Griff grafts to aid Sidmouth
ANTHONY Griffiths’ brave attempt to rescue Sidmouth from a mire that had nothing to do with the previous days’ deluges just failed when he was caught going for the runs that would have secured an unlikely victory over Budleigh Salterton, writes John Goodwin.
Dislodged from his normal role of opener, Griffiths came in at 53-3 and had the task of rebuilding a reply that was teetering after Budleigh had been dismissed for 190 on a Fort Field pitch whose pace had been nullified by the recent rain.
Making 62, he provided plenty of mortar, but his team-mates failed to give him any solid bricks, and Budleigh’s Bob Dawson crumbled them with 5-24.
Due mainly to Griffiths, Sidmouth got to the final over needing eight to win and two were taken off the first ball from Lloyd Murrin. Going for the boundary that would have got victory in sight, Griffiths miscued and James Burke held the catch to prompt unbounded jubilation in the Budleigh camp.
It appeared Sidmouth had set up a victory to savour over their fiercest rivals when the visitors lost nine wickets for 61 runs in the final 15 overs of their innings.
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With Burke and Eliot Rice comfortably placed after a delayed action run out of Neil Murrin, Budleigh seemed destined for a total approaching 250 as they reached 129-1. Batsmen then contrived ways of getting out to a variety of balls that they would usually expect to dispatch for runs.
The main beneficiary was Matt Cooke who took 5-32, the fifth victim coming when he caught a fierce, low drive to dismiss Gamindu Amarasinghe for 24.
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Miles Dalton had initiated the collapse when he served a full toss to Burke who plonked it into the hands of Sam Anderson at mid wicket and was out for 68.
Dalton held the catch of the innings, diving forward at backward square leg to dismiss Dawson for two. He was run close by Liam Lewis who was destined to take a routine pouch until Anderson, eyes only on the ball, arrived late on the scene and body checked his team-mate at the point of catching. Lewis held on to get rid of Lloyd White.
Sidmouth remained in the ascendancy immediately after tea as openers Anderson and Josh Bess put up 41.
The innings slumped to 85-7 before Cooke joined Griffiths in a stand of 42. Bowled for 13, Cooke made way for skipper Will Murray who helped Griffiths get the reply tantalisingly close to victory before he was bowled for 15.
This united Griffiths with Dalton, who have seen highs and lows in more than 20 years at the club, for the last wicket. Dalton, once a top order batsmen, has been involved in several great escapes since taking over as a resident number 11, but this time the light at the end of the tunnel went out.
Sidmouth’s chance to redeem themselves next day in a Devon Senior Cup game at Bradninch fell victim to the weather.