Fired up by Fletcher
PUBLISHED: 14:14 24 August 2012
Ottery 1st XI, playing away, were on the receiving end of a blistering innings from Kingsbridge skipper James Fletcher, writes Alex Clements.
Having won the toss and chosen to bowl first on a pitch that looked damp, the Otters were soon to find out the pitch was lifeless which made batting comfortable and bowling tricky.
In a game reduced to 44 overs per side, Kingsbridge were given a fine start as James Westlake, along with skipper Fletcher took advantage of wayward bowling and average fielding to put on a mammoth 167 for the opening partnership.
The breakthrough came when Westlake (76) top edged a Zac Johns’ delivery to Sam Loud who held a good catch at short third man.
Fletcher carried on the onslaught and, despite losing Bhanu de Silva for just 5, the home skipper reached his 100 off just 107 balls. A few more quick wickets fell as Richard Carr (23) and Chris Bowles (5) holed out in the deep trying to up the run rate. Ottery had a difficult day in the field. Fletcher finally fell on 155 to another good catch in the deep by Sam Tennant from a Rob Johns’ slower ball.
Kingsbridge finished their allotted overs on an impressive 330-5, the Ottery bowlers all taking some serious punishment with Rob Johns (2-80) coming off with the most respectable figures.
Ottery were given a solid start by Sam Tennant and Dan Flower as they compiled a partnership of 87, the latter looking especially strong on the back foot as runs flowed freely.
However, the introduction of leg spinner de Silva soon ended the opening stand as Flower played on for a well-made 43. A succession of quick wickets followed as Tennant (40) edged behind to Thomas and Loud played around a full delivery and was bowled by Hardy for 1.
Run scoring became harder as the ball began to move off the pitch and the Kingsbridge spinners found some sharp turn and bounce. Alex Clements and Jack Pritchard rebuilt the innings with a careful partnership of 46, both playing in their own idiosyncratic styles.
Clements (19) soon departed, aiming to increase the run rate when he top edged a well-flighted delivery to cover. Pritchard (35) soon followed when he flicked a ball to Carr at square leg off the bowling of Neal Peach. Despite some late cameos from Jody Clements (19), Rick Jackson (21) and Sam Lynch (9), Ottery finished their allotted overs on 216-8 - just four runs short of the target for the losing draw points.
●Francis Clark Devon League 1st XI C Division: Kingsbridge 330-5 (J Fletcher 155, J Westlake 76, D Hardy 33*, R Johns 2-80, Z Johns 2-94) Ottery 216-8 (D Flower 43, S Tennant 40, J Pritchard 35, B de Silva 4-51) Kingsbridge (17pts) bt Ottery St Mary (7pts) by 114 runs.
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