory for D&T with the stand out performance being Alex Hartridge for his 79 and 4-26. It was a high scoring game that any neutral would have enjoyed watching and was played in good spirits throughout. D&T first team are in action at home next week against Cornwood II, 1:30 start, while the second team are away at Bovey Tracey Thirds.




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