2nd XI vs Sidmouthby Richard Nelsey
Following a nervy, but successful, run chase last week at home to Bovey Tracey, Exeter 2nd XI made four changes to the team for the competitive trip to Sidmouth. Jack Richardson changed places with Andy Mead, Alex Bate made his debut and Adam Fradgley and Brian Bosomworth came in too.
With the sunshine now out but the pitch looking soft and probably rather slow, Exeter captain Richard Nelsey lost the toss and was put in to bat. Things looked good for Exeter after 19 overs as they were 61 for 0 but then the game changed. Dion Bulner (27) was out LBW, Sean Langford (16) was caught at mid-off and when two more quick wickets fell Exeter were 73 for 4 from 28 overs. Skipper Nelsey worked hard with Adam Fradgley (15) to take put on 35 in 7 overs before Fradgley was caught at cover and were still 115 for 5 with 11 overs to go. 175 was the revised target but Tshepo Legodi soon changed this taking Bess for 31 from his 2 overs!! Legodi fell for 37 but Nelsey was still there and only an amazing one handed catch, whilst in the air, and throw back over the boundary, prevented a six from the final ball and Exeter reaching the 200 mark. The final score was 198 for 7 with Nelsey reaching 50 n.o. from the last ball.
The Sidmouth reply got off to a cautious start as Exeter's opening bowlers of Legodi and Richardson hit their line and lengths and gave nothing away. This caused some frustration to build amongst the Sidmouth openers and Legodi claimed the big wicket of Patidar in the 10th over to leave them 21 for 1 from the 1st 10 overs. The introduction of spinner Steve Milne did nothing to help the run rate which soon helped him claim his first wicket. From there it was slow going by Sidmouth with them being just 70 for 2 from 20 overs but Exeter had shown what was possible with wickets in hand in the final overs. Milne was being backed up by debutant Alex Bate by keeping things tight and forced a couple of quick mistakes by the Sidmouth batsman against Milne (3/30 from 13). Legodi was brought back in to action with 19 overs left and six wickets left to take. The changing moment was when he had Sidmouth captain Hewer brilliantly caught by Nelsey at mid-off and then Chaplin two balls later at mid-on. With 10 overs left Sidmouth needed 29 to reach the losing draw total but Exeter needed another four wickets. Legodi (5/40 from 15) got number 7 and 8 and when Bate (2/19 from 10) got Wardrop caught and bowled things were all to play for going in to the final over. After five dots, all well played by Chilcotte, Bate bowled a leg side when to have one more go. A perfect leg cutter clipped the top of off stump to win the game for Exeter!!!!
"Anytime you are able to take 19pts from Sidmouth you know you have played well as they have a lot of experience mixed with some promising younger players and never give you anything for free" commented the Exeter Captain.
"At 73 for 4 I was a little concerned that we would post a substantial target to bowl at as Charlie Dibble was in his rhythm and giving very little away. However, the pitch got a little easier as you spent time at the wicket and I knew we had some fire power to exploit the shorter boundary in the later overs.
"As for the bowling and fielding performance, I thought it was going to be difficult to top the standard of last weeks game, however, the bowlers did a great job of hitting their line and lengths and made runs difficult to come by and fields very easy to set. We dropped a couple of chances but will continue to practice hard as there are no easy games in this league and I hope we can stay in our current league position after the next 16 games!!"