Thursday, August 15, 2013
An all too frequent frustration for Ottery St Mary 1st XI during the current campaign has been their inability to get all facets of their game functioning well in unison, writes Ian Townsend.
Last weekend’s disappointing home defeat at the hands of struggling Clyst St George was a case in point.
Having delivered a sound bowling and fielding display to restrict the visitors to a slightly below par score, with the notable exception of Sam Tennant, the Ottery batsmen collectively lacked the application to chase down a total which should have been well within their compass.
The contest began brightly for the Otters as John Meredith (6) dragged a Will Harrison delivery onto his stumps and Sam Cooper (1) nicked Dave Richardson behind to Jack Pritchard to leave Clyst at 20-2. Giant seamer Rob Johns (2-28) then produced a typically accurate spell to maintain the pressure as Matt Cook (3) edged an out swinger behind and Pete Andrews (9) failed to get over a drive to be held by Alex Thurgate at mid-off. Young off-spinner Matt Reed was also bowling well and produced a sharply turning off break to trap the dangerous Chris Cook (24) lbw, although the impact appeared rather high. However, remaining opener Chris Ferro was batting solidly, and, in the company of wristy Indian, Lucky Bandhu, a crucial 49 runs were added for the sixth wicket. Bandhu (34 with five fours) produced some lovely shots before a fine over from Reed (2-38) culminated with him pouching a return catch. Ferro’s long vigil (38 from 109 balls) ended as he hit across a .James Faulkner delivery to be trapped lbw. From 137-7, Clyst were boosted by a useful late stand between Dan Takle (13) and James McGregor (23*), but 186-8 looked to be eminently gettable.
Ottery were given a great start in reply as Tennant and Dan Flower (15) took advantage of some loose bowling to add 48 in just seven overs. However, after wily old off spinner Chris Cook beat Flower’s tentative forward prod to trap him lbw, the rot set in. Faulkner (3) edged the same bowler to slip and star batsman Jack Pritchard (11) slapped a Johnson full toss straight to Cooper at mid-wicket.
Without addition to the score, despite an apparent inside edge, vice-captain Lewis Townsend (0) was adjudged lbw as the Otters subsided to 77-4. The crisis deepened a Thurgate (0) played across the line to edge Ferro behind to Meredith and skipper Jody Clements (1) slashed the same bowler to point, although Tennant reached a fine half century, punctuated by some excellent drives, from 80 balls.
The 100 arrived in the 25th over, but the wickets continued to fall as Johns (7) was run out and Reed bowled (1) by Ferro whose 3-19 completed an excellent all-round performance.
When a crazy run out terminated Tennant’s fine knock at 65, the Otters’ last hope had gone and, sure enough, shortly afterwards it was curtains for the home side as yet another run out accounted for last man Harrison (0).
Clyst St George 186-8 (C Ferro 38, L Bandhu 34, C Cook 24, J McGregor 23*, R Johns 2-28, M Reed 2-38) Ottery St Mary 138 (S Tennant 65, C Ferro 3-19, C Cook 2-24, M Johnson 2-26). Clyst St George (19pts) bt Ottery St Mary (6pts) by 48 runs.