Otters triumph in run fest
- Credit: Archant
The long trip west to face Plymstock last weekend saw Ottery St Mary 2nd XI claim a welcome second victory of the season in a bizarre contest featuring copious amounts of ill directed bowling, numerous dropped catches and a veritable glut of runs, writes Ian Townsend.
The visitors were indebted to fine innings from teenage opener Joe Henkus and powerful left hander Dan Flower as they chased down a 280 run target with three overs to spare.
In contrast to much of the fare on offer, Otters’ teenage opening bowler Tom Hinch (2-32) delivered a well-directed spell which was rewarded with the scalps of home openers, Justin Sumner (15) and James William (18) after the pair had posted a useful 43-run stand. Both men departed to good catches by keeper Alex Clements, standing up. Matt Blackmore (5) soon fell to a Flower slip catch off Tom Jeacock but, from 59-3, the home side then prospered via two partnerships which together added in excess of 200-runs. Seb Jordan and the big hitting Saeed Ali (37 from 21 balls) added 66 in just seven overs before the latter was trapped lbw by Zac Johns, but the runs continued to flow as Jordan, given a number of lives by the visitors, batted steadily to add a further 143 in partnership with Rob Baker (62 with eight fours and a six) in 26 overs before the latter was caught by Hinch off Johns (2-66). Ed Fowler (0-42 from 9 overs) was the only visiting bowler to exert any real control amongst the carnage. Jordan remained unbeaten on 93 (13 fours) as Plymstock closed on an imposing 279-6.
In pursuit of such a target a sound start was essential for Otters – Flower and Henkus certainly delivered as they took full advantage of some erratic bowling by Billy Gibson (0-38 in four overs) and Duncan Bruce (0-64) to post a 123 opening stand in just 19 overs. Flower unleashed a series of typically powerful drives to reach 74 (10 fours and a six) before being bowled by David Grant whilst Henkus took full advantage of a couple of lives to craft another impressive knock, thus continuing his impressive start to the new season. After Dan Jeacock (2) and Harry Peters (8) fell victim to Grant (3-48), Fowler, despite not being at his fluent best, battled to a vital half century and when he departed for 52 (five fours), bowled by Jordan, the Otters stood on the threshold of victory. Henkus had reached an unbeaten 91 (11 fours and a six) when Clements (20 not out) struck the winning blow to take the visitors past the winning post.
Plymstock 279-6 (S Jordan 93*, R Baker 62, Extras 42, S Ali 37, T Hinch 2-32, Z Johns 2-66) Ottery St Mary 280-5 (J Henkus 91, D Flower 74, E Fowler 52, A Clements 20*, D Grant 3-48). Ottery St Mary (18pts) bt Plymstock (7pts) by 5 wkts.