Gibbins plays a captain’s knock to guide Dinton home

Alister Gibbins
Alister Gibbins

A superb unbeaten 97 from captain Alister Gibbins saw Dinton claim a tense three-wicket victory over Gerrards Cross in their third match in Division Two of the Home Counties Premier League.

After winning the toss and electing to field, the Hermits bowled tightly without much luck until Saif Zaib (3-36) snapped up two quick wickets before the halfway mark.

With Kelvin Burrows (1-40) and 16-year-old Will Fisher (1-17) also picking up wickets, Gerrards slumped to 87-4 and were under pressure to accelerate the innings.

However, a 100-run partnership between Alistair Birkby (77) and Jamie Hoddle (37) restored the match to an even keel, before the the visitors finally finishing their innings on 222-6, giving them a competitive target to defend.

The Dinton reply again started brightly but with the score on 28, the wheels fell off their chase. Hoddle (3-24) bowled an inspired spell of swing bowling to snare three of the top four batsmen and it was left to Dinton’s two Australians, Brian Sanders (37) and captain Alister Gibbins, to rebuild the innings.

But once again Dinton lost wickets in quick succession and after Sanders fell to the off spin of Joseph Bracey (3-30), The Hermits collapsed to 110-7 and were staring down the barrel of two disappointing losses in a row.

However, skipper Gibbins had other ideas, as did Nheem Amin (31 not out), and the duo pulled off a stunning turnaround. Targeting the medium pace bowling, both batsman did not show signs of panic and reeled in the score with nine balls to spare to complete a memorable victory.

Gibbins, who finished just short of a century on 97, said afterwards: “We shouldn’t have won this game after that start with the bat. I thought we did well in the field, 222 is about 40 short at this ground.

“But the groups of wickets is a problem for us at the moment. I have challenged the players to arrest the trend this week and hopefully we can display what we are really about in the coming matches.”

Dinton, who are third in Division Two of the HCPL, have a double-header this weekend. On Saturday, they host Amersham in the league before going to Bledlow Village to play in the regional semi-finals of the National Village Cup, starting at 1pm on Sunday.