Friday, April 25, 2014
Sidmouth went down by three wickets in a pre-season friendly at hosts Bath CC.
The difference between the reigning West of England Premier Division champions and Sidmouth in a well-contested 50-over match was Alex Barrow.
The Somerset player struck an imperious 106 from the opening slot to set up his side’s three wicket win, sealed with four overs remaining.
Before and after Bath Rugby’s match against Worcester Warriors, played across the road from the impressive North Parade ground, there was a big crowd watching the cricket.
They saw Josh Bess and Liam Lewis put on 72 for the visitors’ first wicket before a miscued pull saw the latter caught in front of square leg.
Bess and Anthony Griffiths added 76 for the second wicket but both departed within two runs to leave new batsmen Will Sobczak and Peter Randerson the task of rebuilding and accelerating the run rate.
Randerson perished, but Sobczak struck some fine shots and lusty blows – one clearing the pavilion – in his 26. His cameo was eclipsed by Luke Bess who hit the shot of the match, a back foot straight drive out of the ground, as he raced to an impressive half century and got his side to 261-7.
There were early breakthroughs for Josh Bess’s pace when Bath batted, a diving Charlie Milesholding on to a fierce on drive to put the home side at 37-2. Despite these wickets, runs were flowing easily as Barrow showed his pedigree and found a willing partner in Tim Rouse. They put on 153, with bowlers regularly being hit for 10 and more an over. They were parted when Sobczak snared Rouse leg before wicket for 71 and Barrow followed 20 runs later, lofting a drive off Will Murray to Will Gater.
This provided Sidmouth with some hope at 218-4 and from here Bath stuttered across the line as wickets started to fall. However, the partnership between Barrow and Rouse meant there was no time pressure on the later home batsmen.
Bess bowled a full 10-over stint at pace to take 4-57 with Murray the most economical Sidmouth bowler with 1-43 in his 10. Miles, who suffered at the hands of Barrow and Rouse in his first three-over spell, returned later to regain some respect and take a wicket.