Devonshire Recreation Club’s Allan Douglas struck a 16-ball half-century and captain Chris Dailey took a hat-trick in a five-wicket haul during a thrilling Central Counties second-round clash on Saturday.
However, it still was not enough as Evening League-side Tuff Dogs produced a second straight upset in the competition at Devonshire Rec after handing their One First Division opponents a 29-run defeat.
The holders scored 194 all out in 42.4 overs after electing to bat and then skittled challengers Devonshire for 165 in 29.5 overs.
Much of Tuff Dogs’ victory hopes hinged upon containing explosive cousins and guest players Allan and Chris Douglas during Devonshire’s reply.
Early order batsman Chris Douglas led a recovery after the home side lost openers Tarik Jennings and Dailey cheaply as he added 49 runs for the third wicket with Sean DeGraff.
But the game turned sharply when Douglas fell to a contentious leg-before decision to spinner Arnold Manders for 36 to ignite a slide that saw five wickets fall for 34 runs in six overs.
Allan Douglas, the last of the recognised batsmen, steadied the ship with a powerful display and dominated partnerships of 16 with wicketkeeper Freeman Lema, 17 with Levarr Talbot and 33 with Ajai Daniels.
But the match all but ended as a contest when spinner Derrick Brangman was brought back into the attack for a second spell and claimed the prized scalp of Douglas, who was bowled sweeping across the line after belting 53 from 21 balls that included six sixes and two fours.
Tuff Dogs completed their victory in dramatic fashion when last man Bevar Carr was run out by Manders’s direct throw after adding 23 runs with Daniels, who remained unbeaten with a run a ball 26.
“Chris’s lbw was big because he never looked like getting out and then of course Allan, who at one point we thought was going to win the game on his own, was just beating the ball like he does,” Terrence Corday, the Tuff Dogs captain, said.
“But bringing Derrick back on the ball, and that’s what he’s in the team for, turned out to be a good decision and was probably the turning point in the game.”
Dumferd Davis, the opening bowler, led the Tuff Dogs attack with three for 48 while guest players Jordan DeSilva had two for 31 and Brangman two for 55.
Earlier, solid knocks from DeSilva and wicketkeeper Dean Minors gave Tuff Dogs enough runs to defend. DeSilva scored a game high 58 from 60 balls and Minors 46 from 58 balls.
DeSilva led a fightback after Tuff Dogs were reduced to two for two in the space of six balls.
He added 46 runs with Gary Ray to halt Devonshire’s momentum and also featured in another useful stand of 39 with Brangman before he was the fifth wicket to fall. DeSilva, who was dropped on 21, struck three sixes and four fours and reached his fifty off 42 balls.
Devonshire made further inroads after Brangman and Manders were dismissed in the space of eight overs.
But a disciplined innings by Minors carried Tuff Dogs to a total that proved beyond Devonshire’s reach.
The former St George’s and Bermuda player, who survived a confident leg-before appeal by spinner Chris Douglas, struck three sixes and four fours during his 68-minute innings and dominated a 45-run eight-wicket partnership with Davis that proved invaluable in the end.
Tuff Dogs were 194 for seven but lost their remaining wickets with no addition to the score as Dailey removed Minors, Justin Barritt and last man Davis with successive balls to finish with figures of five for 30.
He was assisted by opening bowler Jodie Maronie who took three for 37.
“I didn’t think we had enough runs with the likes of Chris and Allan Douglas on their team and I think we finished probably 30 runs short,” Corday said. “We had 15 overs left at 170-odd with some decent bats left I thought we might be able to post 230 and, of course, we ended up collapsing with three wickets in that one over. But we got through some difficult times after losing two early wickets.”
Tuff Dogs will face North Village in the final round on June 23, assuring that an Evening League side will be crowned Central Counties champions for the first time in history.