Skipper Murray says ‘don’t write Sidmouth off!’

SIDMOUTH Cricket Club captain Will Murray says his side should not be written off as Francis Clark Devon Premier League contenders despite a second consecutive defeat.

The side will be looking to make up lost ground tomorrow when they meet ante post favourites and current leaders Bovey Tracey at the Fort Field.

Torquay got the better of Sidmouth after eight batsmen contributed a mere 12 runs to a reply that reached 141 all out after the home side had totalled 229-6.

Torquay elected to bat after winning the toss, but this did not unduly perturb Murray who has had much success bowling first over the past few seasons.

Josh Bess and Sam Anderson took the new ball and both hit their areas quickly and bowled to their field. Through Benjamin Handley and Somerset’s Max Waller, Torquay made a steady and solid start.

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After Bess had been replaced by Will Gater and Sam Anderson had bowled his 10 overs straight through for a mere 19 runs, Torquay were 49-1, Handley run out by a sharp piece of fielding by Bess at point.

But as soon as Miles Dalton came into the attack, Waller went on the offensive. Murray had taken over from Anderson and although he was keeping the run rate relatively quiet, he was not putting the batsmen under pressure.

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Liam Lewis soon hit his rhythm and, before long, dislodged the off stump of Justin Yau, but the scoreboard had hurried along to 104-2 after 25 overs.

Waller had upped the scoring rate, using the depth and width of his crease to make the margin of errors minimal, but this led to his downfall when Lewis snared him lbw for 54 to make it 110-3.

Dalton returned to the attack but again found it tough and was shortly replaced by Will Gater.

In consecutive overs, Murray trapped Matt Thompson lbw and Gater bowled Nick Watkin and Torquay slipped from 141-3 to 143-5, but successive batsmen came in and played destructive innings to deny Sidmouth the ascendancy. In Torquay’s batting power play the run rate topped 10 an over, although wickets continued to fall with Lewis picking up his third and fourth and Bess two.

Torquay closed on 226-9 after their 50 overs but Sidmouth believed if they could bat out our overs they could chase this down.

Pete Randerson was promoted to open with Bess but the latter was bowled off his thigh pad for nought. Randerson played a key role in getting the score to 44-1 but the arrival of Watkin to the attack removed the heart of Sidmouth’s batting.

Randerson was caught at mid wicket, Zach Bess adjudged caught behind, and Lewis and Gater were bowled. When Anthony misjudged a quick single and was run out it was 58-6.

Hopes rested on the shoulders of Sam Anderson and Matt Cooke who batted positively and hit the seamers out of the attack but the spinners taunted Sidmouth.

Waller’s first over was punished by Cooke but he and Aqueel Ahmed soon made the going tough as they turned the ball both ways.

Cooke rode his luck one time too often and was well caught at a deepish long of Anderson continued to bat well but, on this occasion, the tail could not support him. He was eventually the penultimate man out for 55 as Sidmouth faltered to 141.

Murray said: “ Torquay skipper Justin Yau described us as one of the best teams in the league and I believe we can still win it. We have been here before and pulled through victorious, and I wouldn’t write us off just yet.”

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