A CULTURED unbeaten innings of 56 from Zach Bess led Sidmouth 2nd XI away from a perilous position to record a six-wicket victory away to Exmouth and stay top of their division, writes Fionn Wardrop.
Chasing a low target of 83 on a green wicket, Sidmouth got off to their worst start in recent memory as first Matt Hewer was bowled by a beauty from Matt Tarry and then Jamie Wardrop and Saj Patidar were clean bowled by Sean Butler to leave the visitors staggering at 2-3.
Bess began the repair job with Robbie Powell who made a dogged and important 12 runs; an innings all the more impressive as he had to rush out and bat ahead of Dec Lines who had failed to get ready in time during the flurry of wickets.
This pair added 40 before Powell was lbw to Tarry and this time Lines was ready, joining Bess to add the remaining 47 runs without alarm.
Earlier in the day Sidmouth had also made a shoddy start to their bowling, gifting Exmouth several wides and four balls before a double change of bowling saw Zach Bess and Fionn Wardrop restore calm and reduce Exmouth from a comfortable position to 52-3.
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Leading the run scoring for Exmouth was their skipper, Stuart Rintoul, who made a classy 32 before mis-pulling Wardrop to Zach Bess at mid-wicket. In the unlikely event that Bess had dropped the ball it wouldn’t have mattered because Rintoul then stumbled backwards and dislodged a bail in a manner reminiscent of the famous “leg-over” dismissal of Ian Botham, immortalised in giggles by Aggers and Johnners.
When the Exmouth score had advanced to 72, Nick Mansfield returned to the attack and clean bowled the dangerous Richard Arnold. From there Exmouth completely folded as Mansfield, 4-19, and Charlie Dibble, 3-5, ran through a rather long looking tail.
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All of Sidmouth’s catches were taken by Besses as Zach and Dom Bess held two apiece, the pick of which was a sharp effort at second slip by Dom.