On a sweltering day at The Gibbon, Dinton Cricket Club were welcomed to The Recreation Ground for the first time ever.
The deck was looking fabulous, outfield short and fast and everyone wanted to bat first, even the solitary Umpire! Skipper Stu lost the toss, standard, and Dinton would bat first. The sun cream was slapped on and the wide brims slipped on, as Gibbon knew that it was going to be a toil, but taking regular wickets and staying positive was key in the Dubai like conditions.
Callow and Mitchell opened up with Senior man Croucher Callow taking choice of end for once as Marsh were missing Kyle due to domestic duties! Dinton’s opening pair gave very few chances and looked very comfortable against the new ball. Ripley. D and Humzah raced to a 50 partnership without incident.
The steady Ripley and impressive youngster in Humzah were patient and put away the bad ball. After 14 overs with Dinton 66 without loss, it was time for a change, Vice Joe was given the ball from The Edgcott End and brother Tom from The Lagoon End. Elder brother Joe got straight into his rhythm and gave the ball some turn and bounce, whilst sibling T was struggling with his length….not for the first time… T Leno had a short blast of 3 overs before being replaced by Jules 01 Chambers.
The runs had started to dry up considering the batting paradise like conditions with the consistent lines and lengths from Chambers and J Leno but wickets were illusive. The 100 partnership was reached in the 20th over and the 150 partnership in the 30th over.
The breakthrough eventually came when Chambers trapped Ripley in front for 55, then proceeded to announce to the skipper, “I’m done.”
Joe Leonard kept toiling away from the Edgcott End with brilliant control, even getting the odd complement from younger brother! Crabby Cross joined the attack from the Lagoon End and got straight to work to tie Dinton down. The pair kept it tight despite not taking the much needed wickets. Law had joined Humzah and was ticking along. In Cross’s 6th over Humzah took one too many chances and missed a straight one to be trapped LBW for a superb 102 from the impressive teenager.
With 9 overs to go Gibbon had done exceptionally well to keep the score below 200. Vice Joe eventually got the brace of wickets he had deserved in his 17th over off the bounce for just 61 runs. Callow was brought back to replace Leonard and took the wicket of Ali for 17 before Dinton finished on 246-5 from the maximum 53 overs. A valiant effort from The Gibbon having lost the toss on a scorcher of a day, with Dinton adding less than 100 runs in their last 33 overs when the heat had taken its toll.
Both teams took cover for tea to rehydrate with Marsh knowing that this was a very gettable score on this batting deck. Vice and Webb opened up looking to get The Gibbon off to a flyer, but it was not to be. Both went early: Leonard LBW off Shahid for 11 and Webb Quacked his way off courtesy of an off cutter from Shahid.
With Marsh 19-2 from 7, it was down to Skipper Stu and Borsky Thornton to steady the ship. And that they did. Both very watchful and playing with patient technique, the pair put on 53 methodically in 23 overs. Not a rate of knots, but essential to rebuild after the start to ensure Marsh had a chance of staying in the game as long as possible.
The Skipper looked to open up at theis point and began fo find the fence before clothing one from the bowling of Bolton straight to Dintons star man Humzah at midwicket and was gone for an important 45. Jules joined Borsky, but not for very long as he was adjudged LBW for 0. This precipitated a change of plan and swing from trying to win the game to get the Draw. Tommy Leonard strolled to the crease with the strict instructions to bat for time with only 11 overs remaining. Borsky had played supporting role to Skipper during his tenure and batted for the best part of 30 overs for 5 runs, and this time taken out the game was now invaluable for the side on the backfoot. He was finally dispatched by Bolton.
Timms came and went for zero, leaving it to Cobby Chambers and T Leno to see Marsh over the line with some grind and fight. Tom batted superbly with the field in chasing the wickets he went on the offensive to the vacant fences, finishing on a red-inker 41, including a glorious pull shot that even got applause from his brooding brother back in the hutch. The Gibbon finished on 138-6 from their 47 overs to take the draw.
This week Marsh travel up the M40 to Watlington to meet old OCA adversaries.
SEE MATCH SCORECARD –