Dinas Powys CC 2nds victorious in top-of-the-table clash
8:10am Thursday 5th July 2012 in Sport
WITH the 1st XI without a game ( yes, yes, the weather. . . . again), it was left to Dinas Powys' 2nd and 3rd sides to fly the cricketing flag for the village last weekend.
The 2nd XI beat the weather, the toss and their high-flying opposition in a top-of-the-table clash on Saturday.
Pontymister won the best of the conditions and elected to bowl on a pitch still suffering from the previous evening’s deluge.
While half the wicket had dried to something near playable, the other end would have been enough to tempt nautical novelist Jules Verne back behind the desk. But credit the hardy Pont ground staff for getting cricket on at all after a frustrating month in the clubhouse.
Dinas began watchfully and, but for a diving wonder catch, skipper Andy Ford may have added to his early foundations.
Varying bounce and some questionable shot play reduced the travelling Villagers to 40 for three before John Lee Yella (28) and Miles Wilton (21) set about rebuilding.
But another flurry of wickets just after the 100-mark saw Dinas reduced to 115 for six, with 2nd team débutante Redmond Todd-Bennett and Richard Morgan charged with a big finish.
Never conducive to West Indian strokeplay, the wicket did at least hold up enough to give 'RTB' a fighting chance and he took it with both hands, seeing the Villagers through to respectability and a final score of 163 for eight.
His watchful 28 was the highlight of a workman-like Dinas innings, which looked some 20 or 30 runs light against such dangerous opposition.
The game hinged on Pont’s star batsman Shami, whose powerful hitting at the top of the order has taken the game away from many in South Wales. Enter Will Mardell; the burly seamer took three early wickets to stop the Pont run chase in its tracks. Pick of the bunch was Shami, caught at slip flashing outside off stump.
In truth, Mardell’s opening seven-over burst was probably the difference but a miserly spell from Morgan – who had the other opener caught at point – worked well in tandem.
First-change bowler Upinder Singh bowled arguably his best of the season and a good control of line and length yielded impressive figures of three for 21 from 10.
Ian Coughtrey (two for four) and Reuben Mitchell mopped up the tail as the Pont batsmen failed to recover from their dismal start.
Pressure on the hosts' middle order appeared too great as Dinas ensured no batsman reached 20 in a superb team effort.
The adage - 'Catches win matches' - was never more apt as the Villagers pouched everything that presented itself – Ford, Evans, Yella and a nicely judged pouch from Wilton on the boundary put paid to Pontymister inside 40 overs.
Special mention has to go to 'RTB,' whose fielding was reminiscent of a young Jonty Rhodes. A fabulous catch inches off the floor was interspersed with 'sweeping' of the entire field as some of Dinas’ more experienced athletes gave way to younger legs.
One wonders how 'RTB' wasn’t asked to bowl – everything else he did turned to gold.
Skittling Pont for 89 saw Dinas Powys' 2nd XI to a tremendous 74-run win in difficult conditions. Unlike the reverse fixture at Bryn-y-Don, the heavens opened shortly after play and the match was concluded without disruption.
Rumour has it the hosts suffered defeat for the first time in two seasons which is testament to the Villagers’ steely determination to cross the line victorious.
Next Saturday sees the visit of Monmouth to Dinas Powys as the unbeaten 2nd XI look to pull away at the top of the Glamorgan and Monmouthshire Cricket League (Division Three).
If the side can remember how to play the game, the 1st XI are away in the corresponding fixture.
Meanwhile, the Thirds had an away fixture against Cardiff Cobras at a wet Blackweir. Suffice to say the team lost - but at least they played. Cardiff parks pitches can be a lottery at the best of times and last weekend certainly wasn’t one of them. To compound the disappointing afternoon, the tea, too, was not one of the finest. It was a particularly grumpy and hungry Geoff Colley that played cards at the Athletic Club that evening.
The Village 3rd XI are away at Malpas next Saturday.