3's start where they left offby Vince Reddick
Finally the sun shone and the 3's got their promotion campaign under way at a very soft Westleigh against North Devon lll Xl. An important toss was actually won by yours truly who had no hesitation in asking the hosts to bat on a blancmange.
It proved to be a good decision as our very own antipodean interloper, Drew Smith saw his first two deliveries swing, fail to bounce, and pass the fat old balding wicket keeper for 8 byes! Good start skipper! Immediately the 'backstop' was employed and that stemmed the bye count (phew!).
Drew was joined in the opening bowling department by Joel Heatley, making his Exeter lll Xl debut and he acquitted himself well in an opening spell of 1 for 8 from 7 overs, including 2 maidens. Meanwhile Drew was having plumb LBW after plumb LBW appeal turned down and had to settle for debut figures of 13 overs, 4 maidens, 3 for 10, and I predict a hat-full of wickets for Drew if the strips dry up.
Our positive start was backed up by a good fielding display (apart from the dodgy keeper) and as the Mighty Naj was invited to turn his arm over, the end was in sight for North Devon.
Naj immediately dropped into his stride, picking up an early wicket, then took two in two balls on his way to a superb return of 4 for 10 from 8 overs.
As the North Devon rear guard shut shop, Jim 'The Hoop' Wenley worked his magic and took 2 for 7 to wrap up the North Devon innings for 61 - a total that might not be a straight forward chase given the poor pitch.
Debutant Sinth Theveraj looked assured as the wicket dried a little, but as Sinth showed, you don't have to worry about the bounce if they bowl full tosses!
After the early loss of Will Street, Naj 'who needs winter nets' Choudhary batted with confidence showing how to sweep on a pitch that doesn't bounce, hitting 3 fours in one over before falling for 30 with just 1 needed for victory. Sinth duly obliged smashing a four over the in field to finish unbeaten on 30, leaving the 3's 65 for 2 and claiming 20 points for an 8 wicket win.