Devastating Doman destroys Yelverton

In common with many low scoring contests, this encounter between in-form Ottery St Mary 1st XI and promotion-chasing visitors, Yelverton, was an enthralling affair.

Having struggled to a modest total in bowler-friendly conditions, the Otters were propelled to victory by a tremendous spell of bowling from off-spinner Nick Doman, who claimed an incredible five wickets for just seven runs as the West Devon side’s last eight wickets tumbled for only 19!

Batting first on a grassy wicket, in humid conditions, Ottery lost three early wickets to leave them reeling at 33-3. Alex Clements (0) was trapped lbw by Rob Bennett, whilst fellow opener Iain Cunningham claimed the scalps of Matt Kirk (11), who failed to get fully forward to a ball which kept low, and Steve Forbes (2), who was caught on the crease and bowled. A 39-run stand between veteran opener Barry Flicker and home skipper Jody Clements (16), who looked in prime form, improved things somewhat for the hosts before the latter mortifyingly lifted a long hop from leg-spinner Ben Vince into the hands of Dave Scott at deep mid-wicket. And when Flicker (28) was then castled by a fine outswinger from medium pacer Geoff Brain, the Otters were on the slide. Youngster George Biggs (1) soon succumbed to the pressure of close fielders and over-enthusiastic appealing to be bowled by Brain and Mark Woodman (0) was totally deceived and bowled by a beautiful googly from the impressive Vince.

With Brain and Vince skilfully exploiting the conditions, Ottery had slipped to 72-7 and, despite Sam Lynch’s brief resistance, the former soon struck again to bowl the youngster for eleven with a full length inswinger. However, Doman was batting well, defending carefully, whilst powerfully putting away anything loose including a maximum into the adjoining bowls club off Vince. Rob Bradshaw-Smith (8) struck two delightful off drives before becoming Brain’s fourth victim and, after last man Will Harrison (3) helped Doman add a further 10 runs, the swing merchant claimed a well-deserved ‘fivefer’, bowling the former with another full, swinging delivery. Doman remained 24 not out (4 x 4s, 1 x 6) as the home side posted a disappointing 127 all out. Brain returned 5-36 from 8.3 overs, fine support coming from Vince (2-25).

With 58 overs available, the visitors appeared well placed for victory and, despite Woodman and Harrison both bowling beautifully and claiming a wicket apiece, it appeared not to be the Otters’ day as the Yelverton batsmen continually played and missed whilst accruing a number of streaky boundaries. However, with the score on an ominous 70-2, the introduction of change bowlers Bradshaw-Smith and Doman precipitated a quite sensational transformation. First visiting number three Pete Garland (23), who had enjoyed an inordinate amount of good fortune, was trapped lbw by Bradshaw-Smith before Bennett (15) was beaten on the forward stroke by a Doman off-break and bowled. What ensued was a quite amazing collapse as the visitors totally crumbled under pressure. Skipper Jez Stokes (0) was smartly run out by Woodman in a horrible mix-up, the combination of Doman and young wicketkeeper Alex Clements accounted for Richard West (4) and Scott (9) and Bradshaw-Smith, bowling with admirable control, saw Tim Rutherford (1) slice a drive to the omnipresent Doman at deep point. Yelverton had slipped to 86-8 and, fittingly, it was Doman who completed the job, bowling both Cunningham (1) and last man Vince (0) with viciously spinning off-breaks to skittle the West Devon men for just 89, ensuring that his team’s recent resurgence continued. Harrison, Woodman and Bradshaw-Smith provided fine support for Doman’s superb spell of 5 for 7 from 6.1 overs.

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Otters’ Man of the Match Doman has been one of the unsung heroes of the Otters’ revival, contributing solidly in virtually every match, a real team man, whose success will have delighted many at Salston Field. Reflecting on his devastating spell, the normally self-effacing off spinner could barely conceal his delight, commenting; “I don’t care if I play for the 1st XI, 2nd XI or the Sunday team, I just love playing cricket. But I must admit I feel really proud to have played a big part in the first team winning a match.”

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