Dart and King steer Devon to victory over Gloucestershire 2nd XI
JACK Dart hit a match-winning half-century on his home ground to see Devon to a four-wicket win over Gloucestershire 2nd XI.
Devon did well to limit Gloucestershire to 216 for nine in their 50 overs at Heathcoat – skipper Ian Cockbain making a top score of 59.
Devon were 86 for three at the half way stage and slipping into six-an-over territory if they were going to win.
The Bess brothers – Josh (25) and Luke (32) – kept the board ticking over then Dart and Josh King won the game with an unbeaten stand of 58 for the eighth wicket.
Dart was 50 not out and King unbeaten on 21 when Devon passed the post with seven balls to spare.
It was a hard-earned win over a strong side sprinkled with seasoned pros such as Cockbain, first team captain Gareth Roderick, Kiwi Kieran Noema-Barnett, Ben Howells and Tom Smith.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said the win over Gloucestershire was beneficial on a couple of levels.
“Individually, no one has played very much so just to grip a ball or hold a bat is good as this stage of our preparations,” said Donohue.
“To then put in strong performances against an experienced Gloucestershire side is even better.
“To do well against good players boots your own confidence and, I believe, that makes you a better player.
“Hugo Whitlock (3-27) and Dan Goodey (1-24) are young players who are improving all the time and we saw that in the way they bowled their overs.
“Hugo bowled several spells in his 10 overs and those are good figures, as were Dan’s.
“When things were not going right for us and we had a bad over or two, we found ways of taking a wicket.
“The conditions were difficult for batters when they first went in and we coped with that well.
“We have got one more warm-up game to go before we play Dorset in the one-day cup. The squad is shaping up nicely, although there may be management issues as we can only play 11 and plenty of players are putting their hands up.”
Whitlock and Goodey kept it tight when they bowled, as did skipper Josh Bess (2-49) apart from one aberration of an over that went for 22.
King (2-45) picked up a couple of wickets to be proud of: full-timers Roderick and Howell.
Callum Gregory (2-37) picked off Devon openers Finlay Trenouth (34) and Liam Lewis in a running total of 43 for two after 12 overs.
The Bess brothers negotiated Smith and George Drissell (3-32) in a stand worth 30 that kept the board turning over.
Drissell bagged a brace of Besses and Smith trapped Dan Pyle leg before.
After that Matt Golding became Drissell’s third victim at 159 for seven, Dart and King saw Devon home without further mishap.
Devon’s final warm-up game is against Somerset 2nd XI at Sidmouth this Sunday.
Gloucestershire 216-9 (I A Cockbain 59, K Noema-Barnett 33, B A C Howell 22; J J Bess 2-49, H M Whitlock 3-27), Devon 217-7 (F R Trenouth 34, L F O Bess 32, J F S Dart 50no). Devon bt Gloucestershire 2nd XI by 3 wkts.