Ottery St Mary seconds brush aside struggling Bradninch II
10:33 01 August 2014
Cricket history is littered with examples of catastrophic batting collapses triggered by a needless dismissal and so it proved at Salston Field last weekend when lowly visitors, Bradninch appeared to be on course for a large total in their contest with Ottery St Mary 2nd XI, writes Ian Townsend.
The Mid-Devon side had got away to a rapid 66-run start before the dangerous looking Bryn Jones called his partner for a suicidal single and was run out by half the length of the pitch. After the remaining eight wickets crumbled for just 45 runs, the Otters cruised to an easy victory.
Openers Jones and Mark Ashplant (15) took advantage of some poorly directed opening bowling, particularly from occasional bowler, Billy Reed, to post a rapid 62-run stand in 14 overs before the introduction of Keith Biggs (3-28) applied the brakes. Ashplant (15) failed to get over a drive to be pouched by Zac Johns at mid-off and, after the aforementioned run out ended Jones’s classy-looking knock at 36 (six fours), the evergreen seamer promptly claimed two more scalps. Bill Leathes (2) fell to a fine diving catch by former skipper, Gavin Iley at mid-off and Joss Putt played around a full ball to be castled for a duck. The visitors’ middle order was showing an alarming lack of application. After a couple of lusty blows, Matt Hartshorn (10) offered no shot to Rich Reed to be trapped lbw, then Eden Roth and Craig Hawkins (13) both found the safe hands of Billy Reed at deep mid-wicket off the teasing left arm spin of Duncan Bradshaw-Smith.
The youngster was flighting the ball beautifully and in partnership with Johns, who was bowling with genuine ‘zip’, he ensured that runs virtually dried up.
Mark Perrott (14) was bowled by a ‘jaffa’ to give Bradshaw-Smith (3-8) his third victim before Johns (2-3) deservedly wrapped up the innings with two late scalps.
Youngster, Will Birley (1) prodded tentatively to silly mid-off where skipper Rick Jackson held on before a timid-looking Phil Chapell (0) was beaten for pace and bowled.
One-hundred-and-eleven all out represented a pitiful total on a good batting track.
Richard Kitzinger was a man in a hurry as the Otters replied, racing to 14 before edging a wide, lifting delivery behind off Roth.
Billy Reed and Jackson (23) kept things moving with a useful 33-run stand before the latter presented the teasing Perrott with a return catch.
Billy Reed, however, was beginning to prosper. After a barren spell in the 1st XI, the 17-year-old began to unfurl some trademark flourishing drives and, with Trevor Griffin looking in typically pugnacious mood, runs began to flow. Reed (46no) despatched Perrott for three successive fours before launching the spinner for a big six over square leg and when Griffin clipped Roth for two delightful boundaries through midwicket, the Otters were almost home.
The wicketkeeper-batsman then lifted Birley for six over mid-wicket to finish unbeaten on 32 as the home side cantered to a maximum point’s victory with a full 18 overs to spare.
Bradninch 111 (B Jones 36, D Bradshaw-Smith 3-8, K Biggs 3-28, Z.Johns 2-3) Ottery St Mary 117-2 (B Reed 46*, T Griffin 32*, R Jackson 23) Ottery St Mary (22pts) bt Bradninch (2pts) by 8 wkts.