Sidmouth Fort is ready and waiting
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The parched and bumpy outfield made bowling and fielding difficult, so it was a tribute to Sidmouth that only three extras were conceded during Exmouth’s innings.
Wicketkeeper Ben Gledhill didn’t let a single bye pass his gloves and Sidmouth’s three extras compared favourably to the 27 conceded by Exmouth. In the final analysis, the extras tally was the difference between the two sides.
Sidmouth batted first, having been inserted by Exmouth, and received an early bonus when former Sidmouth player Trevor Anning dropped a tough chance at mid-off to give Josh Bess a start. Bess made the most of his break, combining well with Anthony Griffiths to raise a first wicket partnership of 104, before he was dismissed for 53.
Griffiths was batting smoothly and added a further 41 with Ben Gledhill, 20, who was looking in good touch before a mix-up and a smart piece of fielding saw him run out.
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Neil Hancock, playing solely as a batsman due to a hamstring strain, strode to the wicket and scored quickly, adding 54 with Griffiths in nine overs. It was a surprise when Griffiths was the next man to fall for a fine 83 as he had looked in total control until he found long-off with a well-struck drive. On this evidence, new arrival Archie Griffiths won’t have long to wait until Dad celebrates his birth with a century.
Hancock opened up with only six overs left and cleared the rope three times on his way to 52 from 31 balls.
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He was clean bowled aiming another massive slog-sweep at Anthony Radunovic who followed up by having Zach Bess caught at long-off for 15. The final tally of 260 was regarded to be a level par score and credit should be given to Exmouth’s spinners who bowled tightly.
In Exmouth’s reply Sidmouth quickly found that it was a day to be defensive. All shots that pierced the infield found the rope, so boundary sweepers were quickly deployed.
This tactic enabled Sidmouth to restrict Exmouth to only three runs per over for the first 15 overs, applying some decent scoreboard pressure.
Dave Lye was imperious at the crease, eventually departing for 72. Richard Baggs also scored well
A winning draw was the final outcome for Sidmouth who gain 14 points.
The decisive difference was in the field - Exmouth dropped three chances, Sidmouth dropped none and that, combined with the disparity in extras, settled matters in Sidmouth’s favour.