Thursday, July 17, 2014
The long trip to the South Hams to face struggling Kingsbridge last weekend saw Ottery St Mary 1st XI continue their recent good form as they cruised to a straightforward victory in a contest truncated by persistent drizzle, writes Ian Townsend.
A fine innings from star batsman Jack Pritchard, coupled with a typically explosive contribution from all-rounder Rob Crabb, boosted the visitors to a big total which was always going to be out of reach for their relegation-threatened hosts.
Having been inserted, despite the early loss of Billy Reed (11) and Mickey Wilkinson (16) to experienced home seamer, Neil Peach, the Otters were boosted by skipper Lewis Townsend, batting solidly in an unfamiliar sheet anchor role, and Pritchard as the duo added 72 runs in 16 overs before Townsend (47 with seven fours) played against the spin of Bahnu De Silva to give a leading edge to James Ellis. The same combination accounted for Billy Rudolph (1) but this brought Crabb to the wicket and the powerful left hander announced his intentions by despatching his first three deliveries for boundaries. This proved to be the signal for a veritable orgy of stroke play as 118 runs were then added in just 11 overs. Crabb played with characteristic power as he blasted his way to 71 from just 33 deliveries (ten fours and two sixes) before being bowled by James Rosewarne (1-75) whose last four overs went for 42 runs! Pritchard, meanwhile, was playing in typically wristy, controlled fashion, stroking nine fours and four effortless sixes in a classy 85 before falling to a catch by Rosewarne off the excellent De Silva (4-32). A rapid late innings 21 not out from Alex Thurgate lifted the Otters to an impressive 283-7.
Tight opening bowling from Rudolph (1-13 from six overs) and Will Harrison (2-32) set the tone for the Kings’ reply as the score limped to 36-3 from the opening 14 overs. Rudolph was rewarded with the early scalp of James Westlake (13), caught by fellow 15 year old and 1st XI debutant, Harry Conway, whilst Harrison bowled De Silva (4) then trapped Ellis (10) lbw. Will Matthewman and Alex Browne put up spirited resistance to add 71 in 15 overs but the hosts were slipping hopelessly behind the clock as spinners Thurgate and Matt Reed bowled with impressive control. Deriving considerable bounce and turn from a helpful surface, Thurgate removed Browne (31), courtesy of another Conway catch, then trapped Will Dorey (5) lbw to leave Kingsbridge at 116-5 whereupon continual drizzle caused the umpires to abandon the contest, handing the visitors victory due to their vastly superior run rate. Thurgate returned 2-9 from five impressive overs whilst Matthewman remained unbeaten with a stubborn 37 from 75 balls faced.
Ottery St Mary 283-7 (J Pritchard 85, R Crabb 71, L Townsend 47, A Thurgate 21*, B De Silva 4-32, N Peach 2-58) Kingsbridge 116-5 (W Matthewman 37*, A Browne 31, A Thurgate 2-9, W Harrison 2-32). Ottery St Mary (17pts) bt Kingsbridge (4pts) on run rate.