Lewis ton guides Sidmouth to thrilling last-over victory

Sidmouth V Heathcote. Liam Lewis lets the ball fly. Ref shsp 6782-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton

Sidmouth V Heathcote. Liam Lewis lets the ball fly. Ref shsp 6782-33-15AW. Picture: Alex Walton - Credit: Archant

Liam Lewis put his former team mates of Heathcoat to the sword as he plundered a superb century to guide Sidmouth to a thrilling two wicket win over Heathcoat at the Fortfield.

The Mid Devon side batted first and were given a terrific start by their opening pair who had racked up 175 before Andrew Mathieson struck to bag his only wicket of the game (1-59 from nine overs).

The opening wicket was scored at a run-a-ball rate and the scoring continued with Heathcoat closing on 306-7. Sidmouth skipper Will Murray was the most successful of the home bowlers, finishing with figures of 3-56 and Liam Lewis, with two wickets for 65 runs from a full 10 over shift, was the other bowler to bag wickets. Jake Fawcett (0-46 in 9), Charlie Miles (0-46 in six) and Matt Cooke (0-28 in six) were the other home bowlers used.

The run chase was led from the start by Lewis who stroked his way to another magnificent century.

When he was out, the sixth wicket to fall to the penultimate delivery of the 46th over, the former Heathcoat man had scored 112, facing 121 deliveries, rifling eleven fours and cracking three sixes. He put on 93 for the first wicket with Matt Cooke (41) and 72 with Anthony Griffiths (44) for the fourth wicket.

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When Lewis finally departed, to a standing ovation from another excellent Fortfield turnout, it was Nick Gingell who took over! Gingell, fresh fro his extraordinary, near 300 per cent strike rate, unbeaten half century at Bradninch six days before, continued his hard hitting with a 25-ball cameo that saw him accrue 56 runs with four fours and five sixes.

The Gingell effort all but saw Sidmouth over the line, but the contest did go to the fifth delivery of the final over when the home side crossed the wining line to seal a thrilling two wicket win with Mat Hewer (6) and Charlie Miles (1), the two batsmen unbeaten at the close.

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If the title was lost the week before at Torquay (they trail leaders Torquay by 30 points with 60 left to play for), this win underlines that Sidmouth are determined to finish the season as strongly as possible.

On Saturday they entertain Plymouth before travelling to North Devon the week after where victory will seal them the runners-up berth.

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