Powell power sees Sidmouth II to winning draw

AN improved team performance saw Sidmouth’s 2nd XI record a winning draw in their match with Hatherleigh, writes Fionn Wardrop..

Batting first, Sidmouth did well to total 183-8 in a match twice interrupted by rain during the first innings and curtailed to 45 overs per side. Had the Met Office issued a more accurate forecast, Sidmouth may have chosen to bowl first.

For the second week in succession one of the Sidmouth openers suffered a golden duck and this time it was Will Sobczak bowled by the first ball he faced. He promptly disappeared to the nets to punish himself with 100 shuttle runs in full kit in the nets - apparently this equivalent of flagellation is par for the course in his Somerset matches when a low score is made. It is not likely to be copied by his Sidmouth team-mates.

Matt Hewer was joined by Greg Chaplin who looked in good form until the pair’s aggressive running backfired and he was run out for 11. The main run-scorer for Sidmouth was Robbie Powell who looked in great touch for his 59 runs and will have been disappointed to give a soft catch to long-on when a century was there for the taking.

During his innings Powell added 47 with Hewer, who made 27, and 37 with Alistair Chilcott who was Sidmouth’s second run-out victim. Dec Lines, with 15, and Charlie Miles, with four, came and went fairly quickly and Sidmouth looked vulnerable at 140-7. An eighth wicket partnership of 41 between Fionn Wardrop, with 31, and Charlie Dibble, who contributed six, took the total to a reasonably competitive level.

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Sidmouth’s new ball attack was less than impressive, depleted by Luke Bess’s call-up to the first team and Mark Jasper’s late withdrawal. Hatherleigh made the most of this and reached 60 in good time before the Sidmouth spinners were introduced.

Batting suddenly looked a far more difficult proposition as Sobczak tied up an end and Charlie Miles got among the wickets, taking the first four to fall.

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Sixt-six without loss suddenly became 84-5. The sixth wicket pair added 52, but at a slow pace as the spinners dominated. From there the game was destined to end as draw and, despite a quick flurry of runs when 15 runs were scored from the 40th over, Hatherleigh finished 19 runs short.

Miles bowled his best spell for the 2nds, turning the ball hard and getting plenty of bounce and should have had five wickets when a stumping chance was fluffed. Sobczak also bowled beautifully, changing his pace and varying his flight cleverly and was unlucky to only finish with one wicket. Between them the pair bowled 26 overs for 54 runs and were the difference between the two teams.

A trip to the much improved Plympton 2nd XI is tomorrow and Sidmouth will need to be back to their best to get a good result.

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