Plenty of positives for B team

Despite being on the wrong end of a seven wicket defeat to visiting Abbotskerwell in their initial outing in the rarified atmosphere of B Division, there were plenty of positives to be gleaned from the contest for the players of Ottery St Mary CC’s 2nd XI, writes Ian Townsend.

Batting first on a green and damp wicket, Ottery initially struggled in the face of some fine pace bowling, particularly from Abbots’ regular 1st XI all rounder, Richard Acton whose late in-swing troubled all and sundry. However, having struggled to 56-5 from no less than 32 overs, the Otters were rescued by a magnificent 86-run stand between newly installed vice captain, Rick Jackson, and teenage all rounder Matt Reed who both cut loose to devastating effect. The pair launched a total of seven sixes between them, five of which flew off the blade of the pugnacious Jackson, with Steve Green coming in for particular punishment as he disappeared for 43 runs in just three overs! No less than 122 runs were haemorrhaged in the last 13 overs as the home side posted an above par 183-8 from their full 46 overs. Acton, with 3-47 from 12 overs, was easily the pick of the visiting bowlers.

The Abbot’s reply suffered an early blow as teenage paceman, Johnny Golder marked his league debut with the wicket of Alan Birt (12), courtesy of a catch by skipper Gavin Iley at mid-off.

After the score reached 57, the youngster was in the action again as he held a catch off the bowling of off spinner, Reed to send back Trevor Cod. Despite the unhelpful conditions, Reed and fellow spinner Duncan Bradshaw-Smith were bowling well and when the former castled Graham Harrison-Roberts (12), an Otters’ victory appeared possible. However, Acton, who was batting in beautifully controlled fashion, found an effective ally in the in-coming Green and the pair proceeded to post a fine century stand which brought the more experienced visitors victory with just seven balls to spare. The Otters were left kicking themselves as two dropped catches, both off the unfortunate Keith Biggs, allowed Acton to remain unbeaten on 106 with Green on 31 not out. Reed’s 2-59 from 13 steady overs was the pick of the Otters’ bowling.

So, an opening day defeat for the Otters but a number of individuals shone in a generally encouraging display, particularly bearing in mind that this was a side missing a number of key performers.

You may also want to watch:

Francis Clark Devon League 2nd XI B Division: Ottery St Mary 183-8 (R Jackson 62, M Reed 45, R Acton 3-47) Abbotskerswell 186-3 (R Acton 106*, S Green 31*, M Reed 2-59).

Abbotskerswell (18pts) bt Ottery St Mary (5pts) by 7 wkts.

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