Dafen, host to Dyfed neighbours Carmarthen Wanderers on Saturday, on a hot day, played on a bone dry pitch that helped spin all day.
Dafen won the toss and Matthew Evans elected to bat. Nicky Davies and Jonathan Randell opened and posted a tidy opening stand of 42 in sixteen overs before Randell fell. Then Dafen's most prolific batsmen this year, Davies and Dafydd Nicholas, continued to build towards a substantial total. Boundaries were not plentiful, but the running was rapid as they put on 66 for the second wicket before Nicholas fell for 35.
Though Evans helped Davies to put on another thirty five, the slower bowlers started to turn the screws and peg Dafen back. So where 200+ may have been the ambition at one point, it had to be more modest aspirations in the end. It took the introduction of seam again to boost the total as Gareth Grant went for 39 in 5 overs ot the end. Phil George playing a delightful cameo of 17 in 12 balls. Davies was just short on 96 not out, a great knock. The maiden league fifty will be another day.
In reply Carmarthen lost quick wickets, though the scoring was brisk 60-4 was a perilous position. While wickets were falling Daniel Jones seemed to be on a different wicket quickly moving onto 59. This was not without hiccoughs however and several balls beat the bat and a stumping was only thwarted by the steepling bounce that defeated Dan Vaughan behind the stumps.
By now Dafen's spinners George aan Aamir Ikram were operating and the crucial passage of play unfolded. Grant had joined Jones and made several false strokes, with the ball ballooning over the fielders; no clear cut chances but on another day..........
Chris Hudson replaced George and immediately had Jones taken at the wicket by Vaughan, 120-5 and now it ws game on with Owain Binding in partnership with Grant. Grant took the fight to Dafen with some lusty blows while Binding was stalwart in defence. The bowlers rotated but could not find a way to dismiss either batsmen who put on 65 in 16 overs. That Binding only scored 7 is no shame: it was a crucial knock. Grant became more expansive and the game finished in a clatter of 4's and 6's with Grant also denied a century by the end of the game. He closed on 93 not out and Carmathen won by 5 wickets with 6 overs to spare.
Dafen will be dissappointed to lose of course, but sometimes one team wins rather than another loses; the aggressive innings by Grant was the difference between the sides.
Next week Dafen take on Gowerton across the Llwchwr.
Taliesin - 09/06/2013
Dafen Weather Forecast