Sidmouth hosting Devon versus Oxfordshire at the Fortfield today (Monday) - Day One round-up
- Credit: Archant
Skipper Alex Barrow finished unbeaten on 52 at the end of a good first day for Devon against Oxfordshire at Sidmouth.
Devon need at least one win in their last two games to finish fifth or higher in the Western Division table and claim a place in next summer's new Division One. Anything less means Division Two cricket in the new promotion-and-relegation set-up.
Devon had lost three in a row heading into the game against Oxfordshire and needed a lift in a hurry. Barrow won the toss, stuck the visitors in and was rewarded well before tea with all four bowling points after dismissing them for 211.
The first-innings total was down to exactly 100 at last night's close as Devon were a healthy 111 for two.
Dave Tall, Devon's director of cricket, said: "It was a good toss to win and we took advantage when we bowled.
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"Mostly we bowled good lines after the first half hour, but when we didn't there were one or two expensive overs.
"Oxfordshire's last pair held us up longer than I would have liked while they put on 40-odd after we had them six down at lunch and 169 for nine, but I would have taken 211 all out if offered at the start.
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"To finish the day just two wickets down with Alex (52no) still there with Peter Trego and a lot of batting to come was a decent outcome to the day."
Devon could have been three down had Trego (24no) not been dropped in the final over of the day.
Skipper Jonathan Cater top scored for Oxfordshire with 65 and was severe on anything off line.
Opener Harry Smith had already been and gone for 39 when Cater took guard.
Toby Codd (2-33), Trego (2-21) and Hugo Whitlock (2-55) had whittled Oxfordshire down to their last pair of Matt Warner (36no) and Joe Butcher (21). Their stand of 42 detained Devon in the field longer than the wanted.
Butcher took both Devon wickets to fall before the close: opener George Allen for 23 and Jamie Baird for 10.
Oxfordshire 211 (J A Cater 65, H G K Smith 39, M R Warner 36; P G Trego 2-21, H M Whitlock 2-55, D J Goodey 2-48, M Pugh 2-34, T J R Codd 2-33), Devon 111-2 (A W R Barrow 52no; J D J Butcher 2-45). Bonus points: Devon 4, Oxfordshire 1.