Otters well beaten in high scoring contest

Joe Birch in action for Ottery cricket club. Ref shsp 0132-28-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife

Joe Birch in action for Ottery cricket club. Ref shsp 0132-28-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Ottery St Mary 2nd XI’s visit to Plymouth 3rd XI last weekend ended in a comprehensive defeat as an inexperienced bowling attack was put to the sword by the home batsmen after which, despite a terrific unbeaten century from the prolific Alex Clements, the Otters were always behind the eight ball, writes Ian Townsend.

Jeff Martin and Hakeem Abdullah gave Plymouth a rapid start, adding 67 in just nine overs before the pugnacious Abdullah departed for 44 (seven fours and two sixes), courtesy of a catch by Dan Jeacock off George Southall-Brown.

The runs continued to flow unabated as Iain Cunningham joined Martin to add 135 in just 21 overs before the former Yelverton man became the first of four victims for teenage off-spinner Jeacock who bowled him for 63 (52 balls, 11 fours and a six).

Without addition to the score, Martin, who had reached a fine century from 111 balls faced (19 fours) was stumped by Clements of Jeacock (4-47) who then removed James Rothwell (0) and Liam Edwards (8), but despite three late scalps for Otters debutant and former Honiton all-rounder, Kevin Kelly (3-40), a useful late innings 33 from Marcus Deane saw the home side close on an imposing 306-9.

The Ottery reply began disastrously as two wickets for Adam Cox, who bowled both Dan Jeacock and Rick Jackson for ducks, and one for Abdullah, who removed Kelly (3) via a catch by Cunningham, reduced the visitors to 25-3.

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Teenage opener Joe Henkus was again batting well, however, and in partnership with Harry Peters (17), 35 were added before the latter became a third scalp for Cox (3-45).

Clements and Henkus took the total to 105 before the Henkus’s solid knock was ended at 51 (nine fours) as he became the first of three victims for Martin Gill (3-28). Despite Clements again playing impressively, Gill soon removed Zac Johns, stumped for seven, and Henry Mutter (7), caught by Cox, to leave the Otters struggling at 142-7 with only 17 overs remaining.

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Clements found an adhesive partner in Duncan Bradshaw-Smith and despite the scoring rate being restricted by a well-directed home attack, the pair crafted a gutsy 95-run stand during which the Otters’ vice-captain, who is now the leading run scorer in the section, reached a fine century, finishing unbeaten on 103 with 13 fours and a six).

Bradshaw-Smith remained unbeaten on 17 from 37 balls as the visitors were restricted to 244-8 and thus consigned to a 62 run defeat.

Plymouth 3rd XI 306-9 (J Martin107, I Cunningham 63, H Abdullah 44, M Deane 33, D Jeacock 4-47, K Kelly 3-40, G Southall-Brown 2-47) Ottery St Mary 244-8 (A Clements 103*, J Henkus 51, M Gill 3-28, A Cox 3-45). Plymouth (19pts) bt Ottery St Mary (9pts) by 62 runs.

Otters Man of the Match – Alex Clements

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