Brilliant Dinton on verge of dream Lord’s final

Ash Smith celebrates after taking the winning catch. Pictures by Alastair Crowe
Ash Smith celebrates after taking the winning catch. Pictures by Alastair Crowe

Dinton Cricket Club are on the verge of an historic Lord’s final after they won through to the semi-finals of the National Village Cup for the second year running.

Dinton, up against Reed CC of Hertfordshire in a rearranged quarter-final tie, chose to bat first in front of a good home crowd on a sweltering Sunday afternoon as skipper Tim Brooker won the toss.

Promoted up the order to open the batting, Alan Massey took the game to the 2012 champions from ball one. With powerful hitting and excellent running, Massey (42) and Ash Smith (37) put on 76 for the first wicket to help Dinton make a flying start and put the visitors under pressure.

Reed responded well, however, and took four wickets in as many overs to reduce the home side to 87-4.

This brought Henry Woodward and Neil Roberts together and they set about the task of rebuilding the innings. Their partnership of 123 in 17 overs completely transformed the match and swung the momentum towards the hosts as Woodward made a classy 50 and Roberts took the bowling apart, making 87, before some big late hitting took the Dinton total to an imposing 248.

In reply, Faisal Ali struck in his first over to claim the key wicket of Reed skipper James Heslam. Good contributions through the order kept the visitors in the game and Dinton had to battle hard to stay on top, but three wickets apiece for Nheem Amin and Kelvin Burrows, plus an excellent spell of two wickets for only 30 runs by Alan Massey put Dinton on the brink of victory.

Reed refused to give in, though, and Cooper, batting at number 10, smashed 31 in no time to bring the visitors back into the game, but it took a full length diving catch on the boundary by Ash Smith to finally seal the victory and book Dinton’s place in the semi-finals for a second year in a row.

The semi-final takes place this Sunday, August 3, against Great Tew from Oxfordshire. The game starts at 1pm and the club are hoping to attract a large home crowd so anyone can go down and support Dinton as they attempt to reach a Lord’s final for the first time in the club’s 93-year history.

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