Visitors blasted with bat and ball
ONE OF the tastier items on the Devon cricket menu will be served up at the Fort Field tomorrow when Sidmouth s nearest neighbours, Budleigh Salterton, are the visitors for a Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division encounter.
ONE OF the tastier items on the Devon cricket menu will be served up at the Fort Field tomorrow when Sidmouth's nearest neighbours, Budleigh Salterton, are the visitors for a Francis Clark Devon League Premier Division encounter. Budleigh, with their highly active recruitment policy, have been among the front-runners in the league for several seasons now while Sidmouth are still trying to establish a foothold, following promotion last season. Just when firm ground seems to have been found, a slippery patch such as that encountered at Paignton last weekend is encountered. In fact, the slippery patch turned into a bog when localised rain ended the game - just as well for Sidmouth who had struggled to 120-6. After losing Anthony Griffiths without a run on the board, they reached 60-2 and then lost four wickets making the next 13 runs. Australians Trent Ovens and Louis Talay were staging a recovery but, when the rains ended the contest, they had only six more overs in which to set Paignton a challenging target. So intense was the rain in Torbay that Sidmouth's Devon Cup game at Torquay the following sun-baked day was abandoned. Though there were some spots of rain and thunder rumbling around the ground, the second team's match at the Fort Field, against South Devon, was played to a conclusion, Sidmouth winning by 98 runs. With rain in the air, skipper Saj Patidar's decision to bat on winning the toss raised a few eyebrows. When South Devon reached 90-1 after 20 overs in reply to Sidmouth's 245-7 declared it was hard to discern the doubters' eyebrows from their hairlines - but Patidar, who made 109 in the home side's total, had an ace up his sleeve. Just when some obdurate batting had seen South Devon reach 147-6 with 11 overs to go, he brought Zak Bess into the attack. The 15-year-old struck with his first ball and two wickets in his next over saw the match over, the visitors having only 10 men. His three wickets in 11 balls did not cost a run. Patidar featured in stands of 104 for the first wicket with Simon Sobczak and 97 for the second wicket with Jamie Wardrop, who made 51. He said his decision to bat first was in order to give as many batsmen as much possible time as possible at the crease in readiness for facing the tougher opponents in the 2nd XI premier division - Budleigh Salterton, Exeter and Plympton - in the next fixtures. Exmouth, whose Devon Cup game against Plympton on Sunday went ahead, were shorn of their best players for the friendly at the Fort Field and Sidmouth piled up 323-6 in 40 overs, 153 of them coming from the bat of Luke Bess who arrived at the crease with 28 of the 40 overs left. He hit 11 sixes and 11 fours and the danger he was causing to sunbathers prompted beach-goers to refuse to return the ball on two occasions. By comparison, opener Griffiths' 88, at more than a run a ball, was sedate. Exmouth had a centurion in opener Tom Booker but, after he was seventh man out, 14-year-old Greg Chaplin mopped up the tail to finish with 3-26 in an Exmouth total of 161-9.