Hancock causes havoc
EARLY season cricket pitches have suited seam bowling and no side in the Francis Clark Devon League premier division has exploited this better than Sidmouth .
EARLY season cricket pitches have suited seam bowling and no side in the Francis Clark Devon League premier division has exploited this better than Sidmouth who travel to Plymouth tomorrow having got into pole position to defend their championship.Yet it has provided a problem for the Fort Field side who, this weekend, find themselves with an embarrassment of seam bowling riches. The half term school holiday means pace bowler Adam Dibble, holder of a summer contract with Somerset, is available and the selectors have to decide how and whether he should be accommodated in a successful side.Whatever the team sheet contains when it is handed to the umpire tomorrow at 1pm, someone will be disappointed at not being on it.The side's success continued as previous league leaders Torquay were swept away at a windy Fort Field last Saturday when the hosts dismissed their visitors for 95 and clinically completed an eight-wicket win.Scott Barlow and Josh Bess shared the new ball and, while they proved economical and the latter took a wicket, there was no hint of the havoc to come when Neil Hancock and Will Murray assumed the attack.From a secure but sedate 54-1, Torquay capitulated to 75-9, with hardly an over going by without a wicket falling during one frantic period. Five batsmen were out for ducks and, when the ninth wicket fell, Torquay captain Justin Yau, who had watched the procession from the non-striker's end, decided he needed to get a move on before all his partners had perished. He hit one Neil Hancock over for 14, including one big six, and with four leg byes lifted the score from 75-9 to 93-9.Until that brief blitz, Hancock had bowled 11 overs for 21 and four wickets. After Murray conceded two runs to take his analysis to 4-20 in 11 overs, Hancock took the ultimate revenge on Yau by bowling him with the first ball of his next over to end the innings and finish with 5-35.Bess and Anthony Griffiths set Sidmouth on their way with an opening stand of 36, the former making 23 of them. ,Chris Williams, who held two superb catches in the slip cordon during the Torquay innings, added 35 with Griffiths who became Ben Orr's second victim at 71 with 25 to his name. Williams, who finished unbeaten with 25 and Hancock, 10 not out, ensured there were no further alarms and Sidmouth claimed maximum points, taking over at the top of the league from their visitors.With three matches played, Sidmouth have opened up a 17-point lead over nearest rivals Plympton