Joe Totterdell reports from Dingle at 4s get their first win of the season:
The 4s arrived at the Dingle second pitch determined to bounce back from an unfortunate defeat against Solent last week. After an interesting team photo where Cubitt was the sole purchaser of a hard copy, Captain Bruce made the brave, but at the time controversial, decision to lose the toss and allow the opposition to bat first. The skipper followed this by organising some catching drills, which later turned out to be an excellent decision.
The Exeter openers arrived to the middle noticeably shaken by our perfect display in the warm up and were fairly respectful of the unpredictable nature of the Dingle wicket. Moreau and Harris opened up and were unlucky not to make an early breakthrough, bowling testing lines and not giving the batsmen much to work with. However with the score on around 50 Moreau cleverly dug in a slower ball bouncer, deceiving the batsman, who was through his shot before the ball had even pitched and caught him in the stomach, before cannoning on to the stumps. It wasn’t long before the second opener followed him back, after having played a few nice strokes on his way to 43. This was Trivedi’s first wicket of the day, caught off a glove which then deflected off Willey’s foot to be snapped up by South. It signalled the start of a historical spell of bowling, aswell as the start of what turned out to be the Exeter tail. The next 8 wickets went on to fall with relative ease, Trivedi taking 5 of them in an outstanding spell of medium pace bowling to end up with figures of 6-32. He was backed up by some top quality grabs in the covers by Roy and a take at point from Cubitt who seemed to defy gravity as he lept to his left to pluck the ball out the air. Editors Note: In my opinion this was a very average grab, massively overdramatised by Cubitt - shock. The only resistance from their lower order came from their captain, Stevie Wonder, who despite his unorthodox technique and rogue use of sunglasses while batting, managed to carve a few boundaries. His confidence was so high at one point he turned to Willey behind the stumps and returned some defiant chat. Eventually we broke through his defences before South joined the party with a couple of well-deserved wickets. Exeter finished on 133 all out, an easy chase for a batting order of our quality.
As we’d knocked them over so quickly, tea wasn’t ready yet, so Totterdell and Moreau headed out to negotiate a tricky spell of about 7 overs. Moreau took a more aggressive role, carving a few boundaries over the off side amongst some very questionable chat from their big no.11 to bring the score onto 40-0.
The team left the field for tea with a spring in their steps, after a thoroughly convincing display in all departments so far. This excitement started to die down a bit as the boys headed up the Dingle pavilion stairs, expecting the standard 4s tea of mediocre sandwiches. However, as the food came in to view, sandwiches were nowhere to be seen and what appeared to be chilli and rice was in their place. Was this some kind of cruel trick? The idea that we may have been mistaken for the 1s was whispered amongst the team as we stood, shell-shocked in the queue. This would’ve been an easy mistake to make if they’d been watching the ease with which we took our catches. But no, the chilli was meant for us, and there were no complaints whatsoever, despite an interesting vegetarian option of chips.
Rejuvenated by the chilli, Totterdell and Moreau headed back out to the crease, keen to build on the solid pre-tea platform. It wasn’t long before slower bowlers were introduced into the Exeter attack and this seemed to work for the opposition. Totterdell was caught at slip from a ball that nipped off the wicket dangerously and shortly after, Moreau was unfortunate to pick out a fielder on the cut to fall for a well-made 31. The spinner appeared to be their best bowler and he bowled South in the next over, with the dangerous left hander unable to replicate the fireworks of last week. This brought the score on to 42-3 and with Exeter believing they now had a sniff, Fletcher and Roy needed to dig in and play sensibly for the next few overs. The two batsmen had a short chat, clearly the main message being nothing too risky until they’ve got used to the pitch. Consequently, the next ball faced, which happened to be Roy’s first, resulted in a huge across-the-line “slog sweep” straight up in the air. Thankfully the Exeter hands weren’t as safe as ours and it was put down, while Roy managed to run to the non-striker’s end and back. After this brief wobble, Roy and Fletcher dug in and built a strong partnership containing some lovely strokes from both batsmen. The highlight probably being Fletcher’s six over mid-on. Fletcher eventually fell for a solid 34 which brought Harris in to finish it off with 3 beautiful consecutive boundaries, including his signature pull shot. Roy finished on 38 not out. This rounded off a top all-round performance from the boys and a great platform to build on for the second half of the season.
Chai Pani DOTD:Joe Totterdell for making a hash of two diving stops on the boundary.
Bath Ales MOTM:Rishi Trevadi for his incredible bowling performance.