Malden’s unbeaten knock sees Otters to opening day win
- Credit: Archant
Ottery St Mary achieved something they were unable to do throughout the 2017 Tolchards Devon League season and that was to win a match.
What’s more, the Otters, now playing in C Division East after relegation from the third tier of county league cricket last summer, got the better of the second XI of Premier Division outfit Exeter in the opening game of the new all-through league.
It was a terrific all-round performance, first with the ball, and then the bat as the Otters sealed a two wicket win with an over to spare.
After winning the toss, Otters skipper Will Harrison opted to field first and he saw opening seamer Rob Johns send back both the Exeter openers for single figure totals, one trapped leg before and one caught by Henry Mutter.
James Bovey and Callum Hogan then restored the innings somewhat, but Oliver West was introduced as one of the seven bowlers Harrison called upon, and he removed both with Bovey sent packing for a splendid 75, trapped leg before by West, and Hogan was dismissed by a Dan Flower catch off West for 24.
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West bagged himself a third wicket before fifth change Sam Brook claimed four wickets in a five over burst to leave Exeter on 173-9 after their 45 overs.
Brook’s figures were 4-19 while West returned figures of 3-24 from a full shift of nine overs and the Johns return was 2-39, also from nine overs.
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The Ottery reply was launched by Oliver West (45) and Alex Clements and Dan Flower chipped in with 18.
However, a mid-innings collapse that saw the departure of Anthony Dean (2), Henry Mutter (0) and Jody Clements (0) must have left some of the Ottery faithful thinking ‘here we go again’.
That, though, was not in the thinking of number eight bat Jack Malden as he struck an excellent unbeaten 47 to guide his side to victory with Tom Jeacock at the other end unbeaten on four when the winning line was crossed off the final ball of the 44th over.
On Saturday, the Otters will look to make it back-to-back early season wins when they visit Kilmington for the first of a number of East Devon derby matches they will play this season.
Other local sides in C Division East are Whimple, Feniton, Budleigh Salterton 2nds and Sidmouth 2nds.