Thursday, May 22, 2014
Ottery St Mary 1st XI’s topsy-turvy opening to the new league campaign continued as they slid to a disappointing defeat in the delightful surroundings of Ipplepen Cricket Club, writes Ian Townsend.
New Zealand import, Caleb Gaylard took full advantage of poor bowling at the death to blast a sensational century from just 54 balls ensuring that the South Devon outfit posted a near 300 run total which proved to be well beyond the visitors.
And yet it all began so well for the Otters. Very tight bowling from pacemen Will Harrison and Jody Clements saw the total crawl to just nine from the opening eight overs and although bowling changes then saw the scoring rate increase, a succession of home batsmen contrived to fall on their swords against the erratic leg spin of new signing, Mickey Wilkinson (4-38). First Adam Peters (30) pulled a full toss to deep midwicket where Clements held a fine catch, then Tom Dyer (9) was bowled by a very short ball, Dave Harris (16) was smartly stumped by Jack Pritchard as he swung at a wide and finally Sam De Friend (1) miscued a high full toss to Rob Crabb at midwicket. However, from 98-4 the home side recovered brilliantly. Opener Matt Nicholls reached an accomplished 50 (seven fours) and runs began to flow as the Ottery bowlers tired in the heat. Gaylard played expansively from the off and his partnership with Nicholls passed 100 in just 12 overs. A clipped maximum off Clements took Gaylard past 50 from just 36 balls before Nicholls’s fine knock ended at 89 as he was caught off Harrison. Sadly for the Otters the wheels now totally came off - Gaylard and the brutal Matt Quartley (24no from 10 balls) tucked into a succession of loose deliveries as no less than 122 runs were haemorrhaged from the last 10 overs. Gaylard’s century, reached just before the close, contained eleven fours and six sixes whilst Clements’s 0-35 from nine overs was notable amongst the carnage.
The pacey Gaylard produced a fine delivery to clip Dan Flower’s off stump early in the Otters’ reply but Wilkinson and Sam Tennant then posted a steady 91-run stand. Both batsmen played some fine drives on a good surface as the visitors showed some resistance but, after Wilkinson (50) reached his half century (five fours), the introduction of off spinner Steve Bowden saw the ex-Torquay man bowled aiming a big leg side hit. Pritchard (18) played some pleasing shots before holing out to long-on off Bowden and when Tennant (51 with five fours) fell in similar fashion to Dyer, the writing was on the wall. Bowden removed Billy Reed (0), Lewis Townsend (8) and Billy Rudolph (0) to finish with 5-55 and despite a battling 25 from Crabb, Gaylard’s pace was too much for the lower order as he hit the stumps on a further three occasions to return 4-19 and cap a fine all-round display.
Otters’ skipper, Townsend, afterwards bemoaned his side delivering “a lesson in how not to bowl at the death” and he will know that this was a contest which could have been won had the home total been limited to around 250.
Ipplepen 292-5 (C Gaylard 104*, M Nicholls 89, A Peters 30, M Quartley 24*, M Wilkinson 4-38) Ottery St Mary 202 (S Tennant 51, M Wilkinson 50, R Crabb 25, S Bowden 5-55, C Gaylard 4-19). Ipplepen (20pts) bt Ottery St Mary (7pts) by 90 runs.
Otters Man of the Match – Mickey Wilkinson.