Sidmouth II stay on course for title
- Credit: Archant
Sidmouth II banked 20 points from a 55-run win over North Devon to keep their 2nd XI Premier Division title bid well on course.
With four matches to play Sidmouth sit two points clear of Exeter II and the sides at the County Ground in Exeter tomorrow in a match that will surely go along way to deciding the respective sides fates this term.
With Sidmouth’s Fortfield ground transformed into Folk Festival parking once again it meant the game was played at Bicton.
After losing the toss Sidmouth were invited to bat and what seemed a surprise decision by the visiting skipper paid immediate dividends with Matt Hewer dismissed first ball, edging to the keeper!
Runs did begin to flow, but further early wickets fell as both Dan Powell and Dec Lines joined Hewer in the pavilion before the score board had 40 runs posted before the score had reached 40.
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Greg Chaplin and Dom Bess remained positive in the intent to keep the scoreboard moving aided by a few free hits from the overstepping North Devon bowlers - Chaplin scoring a maximum into the car park impressively off one and clean bowled by another.
Bess (23) and Chaplin (43) both fell before half way in the innings and it was vital that a partnership was formed. Saj Patidar (66) and Harrison Jones (41) provided that platform and batted with responsibility and good judgement. Sidmouth reached 244-9 at the close, a total that was still 30 short of what was considered par.
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North Devon’s innings began with a flurry of wide deliveries from Nick Mansfield, punctuated by a surprise wicket as the opener picked out square leg Bess with more accuracy than the bowling. Jones bowled with more control at other end, and once Miles Dalton took over from Mansfield, Sidmouth gained control of the game for the first time. Both took a wicket as North Devon appeared to slip out of contention. Bess (4-54) replaced Jones and got through the middle order as wickets continued to fall regularly, although the run rate was maintained at a reasonable level. At 95-7 the visitors appeared to be sliding to heavy defeat. However the North Devon tail began wagging with Bess, Charlie Dibble and the returning Mansfield all leaking runs at an alarming rate. Suddenly at 189 for 8 the game was on with overs in hand. Mansfield finally eased nerves by yorking North Devon’s top scorer, Street, to claim his second wicket. Chris Collings, unfortunate, not to be involved earlier claimed the final wicket with his second ball.