Rotheram shines on dreary day as Datchworth dump Dunstable
- Credit: WILL NASH/DATCHWORTH CC
A superb performance with both ball and bat from Ben Rotheram put the icing on a very pleasing day for Datchworth Cricket Club as they battled to victory over Dunstable seconds in Herts Cricket League Division Three A.
The day started very early for some, up at 6am to help remove water from the square and outfield, while it was also a day that highlighted the club's strength in depth.
Datchworth skipper Steve Gregory didn't hesitate to choose to bowl first after winning the toss but without key parts of his seam attack, he was leaning heavily on Steve Stroomer, Tom Butler and Michael Fisher to lead the offence.
But the trio all struggled to find consistency and Dunstable were moving along quite nicely with Lee Pratt (59) and Ben Adamson (33) punishing any loose ball.
They were on 112-1 before Tom Bennett picked up the key wicket of Pratt before a series of running mishaps, one a direct hit from the floor by Gregory, threw a spanner in the works.
The run-outs coincided with the introduction of Rotheram and his first over of leg spin brought a first wicket for the club to reduce the visitors to 136-5.
And he would go through the rest of the order with as much success, finishing with 5-22, although Dunstable's final score of 189 was still competitive.
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In reply Datchworth were in trouble at 71-5 but by this point Rotheram had strode to the crease for part two of his hit show.
And ably assisted with good grinding innings' from both Dean Jones and Gary Hitch, Rotheram didn't look in trouble from ball one, working the field and putting away the bad balls.
A 90-run seventh-wicket partnership followed with Hitch until Rotheram was finally out for a fantastic 83.
He'd rode his luck slightly late on, one lofted drive fumbled over the rope for six, but his departure left just nine runs to get, and Hitch and Nitin Sahni guided Datch home with over three wickets and five overs to spare.
It was Datchworth's third win on the bounce and lifts them up to fifth, just two points behind second-placed Letchworth in an increasingly tight division.