DEPLETED by a mixture of weddings, a skittles tour and a stag do, all three Dinas Powys Cricket Club sides were in league action on Saturday.
Thanks to a fantastic effort by the skippers, three full teams were fielded, with the Firsts, after two weather induced false dawns, finally launching their season away against Cardiff Gymkhana.
Gymkhana were invited to bat by skipper Ian Southwell, and Dinas' opening bowlers Stephen Bussell and Nathan Piddock continued where they left off last season, with the latter picking up a wicket with his first ball of the season and Bussell injuring himself in his second over. However, Bussell battled on bravely and bowled a superb opening spell of eight overs in which he picked up a crucial wicket. The pair were replaced by debutant Asad Risvi and the slightly more experienced (in DPCC terms) John Clogg and both bowled an exceptional line and length. Whilst Clogg maintained his miserly reputation, Risvi picked up the glory, taking two excellent wickets to put Dinas in control. Louis Clarke and Josh Clogg continued to exert pressure on the Gymkhana batsmen, picking up two wickets each, and, with Piddock coming back into the attack to remove the two dangermen, Gymkhana finished on a modest 165 all out.
Opening the batting for Dinas, Southwell and Piddock set a sound platform and the latter looked set to unleash the shackles before being well caught for a well made 24. Matthew Todd-Bennett was unlucky to be caught behind for six, bringing Risvi to the crease. Risvi hit his first ball straight back over the bowler's head and never looked back, reaching all parts of the ground and taking the game away from Gymkhana. Southwell and Risvi put together an unbeaten 124-run partnership to guide Dinas to a comfortable eight-wicket win. Risvi finished on a splendid 76 not out, the highlight of a complete team performance.
The Seconds entertained Croesyceiliog and, for the second time this season, an opposing side only mustered nine men - a disappointing state of affairs at this level.
With skipper Andy Ford choosing to bat, the Dinas batsmen must have thought it would be easy against nine men, but were soon in trouble, with a combination of complacency against unspectacular bowling and a controversial umpiring decision leaving them reeling at 54 for four inside 14 overs. Simon Hiscocks, hauled out of retirement for the umpteenth time, steadied the ship with a combination of watchful batting and occasional demonstrations of his trademark mow over cow. He moved to an untroubled 60 before falling with the score on 142, still way below par. Another flurry of wickets left the home side on 161 for eight with almost 10 overs left and in danger of being bowled out inside the 45. For once the tail wagged, with a glorious swashbuckling 50 partnership between Will Mardell (20) and Reuben Mitchell (30), and the innings ended on 227 for nine, far better than had looked likely earlier in the afternoon.
In reply, Croesy never looked remotely interested in going for the target, but wickets were hard to come by and, despite excellent spells from Morgan (1-11 off nine) and Hiscocks (2-10 off seven), the visitors stubbornly held out on 143 for three.
The 84-run success puts the Seconds second in the table at this early stage of the season.
Rob Tucker took the Thirds, including the club's young developing cricketers, to esteemed club St Fagans.
Dinas were invited to bat on a good drying wicket and managed a respectable 173 for seven off their 45 overs, with contributions from Sam Marlow (47), Gareth Storey (27) and the skipper (34no).
Bowling proved to be tough, with only two wickets falling, both to lbws, and St Fagans reached the total in just 36 overs.
On Sunday a Friendly XI won a tight home game against Barry West End by 12 runs.
Batting first, Dinas scored 144 all out, with Lloyd DiMauro hitting 59. Skipper Nathan Piddock took three for 13 as the visitors were bowled out for 132.
The club is sad to hear of the recent passing of ex-player and treasurer William “Bill” Keeling. Bill came to Dinas Powys in1957 and opened the batting for many years with Reg Kaye who was of a similar vintage. Like Reg, Bill played well into his sixties, the pair becoming very well known across South Wales. Bill was also a keen walker and represented Dinas Powys at both badminton and tennis where he was club president from 1995 to 1997. Bill bowled occasional off-spin and almost always fielded at slip. He made numerous scores of 50 or more but never quite made it into three figures. He always said that was the reason he played on and on. He was a great servant to the club and to sport in Dinas Powys.
Dinas would like to thank The Huntsman Restaurant for their continued and long standing support.
Next weekend’s fixtures: Saturday - Firsts v Lisvane (Bryn y Don, 1pm), Seconds v Blackwood (away) and Thirds v Pencoed (Common, 1.30pm); Sunday - v Furry Chequebooks (Common, 2pm).