Under 21s - Dorset


The Maer Ground was approached with some optimism in bright sunlight, although a trip to the bank delayed the arrival, there was no feeling of apprehension until walking into the ground and then it felt real. Was it the build up in cloud over Dawlish – certainly disconcerting as the forecast was thunder later in the day – no the reason became obvious when the team sheets were handed over. Dorset had paid the current leaders in the Southern Counties competition the greatest compliment possible, instead of selecting a promising player on the verge of their County side as one of their over age players they were playing Darren Cowley, an established Minor County match winner – well known to Devon’s squad from his exploits over the years at Barton – game on. It transpired that the home side were going to not only experience thunder and lightning from the elements but also from the former Barton star. Devon were simply outclassed by a scintillating solo performance of the highest quality from Cowley but lets start at the very beginning a very good…….... Dorset won the toss and batted, Tom Allin opened the bowling and Booth hit his second and third balls for four and nicked his fifth behind. The second pairing of the under 17 House and visitors captain Laws took the score up to 47 when Jack Porter joined the attack and with the last ball of his first and the sides thirteenth over tempted the captain into giving his opposite number a catch at cover. The clouds were building up but in typical Exmouth fashion going down the estuary. At the halfway stage Devon were more than satisfied with Dorset’s 77 – 2 although the threat was now padded up and the cloud getting darker.  At 82 Watkins became Damian Clalland’s first wicket when Toms caught him for 38 ball 8. In comes Cowley and it is now getting very dark, on the last ball of Calland’s third over he catches House off his own bowling. He was out one short of his 50 which had taken 99 balls. It was good to have Damian back in the fold as an overage player and his three overs had cost 8 runs for two wickets. With lightening and thunder now over the Town Centre and the ground staff, with their local knowledge, standing by the covers the umpires called the players off. It did thunder, lightning flickered over the ground and it did pour. Tea was taken and over two hours later play was again possible. The game was reduced to 34 overs a side leaving Dorset another five overs or 30 balls to build on their 97-4. This was a huge bonus to the home side as to date Cowley had hit seven off his two balls received so the maximum he could face would be 32. In fact he faced 27 in all and scored an undefeated 66 now this was real thunder and lightning. Five off his balls were dots the rest included 4 sixes and 7 fours and it was an amazing onslaught. His new partner did his job from the non strikers end scoring 4 off six.        Next