Faulkner rescues run starved Otters

The inability of Ottery St Mary 1st XI’s batsmen to come to terms with the current early season, bowler-friendly conditions was once again cruelly exposed as last weekend’s trip to Ivybridge saw the Salston Field outfit once again come up hopelessly short in their quest to chase down a relatively modest target, writes Ian Townsend.

The Otters’ bowlers once again delivered as the frugal Rob Johns (0-15 from 8 overs) and left arm paceman, Will Harrison put the South Devon side on the back foot, the latter claiming three early wickets. Kevin Trent (39) and Kevin Jacobs (36) rescued Brixham with a solid 71 run partnership occupying 19 overs before the introduction of James Faulkner precipitated a spectacular collapse.

After removing Trent, courtesy of a catch by Sam Loud, the swing merchant proceeded to claim five further victims in four crazy overs including three wickets in the final over. Faulkner has now harvested no less than 13 wickets in the opening three matches of the season.

Ivybridge’s 153 all out appeared eminently chaseable but the fragility of the visitors’ top order soon saw them plunged into the mire.

Ed Fowler (0) appeared very unfortunate to be given out caught behind by Mike Hubberd off Pete Abraham, but Will Munford (2) and Loud (5) could have few complaints as loose shots saw the Otters plunge to 8-3. Eighteen-year-old Jack Pritchard (25) and newcomer, Dan Flower then played sensibly to restore some order with a useful 41-run stand before the former edged behind off Trent. The rapid loss of Trevor Griffin (2), victim of a questionable lbw decision against Trent, and Flower (10), who got a good one from the same bowler, reduced Ottery to 64-6. Two wickets apiece for Jeewan De Silva and Paul Veale soon polished off the lacklustre visitors for a paltry 94, consigning them to a hugely disappointing 59-run defeat.

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Frustrated vice captain, Johns, afterwards bemoaned another weak Otters’ batting display, commenting: “This is very reminiscent of our start to the season two years ago. We’re using the Duke ball again this year and it definitely swings more. You don’t mind losing to a better side, but we need to apply ourselves and really value our wickets”.

Francis Clark Devon League C Division

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Ivybridge (18pts) bt Ottery St Mary (5pts) by 59 runs.

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