2nd XI vs Cornwood

by Richard Nelsey

On a another day with a gloomy forecast Exeter entertained Cornwood at the County Ground. Cornwood have, in the past, either been right on the ball with their performances or a long way off ... which team had turned up today? With the coin landing the right way for the Exeter captain, there was no hesitation in putting Cornwood in hoping to bowl them out and knock the runs off before the rain came.

This looked like a good idea when Drew Smith bowled Boase for 5 and Cornwood were 10-1 in the 4th over! However, things began to slip with the discipline in the bowling and the standards in the field and the scoreboard very soon showed 71-1 from just 17 overs. There was then another twist in the game as Bate struck twice in two balls and then Milne removed opener Rickard caught and bowled for 29 and Warren one over later to leave Cornwood 75-5!! Enter Cornwood Captain David Tall who began to put a partnership together with Dave Walter. With Bate's spell finishing (2-14 from 7), the ever reliable Pete Hensor continued to make runs hard to come by for the Cornwood batsman and opening bowler Tshepo Legodi was brought back to hopefully help exploit the pressure Hensor was applying. Whilst Legodi could not find his rhythm Hensor slowly picked up wickets to finish with figures of 4 for 16 from 9 overs and Cornwood were all out for 144. A chance of 20 points was very much a possibility as long as the weather held off!

Exeter were confident of a run chase with Mike Wilkinson and Sean Langford renewing their successful opening partnership from 2011 for the first time this season. However, at the end of the 4th over, with the score on 13-0 the rain fell hard enough to draw the players off the pitch for a couple of minutes. The umpires then called the players back out and 21 of the 22 players were keen to get started. After further "discussions" it was agreed play would start in 10 mins. Once play started Wilkinson and Langford comfortably moved the score on to 42 from the first ten overs but the introduction of the tall left arm spinner Robin Dart made things a little more difficult to score. The openers played the patient game and waited for the bad balls to keep the risk low whilst moving the score onwards. Wilkinson firstly moved past his 50 and then the partnership moved past the 100-mark in the 23rd over. With news from Sandford that torrential rain had just ended their game at Creedy Park a big black cloud looming, the nod was given to Legodi to throw on his pads in case a wicket fell. However, the Captain should not have worried as seven overs later Wilkinson cracked his 14th four to move on to 90 not out and seal 20 points for Exeter!! Langford was unbeaten on 39 at the other end.

The win keeps the 2nd XI right in the hunt for the title and remain just 3 points behind Sidmouth and they still have their perfect record at the halfway point in the season.

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