1st XI

Title bid gathers serious pace after home win over North Devon

by: stephenbirley


The 1st XI sit just four points off top spot in the Tolchards Devon Cricket League Premier Division after a five wicket win over North Devon.

Starting the day sitting fourth, some 14 points behind leaders Heathcoat, our 1st XI ended the day a point above the Knightshayes-based men – who lost surprisingly at the hands of relegation threatened Hatherleigh – and Gary Chappell and his men are now just four points behind new leaders Sandford who were five wicket winners in a ow scoring affair at Plymouth.

Sandford next visit Heathcoat (Saturday, August 27) and then, on the final Saturday, they face Cornwood while Chaps and his men travel to Plymouth on Saturday and then, seven days later, end their season at home to a Heathcoat side that are now sitting third!

North Devon won the toss at Kensham Park and, finding yet another ‘road’ in situ, opted to bat first, but they came up against another inspired Ninch bowling performance – one aided by one of those most fortunate dismissals when the batter is ‘run-out’ being out of his ground when, as the non-striker, the ball strikes the bowler when driven back by the batter at the strikers end and the ball is deflected onto the stumps – as happened to the unfortunate Dan Bowser!

North Devon were eventually bowled out for 181 in 47.5 overs with skipper Chappell leading the way taking 3-31 from his nine overs while Josh Farley claimed 2-34 in a full shift of 10 overs. That’s 29 league wickets this season for the skipper and 23 for young Farley.

Chad Classen claimed a brace of wickets to finish with 2-50 from his 10 over shift – that’s 19 league wickets now for the campaign for the South African and the other wicket taker was Charlie Sheen (1-19 from 6.5 overs) and the other two wickets came from run-outs initiated by Charlie Sheen and Gary Chappell.

The skipper opened the home batting reply with Tim Piper but the latter was run out for 14 with the score on 25.

Chappell was joined by Ross Acton and they took the run chase to within five runs of three figures when the skipper fell for 40 – that’s 494 league runs for Chaps this season. Mitch Pugh took over and, when the score was on 119, Ross Acton became the third wicket to fall, but not before he had hit a ‘match defining’ half century,  finally out caught for 54 from 61 balls, hitting eight fours and two sixes.

Dan Hardy was next man in – and out as he was caught for a 20-ball eight. The Hardy wicket left Ninch on 147-4, but, with the winning line in sight, just one more wicket was lost – that of Mitch Pugh who was caught for a 32-ball 22, leaving Eliot Acton unbeaten on 14 from 18 balls and Chad Classen not out 15 from 14 balls as Bradninch wrapped up a five wicket win inside 37 overs.




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