Sidmouth’s New Zealander Anderson impresses

SIDMOUTH Cricket Club continue their build-up to their Devon Premier Division campaign with matches against Taunton Deane, Clyst Hydon and Clyst St George this weekend, writes John Goodwin.

Some hasty venue swapping enabled all scheduled games to go ahead last weekend, with victories secured over Shobrooke Park, Seaton and Werrington, who conceded home advantage when their ground was unfit and switched the Saturday fixture to the Fort Field where a 40-over game took place.

That displaced the 2nd XI who travelled to play at the vacant ground of their opponents, Seaton.

The change afforded the Fort Field faithful their first glimpse of New Zealander Sam Anderson, the club’s overseas player for the season, and they were impressed with his tight opening spell with skipper Will Murray which restricted the visitors to 30 after 16 overs.

Murray got a deserved victim when he brought a delivery up the hill to clip the top of off stump and his spell ended with figures of 1-17.

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New recruit Liam Lewis kept the lid on the run rate with 21 off his seven overs but eventually a couple of Werrington batsmen were able to break loose of the shackles and plunder the short boundary to put on 115 in the last third of the quota.

Sidmouth were set 176 to win and had 59 on the board after 15 overs when Anthony Griffiths and Luke Bess were parted, the latter the first of a couple of lbws to off-spinner Ben Smeeth.

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Slow bowling put a brake on Sidmouth’s scoring and, when Griffiths was fourth man out for 37 at 112, the home side still required 63 off 13 overs. Though Will Gater perished after a couple of firm blows, Nick Gingell prevented any chance of a collapse with 39 consisting of sweet hits to the boundary and some intelligent placement and running.

That gave Sidmouth a five-wicket win with three overs spare.

?Over at Seaton showers delayed the start and a 35-over game was played. Batting first on the well-kept Seaton wicket, Sidmouth openers Matt Hewer and Saj Patidar made steady progress until, with the score on 24, Hewer called for a single that Usain Bolt would have struggled to complete and ran out his captain for 16.

Hewer remained in the middle thereafter and completed a patient 50, his second in successive weeks.

Support for Hewer came from Jamie Wardrop (16) and Greg Chaplin (17), but no-one else looked comfortable until Nick Mansfield, batting at number eight, made an unbeaten 15. The Sidmouth score closed on a rather stodgy 146-7.

The bowlers were in better form than the batters and, led by Mansfield repeatedly beating the bat, restricted Seaton to 105-9.

Mansfield had 2-5 from his seven-over allocation, and looks in good form for the season. Also showing well was Chaplin who has rediscovered his natural away swing and looked back to his best with 3-13. Support came from Fionn Wardrop with 2-18 and Charlie Dibble with 2-28.

The fielding was an improvement on the previous week and highlights were a great catch by Dec Lines, who ran backwards and dived from his position at gully to grab the ball and a sharp low catch by Joe Griffiths.

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