Ottery 2nds boosted by Biggs and Schoeman
Any sense of disappointment felt by Ottery St Mary 2nd XI at narrowly failing to secure victory in this high quality encounter, between two of the section s early season pace-setters, will have been tempered somewhat by the exploits of two newcomers,
Any sense of disappointment felt by Ottery St Mary 2nd XI at narrowly failing to secure victory in this high quality encounter, between two of the section's early season pace-setters, will have been tempered somewhat by the exploits of two newcomers to the side. Fifteen-year-old opener George Biggs struck a quality half century in sharing a century opening stand with Salston Field stalwart Barry Flicker. And then South African debutant and Ottery resident Manus Schoeman turned in a fine all-round performance as the home side came within one wicket of victory, Ipplepen's last man blocking out the final few deliveries to secure the draw.On a true wicket, Biggs and Flicker gave their team a magnificent start as they compiled a 132-run opening stand in 30 relatively untroubled overs. Whilst Flicker's vast experience was, no doubt, influential in guiding Biggs to his maiden league 50, the youngster undoubtedly possesses the sound technique and calm temperament to become an accomplished opener. The flowing cover drives he unfurled after passing his 50 were a joy to behold. Flicker, meanwhile, was dispatching anything loose in characteristic, no nonsense, fashion. Biggs eventually perished for 68 (10 x 4s, 86 balls), caught at the wicket by Jack Lewis off Iannis Ireland, whilst Flicker followed soon afterwards, lbw to off-spinner Steve Harris for 60 (8 x 4s, 1 x 6). Despite losing skipper Gavin Iley, run out for three, the Otters were propelled to a competitive 228-4 by debutant Schoeman, who compiled a steady 39 not out, and the pugnacious Alex Clements, whose 46 contained five powerful boundaries.Ipplepen were given a sound start in reply by Harris and Roger Doxatt-Pratt (29) who posted a half century opening stand before the latter became Schoeman's maiden Devon League scalp as the left armer induced a catch to Will Harrison at short fine leg. Harris soon became the burly South African's second victim, falling to a catch by Clements at square leg before the accurate and lively Harrison removed youngster Lewis, caught for a duck by the ubiquitous Schoeman. George Biggs's day got even better as he claimed the wicket of Johnny Ranjit (4), caught by Mark Stoyle as Ipplepen limped to 92-5. The visitors were revived by an excellent 73-run stand for the sixth wicket between Steve Forsey and Adam Peters. Peters' 48 was a particularly fine innings, generally compiled in a correct and obdurate fashion, although he was especially severe upon a strangely out-of-sorts Joe Birch. Having hitherto this season been the undoubted star of the Otters' attack, the youngster disappeared for 76 runs in 10 wayward overs, his sole victim being Forsey (24) who top edged a full toss to league debutant Louis Biggs behind the stumps. Peters' fine knock ended when he mis-hit a lofted drive to Iley off Schoeman after which two more quick wickets, one each to Schoeman and the excellent Harrison, gave the Otters the scent of victory. However, wily old Ipplepen No.11 Bill Heath patted back the final over as the home side had to settle for a winning draw and a healthy 15 point haul.This was a fine game of cricket between two good sides and a result which cements Ottery's position near the top of the embryonic league table. Whilst delighted by his side's strong showing as a whole, skipper Iley reserved special praise for the prominent performances of George Biggs and Manus Schoeman observing: "Young George is really maturing and increasingly showing he's a natural opener and I think Manus is going to be a real asset to the club". The Otters will move on to this weekend's clash with visiting Plymouth Civil Service with spirits high.Otters' Man of the Match - George BiggsFrancis Clark Devon League 2nd XI C Division - Ottery St Mary 228-4 (G Biggs 68, B Flicker 60, A Clements 46, M Schoeman 39*) Ipplepen 189-9 (A Peters 48, R Doxatt-Pratt 29, S Forsey 24, M Schoeman 4-28, W Harrison 3-29). Ottery St Mary (15pts) drew with Ipplepen (8pts).