Dafen squeak home in breathless finish
Mumbles, last season's Premier League runner up, visited Dafen Park on Sunday in the second round of the Welsh Cup. Both sides featured a few changes from the league teams of the day before. The pitch was bone dry, hard and crumbly looking likely to offer spinners help and to make chasing in the second innings a challenge. Dafen skipper Matthew Evans was therefore disappointed to lose the toss and be asked to bowl first.
Where yesterday had featured a father and son pairing for Dafen in Chris and Jonny Randall, this time it was father for Dafen (Chris Hudson) and his son for Mumbles (Ieuan Rosser). Rosser opened for Mumbles as did Hudson for Dafen, but the contest did not last long as Evans bowled Rosser with a nip-backer that hinted at the help on offer. Alex Griffiths flickered briefly before being defeated by prodigious turn from Hudson. When the same bowler caught and bowled Daniel Roberts Mumbles had lost three top batsmen for only 32 runs. Wickets continued to fall with only Ben Francis' 52 offering determined resistance. The introduction of Aamir Ikram's leg spin brought him three wickets as the innings limped along, wickets also fell to youngsters Ciaran Latham and Tom Lavender. It closed after 37 overs on 139 all out.
This was not a big score, but defendable on such a wicket which was crumbling with each ball. Though Evans fell early the dependable pairing of Dafydd Nicholas and Nicky Davies steadied the ship before Nicholas was taken at gully. This brought Chris Davies to the crease, fresh as a daisy from his half century the day before for the seconds. They put on 64 runs in increasingly confident fashion, particularly for Davies who played the shots of the day with a cover drive boundary and straight six. Meanwhile Mumbles were searching for the breakthrough, rotating the bowlers looking for an opening. It came when Ryan Wiltshire induced Davies (N) to cut straight to extra cover: 110-3. Then followed a succession of wickets to the teenage bowlers Wiltshire and Luke Brown. 6 fell for 16 runs and 7 for 28 as 110 for 2 became 138-9. When Dan Vaughan was out this brought last man Latham to the wicket, he survived the two remaining balls of the over. Dafen supporters breathed a sigh of relief before cheering loudly as Hudson biffed a four over long on to secure victory by one wicket.
Swansea or Skewen await in the next round.
Taliesin - 10/06/2013
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