2nd XI vs Exmouthby Richard Nelsey
With the forecast looking bleak, for a full game, a pivotal toss went the way of Exeter who had no hesitation in putting Exmouth in to bat with the hope of bowling them out cheaply and quickly and then knocking off the runs.
The quick Exeter opening attack of Pollard and Legodi had anything loose punished by the Exmouth openers and they were soon on 26 after 6 overs. Pollard then had Rintoul caught behind and then Legodi had Page trapped in front. Cross (21) and Collinge (48) then put together a good partnership but pressure mounted when Milne (29 from 13) and Hensor (17 from 7) conceded just 30 from a 15 over spell. The introduction of young leg spinner Reddick (3/27), with 21 overs left first had Cross bowled and then Collinge caught behind after skying a mis-timed pull shot. Steady wickets began to tumble but through some "interesting" shot selection from Conway (19) and Ashfaq (25) pushed the score forwards but the pace of Legodi (3/51) and Pollard (3/44) were to much for the tail and Exmouth were all out for 173 in 48.4 overs.
With no rain coming, as forecast at tea, Exeter set about the run chase with Bosomworth (coming down from the 1's to get some time in the middle) and U15 County Captain Hoddinott. Despite some good swing bowling by Tarry, both openers prayed on anything loose from the Exmouth bowlers to move Exeter on to 61 from the first 16 overs. Unfortunately Hoddinott then pushed firmly at a good length ball and was well caught at mid off for 23. White was then bowled with the very next ball, giving Tarry (2/37) his next wicket. A tactical change to the batting line-up saw Legodi come to the crease to push the tempo with the weather coming in. Bosomworth joined Legodi in this by taking the next three overs for 30 runs.
Unfortunately a drinks break was taken with 29 needed. The next over went for 12 leaving just 17 needed but the heavens opened and that was the end of the game with Exeter so close to a win. Legodi was unbeaten on 32 from 31 balls and Bosomworth showed his class at this level being 70 not out. This gave Exeter 14 points and news followed that nearest rivals, Sidmouth, had only picked up 11 points from their rained off game with Bovey, extending Exeter's lead to 12 points at the top of Devon Premier 2nd XI.
"I thought that we stayed really patient with the ball today and Pete and Steve really tied things up in the middle of their innings." commented Exeter skipper Nelsey.
"At 94 for 2 with 18 to go I thought we would struggle to bowl them out and could be chasing a large total so to take all 10 wickets and restrict them to 173 was a good job, despite some tail end agricultural batting which got them maybe 30 runs more than they should have.
"This was our best batting performance this year with Alec and Marcus giving us a solid start. Tshepo did exactly what I asked when he went in and Alec showed that he will soon be back in the 1st XI team. It was a real shame that the rain came when it did as the win was so close but we did get a lot more of a game than I expected and we squeezed out another 3 points over Sidmouth.
"To be 12 clear at the point is a superb start but we have a really tough game next week when we travel to Mount Wise and defending Champions Plymouth. A good result there and we'll be where we want to be with a third of the season gone."