Sidmouth beat Bovey on run rate

SIDMOUTH warmed up for one of the most eagerly anticipated clashes – tomorrow’s meeting at the Fort Field with Budleigh Salterton - with victory over Francis Clark Premier Division leaders Bovey Tracey, writes John Goodwin.

As in many of the day’s matches, the result was decided on run rate when evening rain intervened and, while Sidmouth were happy to take the spoils, it was not in the way they would have wished.

Before the rain arrived Sidmouth had totalled 255 all out, but did not occupy their full complement of 50 overs and may well have been envisaging something in excess of 275 after Liam Lewis struck 79 at number four.

There were plenty of chip-ins, with Sam Anderson heading them with 47 made at opener. There was a clatter of wickets as the tail enders chased runs at the end of the innings.

Bovey looked handily placed to maintain their unbeaten record when they passed three figures for the loss of three wickets, former Sidmouth player Neil Hancock finding his range and the home bowlers having to deal with an increasingly greasy ball.

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Drizzle and the prospect of run rate deciding the result had spectators lamenting their lack of mental arithmetic capability or reaching to see if their mobile phones had calculator functions.

Bovey seemed well placed as their innings neared the 25-over point – from when a result can be decided on run rate – but Will Murray crucially trapped Hancock lbw for 35 to make the score 121-5.

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New batsman Ben Ayres had to face the pace of Josh Bess in deteriorating light and it was not long before the bowler tickled his timbers to make it 122-5.

Shortly after the umpires decided conditions were unfit and took the players off with Bovey behind on run rate.

The visitors lobbied hard for the opportunity to try and rescue the situation, but the skies indicated there would be no more play. In fact the rain stopped and play resumed, but it was Sidmouth who consolidated their position with the wicket of Dilon Mullins and Bovey got further behind the rate required to steal the game.

More rain and deepening gloom prompted the umpires to call a final halt with Bovey 141-6 off 34 overs. Bess and Murray had bagged a brace of wickets each, Anderson and Lewis claiming the others.

After two consecutive defeats this was a much-needed win for Sidmouth, enabling them to keep in touch with the leading bunch, headed by Bovey on 80 points with Bradninch four points behind. Sidmouth have picked up 63 points to date.

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