Under 21s - Dorset

So near and yet.......

Tom Allin and Nick Watkin had their figures ruined. The 63 partnership came off the 30 balls and from a reasonable target Devon now needed 4.70 an over – still within their range. The light was not going to be too good towards the end of the innings but all things seemed bright as Williams and Watkin put on 76 off 95 balls in 16 overs leaving the side to score 84 off 108 balls. The key was that Williams was trapped leg before off the last ball of slow left armer Cowley’s first over and he would now be able to bowl his spell through to the end of the innings. Williams was the second batter in the game to fall one short of the 50, he had faced only 51 balls and should have added to his tally of county 50s. Two runs later his partner Watkin was bowled by Dorset’s under 16 opening bowler Armstrong, who was now embarked on a critical spell in tandem with Cowley bowling his six overs for just 8 runs. Two new batsman at the crease and it is getting darker. Neil Bettiss was on his way out of his personal batting nightmare season which was to finish on the following Saturday when he took the Barton attack for 116. The third wicket put on 33 in 55 balls and the clock was now starting to tick loudly as James Toms was Cowley’s second victim – caught. Forty-eight balls left 59 runs needed, pressure mounting, mist was now circling and a couple of big overs were needed. Cowley took his third when he bowled James Gibson at 139 and his fourth at 141 with the younger Bettiss bowled second ball and at 145 the elder Bettiss broke the sequence when he was bowled in the gloom by Belt for a 47 ball 37. The odds were now heavily stacked against Devon and it was now a major struggle as they fell 7 runs short with Cowley taking his fifth and sixth. With good field settings the visitors side went eight overs without conceding a boundary and the rate just kept creeping up with an impossible 14 needed off the last over. Murray did find the boundary but the side fell 7 short with the street lights now shining brightly. Sadly after the expectation at the beginning of the day this defeat, by a genuinely brilliant one man show, was incredibly disappointing, the feeling of anticlimax was not helped by the autumnal weather of mists and mellow fruitfulness nor that this was not only the last youth game of the 2005 season but the last county game for some very loyal and committed Devonians. Exmouth, as always coped with the exceptional weather as did the two experience umpires.

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