Otters canter to easy victory

PUBLISHED: 09:11 14 May 2015 | UPDATED: 09:11 14 May 2015

Archant

Ottery St Mary 1st XI's encouraging start to the new league season continued as they made it two from two with a straightforward win over a weak-looking Barnstaple and Pilton side who, despite a slightly patchy home bowling display, could muster only a modest total, writes Ian Townsend.

Boosted by an excellent opening stand between Billy Rudolph and skipper, Lewis Townsend, the Otters then knocked off the runs with something to spare.

Batting first, Barum got off to a rapid start as makeshift opener, James Thomas took advantage of the fact that, with the notable exception of Rob Johns (1-6 from 6 overs), the early innings Ottery bowling was somewhat erratic. A miss hit pull from Tom Popham (8) off Johns was well pouched by keeper Billy Reed, running towards square leg, but numerous deliveries were offered up into the rustic hitting zone of Thomas who bludgeoned his way to 43 (4 x 4s, 2 x 6s). However, the introduction of Jody Clements and Matt Reed changed the game. Both men were immediately right on the money as three wickets fell with the score on 75. First Thomas lost patience to be bowled by Clements after which Andrew Tapp (8) was beaten and bowled by a beautifully flighted Reed off-break and Brady Saunders (0) was plumb lbw to a Clements nip-backer. Reed soon claimed a second scalp as Lee Cole (10) was well held by Trevor Griffin at deep extra cover before the returning Will Harrison (2-37) claimed the first of two late victims as Shaun Cole (7) sliced to Matt Reed at point. Visiting skipper Steve Moore (30) struck some defiant blows before slicing Clements to Rob Crabb at third man and despite a late cameo from impressive-looking 13 year old, Jack Moore (13*), a closing total of 151-8 looked to be well under par. Clements (3-15 from nine overs) was the pick of the bowlers, excellent support coming from Matt Reed (2-27).

Townsend was a man in a hurry as the Otters replied. With Rudolph supplying typically solid support, regular loose deliveries were powerfully despatched as the score passed 50 in the tenth over. Townsend reached 47 from 41 balls faced (six fours) before he failed to control a square slash off Saunders to be acrobatically pouched by Lee Cole at point. However, at 81-1 the Otters were well set and the prolific Rudolph (44 with six fours) guided the score past 100 in just the 20th over before falling lbw to Robin Lake as he attempted to whip to leg. After a brief lull, Billy Reed (25*) and Crabb (21*) played some fine shots as an unbroken 50-run stand took their side to 152-2 and victory with 12 overs in hand.

Whilst no doubt being fully aware that tougher tests lie ahead, a delighted Otters’ captain afterwards commented: “That was a very professional performance – for the second week running the bowlers showed good discipline and made run scoring difficult. Johnsy was excellent up-front and Jody and Matt bowled really well in the middle overs. The batters finished the job off and I never thought we looked troubled. Great to see Billy Rudolph scoring so well this early in the season.”

Otters Man of the Match – Jody Clements

Barnstaple & Pilton 151-8 (J.Thomas 43, S,Moore 30, J.Clements 3-15, M.Reed 2-27, W.Harrison 2-37) Ottery St Mary 152-2 (L.Townsend 47, B.Rudolph 44, B.Reed 25*, R.Crabb 21*). Ottery St Mary (19pts) bt Barnstaple & Pilton (4pts) by 8 wkts.

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