How did we manage to lose that one?

Stoke Gabriel II 141 all out beat Dartington & Totnes II 119 all out, by 22 runs

It was a joy to have a sunny day to play cricket after the deluges of May.  Both teams were playing just their second Devon Cricket League match of the season, exactly four weeks since they had played their first match.

The match was decided by an incident when Stoke were on 118 for 9.   Their last man, Holtam, advanced down the wicket missed the ball and was two feet outside his crease when D&T keeper Paul Taylor smartly removed the bails.  Holtam started to walk off without bothering to return to his crease, only to be called back by D&T’s umpire Darren Colegate who told him the square leg umpire had not given him out as his view was obscured by the square leg fielder.   Instead of being 118 all out Stoke took full advantage of the unexpected reprieve and added another 23 runs which effectively won them the match.

Stoke won the toss and elected to bat on an unsurprisingly damp, slow track.   Opening D&T’s attack with Steve Mudge, Mick Rusling looked very dashing in his new Club shirt.   Whether this helped his bowling seems unlikely but he hit a purple patch taking 4 for 6 in 8 overs, bowling the first four Stoke batsmen.  His first victim Coulton went for 2, following which Sean Rooney and Reeves rallied briefly taking the score to 23 after 10 overs.  Mudgey bowled well, without reward and was unlucky when Rooney was dropped in the covers.  Mick bowled Rooney for 13 with a delicious delivery and in his next over bowled Reeves (7) and Iqbal (0) in successive deliveries to put Stoke in big trouble at 33 for 4.

Alex Perkin replaced Mick and got off to a great start obtaining a lot of movement and bowling the experience Doug Ansley for 11, in his first over.   50 for 5 after 20 overs.  Perkin struck again in his third over when keeper Paul Taylor took a marvellous one-handed catch low down at full stretch down the leg side to dismiss Mair for 4.    At 52 for 6 the game seemed up for Stoke but the hard hitting Till found a willing partner in Kai Horsbrough and the pair added 62 for the seventh wicket.   The stand was finally broken when Steve (1 for 29) trapped Horsbrugh lbw with the last ball of his second spell.

Hamish took his first League wicket when he bowled Till for 32.   Jon Perkin joined the attack and in his first over bowled Hulme for 1 and seemed to have last man, Holtam, stumped in the same over but Mick changed from hero to villain by blocking the square leg umpire’s view.  Stoke, aided by some wayward bowling, rubbed salt into D&T’s wounds by reaching 141 before Perkin senior (2 for 6) completed a good day for the Perkin boys by bowling Holtam for 5 in the final over.

We had to chase 142 from 40 overs which should have been straightforward if we had managed to keep wickets intact- but we didn’t.   Openers Jon and Gavin batted sensibly but found the slowness of the pitch made it difficult to get the ball away.   Gavin hit a beautiful straight six off Ansley but this was a one off.   The pair resolutely put on 26 before Jon was bowled by Muir for 8 and then Gav was caught by Rooney at mid-on attempting a big hit, three runs later, also off Muir.

Coulton (3 for 36) picked up the next three wickets bowling John Allenbrook for 5, trapping Keith Hodgins for 0 and PT (1)- caught at backward square leg pulling a wide legside delivery.   Runs were proving difficult to score until Glenn came to the crease.  Alex Perkin was looking good and showing good technique until Glenn chipped a ball into the air and the pair set off for a run.   The fielder dropped the ball but then threw the ball and hit the stumps directly with Alex watching proceedings well out of his ground.   64 for 6.

Glenn was batting very well and started to find the boundary, hitting 4 fours off an over from Coulton.   Phil Power was bowled by Ansley for 2 but Mudgey stuck around leaving Glenn to do the scoring and the pair took the score to 110 before Glenn was very unfortunate to be run out 3 short of what would have been a well-deserved 50.   His 47 contained 8 fours.   32 needed from 9 overs with 2 wickets remaining.   Mick came to the crease- could he redeem himself?   The answer was ‘no’. Runs came at a trickle but we were still in the game.   When Ansley bowled Mick with 4 overs remaining we were still 23 runs short and needed a miracle, which didn’t materialise.   In the next over Mudgey was bowled by Horsbrough for 5 and Stoke were home and dry and we were left to think about what might have been.

Chairman’s observation:

This season legside wides have to be more than 17″ outside of leg stump.  The aim of the rule is to finish games more quickly.  This  results in the opposition not being penalised for many  deliveries down legside which we can’t reach.  Effectively bowlers are being told “well bowled” for bowling wides down leg.   The aim of the rule is to finish games more quickly.

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