Twos almost pull off an unlikely win in darkest Cornwall.

Dartington & Totnes II 82 all out, Plympton III 83 for 8

Plympton  (17 points) beat D&T (4 points) by 2 wickets.

After posting  a well-below par total Dartington & Totnes gave Plympton a mighty scare, narrowly failing to win in a nail-biting finish.  Winning the toss skipper Mike Jarvis had backed his batsmen and decided to bat on the green Gunnislake track.  This bold decision  backfired  as the cream of D&T’s batting were soon back in the pavilion after only ten overs, as they collapsed to 18 for 5.

Opening the batting, Jarvis hit a four and was then trapped lbw by Lee in the first over.  The experienced Sean Mortimer then began a mesmerising spell at the other end.  Mortimer bowling with gentle pace but obtaining prodigious inswing, assisted by a strong crosswind, was virtually unplayable.  He bowled Paul Taylor (4), Tom Petherick (2) and Paul Raven.  Mortimer then trapped Gareth Havard lbw.  Paul and Gareth, both former Plympton players, did not trouble the scorers.  Only Cliff Lowe, batting at three, survived from the top order.

Cliff and Dan Goord dug in and battled hard, with admirable concentration.  It was painstaking work, the pair adding 20 in fifteen overs, before Cliff was caught behind for 11, off Plympton skipper Tim George.  It had been an invaluable partnership but at this point even fifty looked a long way off.  Andy Bligh joined Dan and batted admirably with great patience and maturity.  Dan was unlucky to top edge a catch off Lee and be caught for 16 with the score on 52.  Pete Glen (6) looked confident before being bowled by Lee (3 for 15).  The score edged upwards as Ollie Perkins grafted for some time before a lapse of concentration led to him being bowled by George (2 for 17).  Mortimer bowled Mick (5) to finish with 5 for 16, with Andy unbeaten on 12 . Extras top scored with 22!

In reply, Plympton’s opening batsmen Hefford and  O’Higgins were quickly out of the blocks, with Duncan Hefford being particularly aggressive.  The score was on 23 when Pete Glen trapped  Sean O’Higgins  lbw for 5.  Glen’s bowling partner, Mick had settled into a good rhythm with his inswing and began to ask the batsmen questions.  Mick had several strong lbw shouts turned down by the Plympton umpire and was unlucky when Hefford charged down the wicket and missed the ball, but PT was unable to gather cleanly with Hefford well out of his crease.

Mick then bowled Gannon for 3 and unveiled his Usain Bolt Celebration.  Fifty was reached with only 2 wickets down and Hefford going strong. It looked like the game was almost over . Gareth,  working up a good pace, trapped  Hussey lbw for 1, meanwhile at the other end,  Mick was soon pointing to the sky again when he produced a peach of a delivery to bowl Hefford for 33, with the score on 52. This heralded a remarkable collapse as the game turned on its’ head.

Plympton’s batsmen had no answer as Mick (6 for 19) bowled Webber (1), Chris O’Higgins (2) and Mortimer (3) and had Gilpin caught at mid-on by Dan Goord for 10.

When the eighth wicket fell Plympton were still eleven runs short with the game in the balance. D&T began to believe a most unlikely victory was now on the cards but the fairy tale ending was not to be, as George (12 not out) and Lee saw them home.

After the match Mick said “ it was a bit like a dream for me, once I got a few wickets I felt I could bowl them all out.  I knew I had to hit the stumps -I was never going to get an lbw if we’d played until Christmas.  There was an awful lot of ‘high fiving’ which was great.  Once we had them eight down I thought we could do it.  It was disappointing,  there were a lot of “what ifs” floating around”.

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