Dartington 1st XI 227 for 6
Whitchurch 1st XI 207 for 9
Dartington’s first League match of the season at Whitchurch on Saturday was a pulsating game of cricket. The high point was Steve Mackinlay’s 123 which enabled Darts to post a competitive 227 for 6, after being put in to bat.
With Darts forced to give several second team stalwarts their first team debut, Skipper Pete Webb’s cunning plan was to keep wickets intact for as long as possible. Opener’s Webb and Coish got off to a slow start against accurate Whitchurch bowling. Ten overs had been bowled before Pete Coish’s stubborn resistance came to an end- caught at gully off a useful delivery from ‘Trago’ Mills for 1. Mills then trapped Paul Taylor lbw for a duck and Darts were 26 for 2.
When Mackinlay joined Webb the score gradually began accelerating, though Whitchurch’s opening bowler, Lewis, completed his 13 overs for just 27 runs. Webb playing an accomplished innings of great skill and panache and was unlucky to miss out on his 50, being caught behind for 49 after putting on 69 with Mackinlay. Mackinlay now had his eye in and plundered nine 6s off the Whitchurch attack in a ferocious assault. Mackinlay delighted his team mates with a full repertoire of shots of both power and delicacy. He put on 114 with Pete Gartrell (18) for the fourth wicket before being stumped for 123 with the total at 209. Darts lost a couple more wickets chasing runs before Roger Newcombe hit a 6 over the pavilion on the last ball of the innings. Several dropped catches had benefited Darts.
If Darts thought the game was in the bag Whitchurch had other ideas. After a tea rated highly by Dart’s resident gourmet, Darren Colegate, they got off to a flying start. Mick Rusling, opening the bowling on his first team debut, obtained prodigious swing but struggled for control which opener Rotten took full advantage of. The run rate initially slowed with the introduction of another debutant, Terry King into the attack. King was unlucky that several catches went down off his bowling. Gartell, bowling excellently got the breakthrough when Rotten(28) crashed the ball to mid on where another debutant, Colegate, took a fine catch at the second attempt. Credicott got his eye in and began biffing the ball around before Webb took an excellent catch off King’s bowling to dismiss him for 44.
At 99 for 2 with plenty of overs left it was anybody’s game. Hall then began to crash the ball around and the game began to go Whitchurch’s way. Webb bowled Barnaball for 8 and Newcombe bowled Clapham for 5 but the runs were still flowing.
It was 164 for 6 when Newcombe trapped Hall lbw for 44. Any thoughts that Darts were now home and dry were quickly dispelled as Whitchurch ‘keeper Chappell indulged in some lusty hitting. Newcombe had Jackson lbw for 0. However, the score had reached 200 before Gartrell (3 for 37) courageously caught a full blooded straight drive off his own bowling to dismiss Chappell for 42, injuring his hand in the process.
One run later Newcombe (4 for 33) had Stokes(10) superbly caught on the boundary by Simon Rowe. Frustratingly for Darts the last pair held out for the final 2 overs to deny them full points.