Dinton still top despite shock Harefield loss

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Dinton maintain a slim three-point lead over rivals Cove at the top of the Home Counties Premier Division Two West despite losing to mid-table Harefield.

They lost Rob King (two) early; Ollie Richards taking a smart low catch but the dependable Lee Marland seemed unflustered with the seaming wicket or losing his opening partner, crashing two fours through the covers in the second over.

Marland and Gough then steadied the innings batting patiently, Marland punishing anything loose.

Dinton reached 62-1 from 16 overs, Marland on 43 closing in on another landmark, Gough a on a watchful 14.

Reaching 94-2 from 32 overs it seemed Dinton were set to kick on but off spinner Dale Morris (4-46) and partner Mluleki Nkala (5-58) found some useful seam. Dinton struggled to score freely and find momentum, losing regular wickets to end on 159 all out.

Nheem Amin produced a wonderful inswing ball to remove Simon Macey for a duck to get Dinton going after the turnaround. Shakil Ahmed reduced Harefield to 64-5 and it looked as though Dinton could grab the win, but Luc Baldwin kept the innings together. Assisted by a quick cameo of 15 from Dan Evans, Harefield got home in 45.3 overs and three wickets in hand.