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Sunday 5th June

posted 5 Jun 2011, 15:31 by Mike Madden
1st XI v Dinting (away) Bissenden Cup

Deadly Dale Destroys Dinting Double Dream

The headline owes  more to the author's ambitious alliteration alerts than what really happened on the pitch, as this cup tie was a real team effort. From the outset praise was due to the hosts who provided tea and coffee for the travelling players, and that set the scene for an amicable but fiercely fought contest. Whaley won the toss and batted first, with the highlight of the innings coming in the last 10 overs. Milly batted steadily to pass 60, but Dale really brought the game to life, improvising with a mixture of guile and raw power to blast 72 in quick time. It took Whaley to 217 off their allotted overs, and no less an authority than Roy Clayton said that Dale's knock was in the top five Whaley innings of all time. Even so, trying to defend 217 against the first division leaders was never going to  be easy, but Whaley got off to a good start. Dale and Slacky both claimed early victims, but then the home side took control. Eddie kept things tight at one end, but Slacky was punished for some loose deliveries, and then Gibbo stepped into the fray. The rotund second team trundler threw a couple of tempters up, and he was rewarded when Slacky took a surprising one handed catch to reduce Dinting to 115 for 3. Gibbo's next over was not so good, and he was replaced by Lee Jones who bowled two overs of fodder. Big Dave Marchington came on and got an instant reward as Luke Schofield held on to a skyer, but the home side were now past 150 and cruising. Gibbo came back and induced more celebrations as Dale clutched another skyer, but as Marchy was despatched to all parts of the ground the captain had to come back himself. The desire was strong, but the home side were still in control, and this was the last throw of the dice. It proved to be the right move as Dale quickly claimed two victims, one lbw and the other after a smart catch by Dec Ryan. Seven down, but we still weren't favourites, with the asking rate around five an over, as it had been for some time. Dale held onto another skyer, and Dinting were reeling. Fifteen were required off 3 overs, and when Dale got another lbw decision in his favour the odds had swung to Whaley. 14 off 2 became 12 off 1, with Big Dave given the responsibility of the final over. The dozens of spectators were joined by possibly hundreds more around the world, connected by various mobiles, and if Sky could have switched to live at this moment they would surely have made a fortune. Indeed, in ytears to come I'm sure that the number of people who claim "I was there" will probably exceed 1,000. With 9 to win off 4 balls Dave sent down a full delivery. The batsman swung and the ball seemed to hang in the air for an age. It came down to that man again, as Dale held on to the winning catch. Celebrations are still continuing as we speak, and I should just mention that Crompy was also there. It was an historic victory, and the celebrations were shared in some part by Dinting, who sportingly provided a jug of ale after the match. The boys now anxiously await the draw, all hoping for Hayfield in the quarter final!