After the thumping of Clyst Hydon the week before, the 3's looked to carry on the winning streak with a home game against Kingsbridge ll Xl. This would be an interesting test, as Kingsbridge were unbeaten, apart from the game where where they failed to raise a team to play Thorverton.
Given the form of our batsmen, the plan was to bat first, rack up a big one in 40 overs, declare, and then shoot them out to claim 22 points! Lost the toss - that went well!
Kingsbridge elected to bat, and with only 10 players, we fancied our chances of dismissing them for a low score. Boz (Snr) opened the bowling in his last game before his holiday and Hernia op, and was in fine form, claiming a wicket with his 5th ball. Just the start we were looking for. As the overs ticked by, only Kingsbridge skipper Clive Clarke offered any threat, and he played some aggressive shots on his way to a well constructed 49. Boz kept up the good work, finishing with his best haul of the season so far - 3 for 26 from his 9 overs. I think we all wish Boz a good holiday, and then a successful op and speedy recovery - we will miss your accuracy and camaraderie on a Saturday.
Joel (The Heat) Heatley and Naj came into the attack, and both opened up with maidens. Joel hit the spot as he so often does, and Naj was extracting useful turn bowling from the car park end.
After a third of the overs, Kingsbridge were 66 for 3 and we still had plenty of work to do. Naj was, as ever, the man to remove the key batsman, taking a sharp caught and bowled to remove skipper Clarke (49). That opened things up for us and despite a bit of 'bish, bosh, bash' from Matt Hammett (run out by Alex R for 28), the wickets fell steadily (to Naj) and Kingsbridge finished on 146 all out from 34.3 overs, with the mighty Naj claiming 5 for 16 from 8.3 overs. Yet another superb return from him.
After the customary slap up tea, we opened our reply with the form horses - John Hurrell and Tom Richardson. Fresh of their 202 run partnership at Clyst Hydon, the pair wasted no time in going after the target.
The pair worked their way through the assorted bowlers, with only Tony Treeby (0 for 28 in 9) and Mark Sullock (0 for 16 in 7)being shown any respect. John was content to let Tom be the aggressor, although John was happy to clatter the bad balls over the line. As the pair passed through the 50 partnership, then the 100 partnership, it was clear that a comfortable win was in our reach. What we all wanted now was to see a 10 wicket win. With only 6 needed to win, and John only 4 away from 50, Tom unselfishly tried to give John the strike as much as possible, but John being the great team man that he is, was just interested in taking what runs were on offer to win the match.
Tom had the honour of scoring the winning run, finishing unbeaten on 81, with John not out on 49. 147 without loss, 10 wicket win, 20 points and up to third in the league with Bideford at Home next week. Another great performance in the field, and the quality of batting continues to fill us with confidence. John's performances this season are superb, he has allowed Tom Richardson to play with freedom and both deserve a go at 2's level if they keep this up - pressure on those batsmen above!