Wednesday, May 7, 2014
DEVON will be hoping James Burke is passed fit to open the batting against Dorset at Sidmouth on Sunday (11am) to avoid any more disruption to the side, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Budleigh batsman Burke went lame while fielding against Cornwall in Devon’s seven-wicket win at Truro on Sunday, which put them joint top of the Unicorns Trophy qualifying table.
Cornwall were all out for 155 with two overs to go, a target Devon knocked off comfortably after openers Liam Lewis (67) and Rob Woodman (28) got them up to 100 without loss.
Woodman can’t play against Dorset due to work commitments, which means finding a new partner to open up with Sidmouth’s in-form batter Lewis.
Burke, who bats at three for Devon, has plenty of experience opening up and would be the natural choice.
So if Burke drops out Devon have to find an opener and someone to go in first wicket down.
Burke could stay at three with someone else promoted past him, but, in or out, he may not be fit to bowl, which presents a further headache for the team management.
Those potential problems are reflected in the 13-man squad named for the Dorset match, one Devon have to win to stay in contention for a top-two qualifying place.
Seamer Scott Barlow returns to the squad – he missed the win in Cornwall – with batter Matt Golding added to make 13.
“We have had a pretty clear idea what sort of side we want for the cup games, but if James doesn’t play we have to have another look,” said director of cricket Keith Donohue.
“Burkie would be one of our five bowlers so we need to replace those overs from somewhere.
“There are plenty of batsmen in the side and we aren’t short of options to open. Sandy Allen has done it before for Devon.
“Without James we are a bowler down and that means we will have to change the make-up of the side.
“Charlie Miles stays in as an off-spin option if we need one on the day.
“James will be having physio during the week and after he has had some treatment we should know what our options are.”
The win over Cornwall put Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire level on two points each after two rounds of fixtures. Dorset and Wiltshire have played a game fewer.
A win will put Devon in a strong position to qualify. A win or a rain-off will leave them hoping for favours.
Cornwall struggled against the seaming ball at Truro with Trevor Anning finishing with three for 16 from 10 mean overs. Josh Bess and Ryan Bougourd had two wickets each.
Lewis and Woodman went off at pace and Cornish heads started to drop as Lewis smashed the bowling round the park.
Woodman was caught at mid-off and Lewis went on 120 to an lbw call. Matt Thompson made 24 and looked like batting through when he guided a wayward ball from Kelvin Snell to cover-point. Bess and Rhys Davies jogged off the last six needed for victory.
Devon v Dorset (from): L J Lewis (Sidmouth), J E Burke (Budleigh Salterton), M W Thompson (Torquay), J J Bess (Sidmouth), D F Lye (Exmouth), R H Davies (Twickenham/Tavistock), G R Chappell, T S Anning, A P W Allen (all Exmouth), M C Golding, R J Bougourd (both Bovey Tracey), C L Miles, S Barlow (both Sidmouth).
Umpires: T F Boston and S F Bishop.