A really Bad Day at the Office

It had been thunder and lightning in more ways than one when the twenty-ones last played Dorset on the final day of August 2005. The omens were therefore not good as the morn of their first game of 2006 was interrupted by another thunder storm, indeed it rumbled on all the way up to the meeting point. The two hour journey left the inclement weather behind in Devon and unfortunately the side appeared to leave their own appetite for the game in the county. This was perhaps the most disappointing start of a season since the 17s were bowled out for 64 at Canford School in 1993, also against Dorset when they were chasing 167. At Weymouth for the first time since 2002 Aaron Williams, on winning the toss was in three minds decided, perhaps against his own better instincts, to bat. It was a turgid start against a reasonable opening attack and in the seventh over Watkin was caught with 11 on the board. Next over, five runs later, the captain was bowled 16-2 and then in the following over it was 16-3 as Will Grainger was caught – horrendous! David Wrench and Tim Piper then took the attack to the home side putting on 25, the third highest stand of the innings. The pair went through with their shots and the tone and initiative of the innings changed for the better. Wrench was LBW, again whipping through mid wicket and 41-4 became seven balls later 47-5 as Piper, who felt in the best nick all season placed a short pitched ball from spinner Summerson down Ridley’s throat. The two old campaigners Mark Bettiss and Adam Parker started to rebuild and the knowledge that we still had good batting to come ensured not total gloom and despondency. However after clear signs of an improvement Marc Bettiss (27) was back on his heels for a very sharp single and beaten by a direct hit – that was annoying. The stand of 32 should have been much bigger as neither batsman was struggling against Booth, a fine spinner. Parker became the fourth of seven batsmen to be caught, off the Dorset under 17 captain Armstong. Porter and Allin came and went and at 100-9 off 35 overs Devon were in up to their necks. However a bright and breezy record ninth wicket stand between the Sidmouth pair of Matt Cooke and Scott Barlow gave the innings some respectability and kept Dorset in the intense heat and encouragingly caused the dropping of some heads. The senior batsman, Cooke, who was in 2005 form rather than 2006 Saturday form with one straight six of the highest pedigree gave his less experienced partner his head. He obviously knew Scott’s ability better than the rest. They batted just 75 balls taking up 45 minutes until Barlow was caught for a county best 34 (4 fours and a six), in only his second county visit to the crease.

HomeNext | Scorecard