Cooke roasts Exeter with superb innings

Sidmouth action from T20 ARea Finals Day

Sidmouth action from T20 ARea Finals Day - Credit: Archant

Sidmouth completed the first half of the Tolchards Devon League season with a 129-run victory over Exeter at their County Ground home.

Sidmouth skipper Will Murray won the toss and did not hesitate to bat first. Matt Cooke and Liam Lewis got proceedings underway and wasted no time in imposing themselves on the Exeter bowling rifling 89 runs off the first 10 overs.

Lewis fell first, out for a run-a-ball 33 and next man in was young Harvey Sargent who added a further 69 with Cooke in just under 16 overs before the teenager was returned to the dressing rooms for 25 with the score 168-2 and 24 overs still to be bowled! Jake Fawcett was batsman number four, but he was only in a short time for 11. The fifth wicket to fall was that of Cooke, dismissed agonisingly close to his maiden league century for the Fortfield men. In a 128 minute stay at the crease he faced 103 balls and scored 97 hitting a dozen fours and three sixes.

Pete Randerson (35), Anthony Griffiths (21), Josh Bess (25) and Dan Powell (22) all chipped in with quick runs late on and Sidmouth were able to troop off with a commanding 307-8 at tea.

Given that Sidmouth had been 89-0 after ten overs, it’s a measure of the hold they kept on the contest from first ball to last that Exeter, after ten overs, were a troubled 22-2!

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Andrew Mathieson – who seven days before had been bowling for New Zealand against England – showed his class with a display of seriously fast, disciplined bowling, that saw him return figures of 1-11 from 8.4 overs. Josh Bess claimed 4-26 from six overs and also sent his brother Zac back with the home opener caught behind by Dan Powell, this one of three catches for the glovesman.

Charlie Miles spun his way to a four wicket haul and the other two wickets fell to Mathieson and Lewis.

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A full house of 20 points sees Murray’s men sitting fourth at the midway stage of the campaign, 18 points shy of leaders North Devon.

On Saturday Sidmouth entertain basement dwellers Plympton.

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