Ottery young guns star in latest victory for table-toppers

Ottery batsman Billy Ruldolph fell short of a hundred by just three runs against Uplyme on Saturday.

Ottery batsman Billy Ruldolph fell short of a hundred by just three runs against Uplyme on Saturday. Ref shsp 7241-22-15TI. Picture: Terry Ife - Credit: Archant

Young talent was once again to the fore as Ottery St Mary 1st XI extended their early season winning streak to five matches with a straightforward victory over under strength visitors, Clyst Hydon, writes Ian Townsend.

After Ollie Reed starred in a tight Otters’ bowling and ground fielding display, fellow 16-year-old Billy Rudolph produced another terrific innings to guide his side home.

Ollie Reed was rewarded for a terrific opening spell as he claimed an important early scalp by bowling visiting skipper Ian Sutton (9) before a loose drive from fellow opener Heffin Wood (10) was well pouched by Rudolph off Will Harrison. Sri Lankan all-rounder Dhanuja Haturasingha (20) produced some defiant blows before a thick edge was sharply grasped by Ottery skipper Lewis Townsend at second slip off Harrison and, when Clinton Lewis (7) spliced a weak attempted pull off Rudolph (1-12) to Jody Clements at mid-on, Clyst had slipped to 73-4. However, Gwilym Davies was batting solidly and, despite accurate bowling from the home attack, in partnership with George Pawley he stopped the rot with an obdurate 60 run stand occupying 16 overs. Clements bowled the latter for 27 and Chris Holmes departed for a duck to off-spinner Matt Reed (1-28) as his top-edged slog was well held by Trevor Griffin, but Davies reached a valuable half century (six fours and a six) as useful late runs were added with Matt Fitt. Returning openers Harrison (3-38) and Ollie Reed (2-25) claimed late victims, the former bowling Fitt (18) and the latter castling Davies (63) with a ball which kept low as Clyst closed on an inadequate-looking 181-8.

Townsend (13) fell victim to a hostile opening spell from Haturasingha in unfortunate fashion as his edge behind rebounded off the gloves of Wood to Fitt at second slip, but Rudolph and vice-captain Rob Crabb then combatted the paceman particularly well as the total raced past fifty in the tenth over. Rudolph unleashed a series of delightfully timed cover drives and Crabb despatched boundaries in typically powerful fashion as the innocuous-looking spin duo of Davies and Lewis were put to the sword and, as the total passed 100 in the 18th over, another beautiful off drive saw Rudolph pass fifty (nine fours, 41 balls). Crabb (41) gloved as short ball behind from the returning Haturasingha (2-17), but despite occasional bowler, Sutton (2-19) claiming the wickets of Billy Reed (11) and Griffin (7), Rudolph’s unbeaten 83 (12 fours, 80 balls) saw the Otters home in fine style with 14 overs to spare.

The delighted Otters’ skipper afterwards paid tribute to his young guns, commenting: “It was a good wicket and an outfield giving full value for your shots so we did really well to limit them to 180-odd. Ollie bowled with great control throughout his spell and the bowlers worked well together. Watching Billy (Rudolph) bat at the moment is an absolute pleasure; he’s been fantastic so far. Crabby supported him really well and it was their stand that won us the game.”

You may also want to watch:

Clyst Hydon 181-8 (G Davies 63, G Pawley 27, D Haturasingha 20, W Harrison 3-38, O Reed 2-25) Ottery St Mary 182-4 (B Rudolph 83*, R Crabb 41, D Haturasingha 2-17, I Sutton 2-19). Ottery St Mary (19pts) bt Clyst Hydon (6pts) by 6 wkts.

Otters Man of the Match – Billy Rudolph

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