Ottery bowlers hustle out basement side
Having seen their bowlers take full advantage of helpful conditions offering seam movement, swing and spin, Ottery St Mary 1st XI s batsmen made slightly hard work of overhauling a relatively modest total.
Having seen their bowlers take full advantage of helpful conditions offering seam movement, swing and spin, Ottery St Mary 1st XI's batsmen made slightly hard work of overhauling a relatively modest total.
However, a good seventh wicket stand eventually guided the side to their third win of the season, cementing their position in mid table whilst anchoring local rivals Kilmington to the foot of the league with just three matches remaining.
On winning the toss, Otters' skipper Martin Miller had little hesitation in inserting Kilmington on a damp, spongy wicket and was rewarded as opening bowlers Mark Woodman and Rob Crabb produced niggardly spells which soon had the home side in trouble.
Woodman claimed two early victims, bowling skipper Tom Gooding (18) before securing a dubious looking lbw decision to remove Ralph Cook for a duck. The two seamers' vice-like grip saw them unreel six successive maidens as the score limped to 27-2 after 15 overs.
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Change bowlers Rob Bradshaw-Smith and off spinner Lewis Townsend maintained the stranglehold and, despite the experienced John Lavender edging the total up to 63 in partnership with Adam Culley, scoring remained pedestrian.
Culley was bowled for 19 to become the first of Bradshaw-Smith's four victims in a characteristically controlled spell and, with Townsend deriving considerable spin, batting was far from easy. Despite Lavender's obdurate knock (33 from 79 balls), a procession of batsmen perished soon after reaching double figures. And, when Woodman (4-35 from 12 overs) returned to mop up the tail, bowling Ben Noble (16) and trapping Craig Seward lbw (0), Kilmington had been hustled out for 140 which, despite the difficult conditions, was 20-30 runs below par.
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After the early loss of Miller (3) who top edged a Hal Cook long hop to Culley in the gully, Charl Axsel and Jody Clements steadied the Otters' ship, taking the total to 36 before the former fell to Noble for 16 as he mis-hit a pull to Roland Stonex at midwicket.
Outswing merchant Hal Cook bowled the dangerous John Tierney (7) with a cleverly disguised off spinner as the visitors dipped to 43-3.
An excellent fourth wicket stand of 58 between Clements and Matt Kirk took the total to 101 before the Otters' vice-captain, who has been a model of application and consistency throughout the season, was trapped lbw for 40 (5 x 4s) as he played back to a fullish ball from Izzy Wikramaratne.
When Seward quickly snared two further Otters' batsmen, inducing a leading edge to midwicket from Jack Pritchard (1) and bowling Kirk (24), the visitors were wobbling at 108-6. However, nerves were settled by a useful cameo from Townsend (18) who drove the ball fluently as, in partnership with Steve Forbes, the youngster taking Ottery to the verge of victory before falling victim to a questionable lbw decision, Wickramaratne the beneficiary.
Forbes and Bradshaw-Smith guided the visitors home with two overs to spare.
Otters' Man of the Match - Jody Clements.
Francis Clark Devon League D Division: Kilmington 140 (J Lavender 33; M Woodman 4-35, R Bradshaw-Smith 4-38, L Townsend 2-23) Ottery St Mary 141-7 (J Clements 40, M Kirk 24; C Seward 2-16, I Wikramaratne 2-21, H Cook 2-26). Ottery St Mary (18pts) bt Kilmington (5pts) by 3 wkts.