Ashburton 1st XI experienced their first loss of the season as they travelled to South Devon in week 5 of the Devon Cricket League.
Skipper Ashley Berry lost the toss and the Chargers were put into bat and lost Martin Causey in the first over, bowled by James Hargreaves for just 4. Lloyd White and Tristan Wakefield with a partnership of 54 until the former was caught at mid-wicket for a patient 26, falling to the spin of James Allen. Ashley Harvey joined Wakefield and the pair put on a further 30, with 24 coming from the bat of Harvey from just 20 balls. Allen bowled Harvey after an expansive swipe across the line, and then grabbed Wakefield the other side of a rain break to finish with 3-31.
Dan Coles (19) and Matt Churchill (20) added some much-needed impetus towards the end of the innings as Ashes reached 175-9 fro their 43 overs – having lost two overs per side due to a short rain break.
Allen and David Knowles came out in a positive fashion and had 34 on the board in no time. Dom Durman got the breakthrough as Allen feathered an edge behind, falling for 9. Mark Andrews came and went for 10, caught and bowled by Durman but that was as good as it got as Knowles and captain Ali Wright put on 66 to take the home side within touching distance. It wasn’t all plain sailing though as Will Coon and Matt Churchill span out the middle order and all of a sudden South Devon were reeling at 142-6. Knowles stayed strong though and reached his half century with a clip through mid-wicket. When Wakefield bowled him for 68 it was game back on again at 167-8. With the injured James Beaumont, unable to bat, the Chargers needed just one more wicket, whilst South Devon needed 9 runs for victory. Last man Jonathan Tupman took on the responsibility and got them all himself as South Devon claimed a thrilling victory.
Reflecting on a thriller, Berry said “A fantastic game of cricket, played in great spirit by both sides. It needed someone to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, with either bat or ball. And unfortunately for us, it was David Knowles who did that for South Devon with a super knock. Our top order all got starts but failed to convert, whilst with the ball we didn’t bowl straight enough and 21 wides doesn’t help either. We need to be more disciplined and tighten up in all areas if we want to be on the right side of these types of games. On a side note, I would like to wish James Hargreaves a speedy recovery after what looked like a painful knee injury.”
Ashburton 175-9 (T Wakefield 30, extras 30, L White 26, A Harvey 24: J Allen 3-31, T Beaumont 2-29), South Devon 178-8 (D Knowles 68, A Wright 33, extras 26; D Durman 3-33, W Coon 2-43). South Devon (19pts) bt Ashburton (8) by 2 wkts.
Markus West, captaining the 2nd XI in the absence of Chris Yeo reflected on a narrow defeat to Ivybridge – “The 2s lost by 2 runs but the performance was great with four U16s in the team. Toby Cowdry made his debut, Jake Pascoe bowled his 9 overs and kept to the game plan well even when the batsman tried coming after him. Tom Rush was quality behind the sticks and Jack Churchill was MOTM with 2 wickets and 41 runs.
Jerry bowled superbly again. Lambo batted at 4 and put on 60 for the 3rd wicket with Nicksy who was in great form. All fielders chased everything, heads never dropped and the encouragement and positivity was outstanding. Always an honour to skipper and today reminded me why.”
Ivybridge 174-7 (D Newman 55, H Johnson 38no, D Solomon 30; M West 2-33, J Churchill 2-45), Ashburton 171 (J Churchill 41, K Nicholls 35, M West 28; T Hall 3-21,C Price 2-23). Ivybridge (19pts) bt Ashburton (7) by 3 runs.