Cook serves up a treat

After last week’s defeat, it was back to winning ways for Dartington and Totnes First Eleven when they handily beat second-placed Lewdown by 28 runs in a high-scoring clash at Foxhole.

On a hot and humid day, Lewdown elected to field and D&T opener James Howrihane was quickly dismissed, caught off the bowling of Nick Smith without scoring. Number three Harry Baxendale alongside Matt Sevior set about launching the innings and had taken the score to 40 when Sevior was LBW for 18, with Jack Williams the bowler.

Baxendale along with new man Chris Cook added 32 runs before he could only edge Williams to first slip for 21 to leave D&T on 72-3 and in need of a partnership. This is exactly what they got thanks to Cook and Alex Hartridge. The pair added 87 in 13 overs with some classy and powerful strokes.

Therefore, it was a shame when Hartridge was bowled for a crucial 49 by Smith with the score on 159 and 12 overs left. Number six Charlie Nicholls didn’t last long and was bowled for 2 to become Smith’s second wicket.

Andy Bligh was sent in at seven to try and push D&T towards 200 and he did exactly that. He made 22 at more than a run a ball in an innings that contained a towering six. Having helped get D&T to 200 and continuing to push for runs he was eventually stumped by Ed Squire off of the bowling of Tom Pengelly.

Ben Hartridge and Cook saw out the remaining overs to leave D&T on 219-6 off of their 45 overs. Cook batted for over two hours for his 73 and his contribution held the D&T innings together, allowing other batsmen to score positively.

D&T knew that despite scoring 219, the fast outfield and good batting track would mean that they would have to bowl well to ensure that they won.

Just like in the D&T innings, Lewdown lost an early wicket when the dangerous Ball was bowled for 0 by Alex Hartridge. Fellow opener Harry Geering looked in good touch, striking a straight six over the pavilion before he was dismissed when he could only strike a Ben Hartridge long-hop to Alex Hartridge on the deep midwicket boundary for 32 to leave Lewdown on 49-2.

Ollie Brown and Tom Pengelly, Lewdown’s number three and four, needed to forge out a partnership to get their side back in the match and put on 70 for third wicket before Chris Cook had Pengelly caught on the long off boundary by Matt Sevior for 32. Brown, who had made it to 54 was then undone by a sharp stumping by Alex Winch for 54 and Cook’s second wicket.

At 144-4, Lewdown still had a chance of the winning but the required run rate was creeping up amid some tight bowling by the D&T bowlers. Andy Bligh bowled a fast and aggressive spell and picked up a deserved wicket when Jack Williams was caught at cover by skipper Harold Stevenson for 2. It was a fantastic catch with Stevenson rolling back the years to dive full length to his right and cling on one handed to a near impossible chance.

New man Harry Williams and Ed Squire were able to add 34 for the sixth wicket before Squire was caught by Sevior for 30, with James Howrihane the bowler. This wicket was the start of a collapse that saw the final four Lewdown wickets fall for just 8 runs.

Howrihane had a second soon after when he bowled James Weeks for a duck and Baxendale got in on the act having Williams caught by Bligh for 14. The last two wickets fell in the final over when Howrihane bowled Ollie Wood and Brian Smith to finish with 4-6.

It had been an excellent all-round performance from D&T to defeat strong opposition with notable contributions coming from Chris Cook and Alex Hartridge with the bat and James Howrihane with the ball. However, it had been a real team performance with everybody contributing. The first team travel to Bridestowe next week while the seconds are at home to Brixham 2ndXI.

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