Ding destroys Dunster delight despite Duffin and Dunn double act
Eleven against one would usually result in a comfortable victory for the numerically advantaged side – that did not prove the case yesterday though as the tourists visited Bagborough. While both teams fielded 11 players, it often felt that it was Mount vs one chap called Dingle or “Ding”. His extraordinary performance of power hitting proving conclusive on the day.
Skipper Mark Smith negotiated that Bagborough would bat first, giving the tourists their second consecutive day chasing. Young Pete Shaw and Toby Duffin opened the bowling for Mount. Bagborough opening batsman Dingle, looked like he might be a threat - well built and obviously hugely strong as he was wielding a bat that looked as though very little had been taken off the tree stump in its manufacture.
After 2 overs Pete Shaw was withdrawn from the attack through injury. A severe neck strain enforcing an early rest. The cause was possibly his obsessive viewing of the orbiting International Space Station the evening before - I learned a lot from him and fellow space fan Toby Duffin and their fascinating conversation certainly helped me get off to sleep. However, it was also suggested that watching ball after ball sail back over his head was more likely the root cause of this problem. At the other end, Duffin was on form, and turned in his performance of the season. “Ding” however was filling his boots - his 50 came up in no time and he was enjoying the fare served up to him.
Duffin continued to bowl well and with Dunn taking the other end, we began to make inroads. Duffin struck first. His variation and bounce causing the batsman to top-edge one to the youthful John Sherwin – guesting for us from Holford CC. Soon he added the Bagborough’s skipper, caught by his opposite number, the Stetson wearing Smith stooping low to conquer with an excellent catch. Better catching was to come – Duffin inducing an edge to stand in ‘keeper Nigel Marsh who held on expertly. The piece de resistance however, again off Duffin’s bowling, was a diving one handed catch by Dunn. Duffin concluded his spell with figures of 4/29 off 7 overs – an extraordinary performance on a day when the attack took such punishment. Dunn began well too, taking 2 wickets early in his spell – one a routine catch to Foley to remove a small child, the other a delightful off break to further confuse a gentleman of advanced years.
We were doing ok now – apart from one thing, or should I say Ding. On he went bludgeoning the ball to all corners – reaching his century out of a total of 130. Lambert J took over bowling duties from Dunn and bowled very well – unlucky not to get more than his 1 wicket with a number of catching opportunities created but not held or just dropping shy of the fielder. While wickets had tumbled at the other end, Ding battled and battered on. Aktar had replaced Duffin and took some punishment before finding his line and length and being rewarded with a wicket. Ding reached his 150 and decided that we had suffered enough and retired. Phew!
Foley came on to replace Jamie as we sought the final wicket to close things out – once again paired with DT on umpiring duties, who made it perfectly clear that any appealing would be fruitless regardless of its merits! John Sherwin came on at the other and set his usual field – “a long on and a long off - the rest doesn’t matter”. And so it proved, his first ball fired straight down the throat of Jamie Lambert at long on who held the catch comfortably. His stats then 0.1-0-0-1 – where was he earlier?! Bagborough all out for 242. 35 overs to chase that down at, near as dammit, 7 runs per over.
The reply began well. 14 off the first over, 13 off the second. Dunn and Aktar looked set before the latter picked out the man at point with a mistimed cut. Dunster hero Lambert J came in next and he and Dunn looked to have us just about on top – adding 85 for the second wicket. The first part of their partnership featuring boundaries galore before a couple of bowling changes tightened things up for our hosts. Jamie was eventually caught in the deep for 42, Dunn following soon after as the result of a tremendous one-handed catch.
With the run rate climbing, Sherwin and Marsh were next. Sherwin hitting some lusty blows before falling for 18, Marsh failing to trouble the scorers. William Wilcox replaced Marsh, David Jackson soon joining him. David approached the task in the right way hitting a delightful boundary before falling on his sword whilst chasing the runs needed. Wilcox, was pinned down by the bowling for a time before hitting a quartet of 4s in one over. Running out of overs and partners, it was time to swing the willow. Foley the first to try. After adding 3, his agricultural attempt to hit the space station and knock it out of orbit was unsuccessful and instead he missed the ball and was bowled. Shaw came next to join Wilcox but William was soon out for 28, Duffin replacing him. Shaw fell in the final over but by then the game was long gone. 204 all out the final score – a 38 run defeat. How different it may have been but for the mighty Ding. His shirt bore the number 333 on the back but he proved to be more than half a beast!
That concluded my tour but I wish the remaining tourists all the very best for today’s fixture at Timberscombe and the rest of their visit to this beautiful part of the world.