Patidar stars as Sidmouth 2nds win well at North Devon II
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth 2nds maintained their unbeaten league record with a hard-earned success at North Devon II.
Sidmouth’s 2nd XI narrowly kept their unbeaten league record for 2013 intact thanks to a fine all-round performance from Saj Patidar, as North Devon pushed them very close.
A glorious sunny day at the sparkling Instow ground saw Charlie Dibble win the toss and elect to bat against a North Devon team who have yet to win in the league this year. Openers Matt Hewer and Saj Patidar scored at good rate in raising 69 for the 1st wicket before Hewer, with his score on 34, carelessly helped a short ball into the hands of square leg; a shot that belied the impressive stroke play that had gone before.
Patidar was back to his elegant and dismissive best in making a season high of 73, lazily flicking any misdirected deliveries to the boundary. The pick of his shots was a contemptuous punched 6 that rocketed back over the unfortunate bowler’s head and thudded into the pavilion roof.
Good support at the other end came from Dan Powell who improved throughout his innings to finish unbeaten on 62, and Dec Lines who made a solid 34. One possible area for improvement in their partnership might have been the early identification of a target score. With a flat wicket and fast outfield the team were looking for a score of more than 250 and it was only when Dom Bess arrived at the wicket to replace Lines that the running and stroke play took on the urgency required.
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Bess and Powell added an unbroken 37 from the last four overs to enable Sidmouth to set a decent, but attainable, target of 236.
North Devon may be at the bottom of the table, but theirs is the strongest batting line up faced by Sidmouth so far this year and runs flowed immediately as the first 5 overs yielded 40 for the wicket of Dan Pickard, bowled by Nick Mansfield. As a result Charlie Dibble was forced into early changes; Mansfield and George House were replaced by Fionn Wardrop and Dom Bess and the runs started to slow. Robbie Powell, deputising as wicket keeper for his unwell brother Dan, kept every bit as well as his brother does and made a slick stumping to help Wardrop to a first wicket.
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Identical catches by Hewer at mid-wicket removed another pair and when Wardrop’s boundary throw was collected by Dibble to narrowly beat Warren Miller’s dive Sidmouth were in the ascendancy. North Devon’s Rob Ayre had been unable to travel with the first team and he looked set to take the match to the wire, making a very comfortable half century and taking North Devon to a match winning position; 60 runs were required from the last 10 overs with five wickets in hand. At Instow this is not a high target and the odds were in the batting team’s favour.
The introduction of Patidar into the attack swung the match back into Sidmouth’s hands as he bowled Ayre for a well-made 84. Mansfield was re-introduced bowling into the wind and produced a controlled spell, maintaining a full, straight line and securing himself two good return catches.
With Patidar grabbing the final two wickets to fall, and cementing the man of the match vote, North Devon closed on 210 and Sidmouth claimed a hard earned 20 points.