ENTERTAINING Cardiff Gymkhana on Saturday on a green Bryn-y-Don wicket, Dinas Powys Cricket Club 1st XI were unsurprisingly invited to bat.
Openers Gordon Hannah and Nathan Piddock quickly pushed Dinas to 45 without loss off nine overs and there was no sign of what was to come on a wicket which was playing well.
However, after Hannah was adjudged lbw, there was a procession of wickets, with some disciplined bowling and indisciplined batting accounting for the entire Dinas team. Only Piddock, with 38, recorded some respectability as Dinas were skittled for a paltry 96.
Worse was to come. With Ruth Clogg enjoying a second week in the sun, the responsibility fell to the players to organise tea and, whilst some exceeded expectations (no doubt with assistance), others fared less well with the responsibility - the people of ITV are clearly not big tea drinkers!
After the early tea, Dinas took to the field looking for respectability, but, as the second ball of the innings disappeared for six, this looked a long way off. However, what was to follow will go down in Dinas folklore as Gymkhana were dismissed for 84, leaving the home side winners by 12 runs. Asad Risvi and Stephen Bussell took three wickets each, Piddock took two, and Stuart Jones also picked up two in a devastating two-over spell to complete a remarkable bowling and fielding performance, and jubilant scenes at Bryn-y-Don.
The 2nd XI made the short trip to Burnham Avenue to take on Sully Centurions who were in the bottom two.
Batting first, Centurions were strengthened by the addition of some of their first-team players after their scheduled trip to Brecon was called off because of rain.
After a cautious start and a couple of early wickets, Centurions accelerated and swiftly took the game away from Dinas. Sully's Jake Griffet was particularly brutal, sending the ball to all parts as he helped himself to an unbeaten 156 courtesy of some indifferent bowling. Dinas didn't help themselves with below par fielding, and Sully racked up a monumental 319 for five. James Hiscocks, with two for 49 from his leg spin, was the pick of the Dinas bowlers.
Chasing down 319 was never going to be easy, and so it proved. The first fright came in the first over when opener Mike O'Donovan's bat flew out of his hand towards midwicket with everyone ducking, and things went downhill from there. Wickets came at a rate of knots as Dinas batsmen found themselves unable to dig in and, at a dismal 41 for five, even getting to three figures looked beyond them. Eventually skipper Ford found some help in the form of Gareth Storey, and the pair initially stopped the rot, batting for what looked like an impending thunderstorm to arrive and save the game, only for it to deviate and pass east down the Bristol Channel.
Dinas finally made it to a batting point at 125 before the skipper fell, and eventually ended on 145 for nine to salvage three points from a poor afternoon.
VETERAN CALMS NERVES
On The Common the 3rd XI entertained St Fagans Fourths who, usually a strong outfit, batted and were soon in trouble at 25 for three, with wickets for the two Robs - Tucker and Moseley.
The visitors struggled after the early losses, and Dinas bowled them out for 109 with overs to spare. The pick of the bowlers for Dinas were Colley (2-13), Tucker (2-24) and Moseley (2-26).
The low target may have played on the Dinas batters' minds over tea and they, too, found life difficult with the bat. At 78 for six, things were finely poised, but veteran Geoff Colley calmed nerves with 34 to see Dinas home by two wickets.
The club extends its thanks to Vectos for their support.
Forthcoming fixtures: Saturday, July 26 - Firsts v Lisvane (away), Seconds v Newbridge (Bryn-y-Don, 1pm) and Thirds v Pencoed (away); Sunday, July 27 - John Brain Memorial Match (Past v Present - Common, 2pm); Wednesday, July 30 - v Lisvane (away); Friday, August 1 - DPCC v DPRFC (Common 6pm - social).