Skipper Bess batters Dorset as Devon win Trophy opener

Josh Bess on his way to a half century against Dorset at Instow. Photo: Tom Sandberg


DEVON got away to a wining start in the Unicorns Trophy when they defeated Dorset by 59 runs in the Group One opener at Instow.

Alex Barrow and skipper Josh Bess both hit half-centuries in Devon’s all-out total of 215 in the last of their 50 overs.

Barrow chipped and flicked 63 off 83 balls, keeping the bowlers honest by attacking them at every opportunity. Bess clouted a rumbustious 53 off 59 deliveries, which included six fours and three sixes.

Dorset’s ex-England Under-19 left-arm seamer Tom Barber, now part of the MCC Young Cricketers’ programme, posed problems with the ball for Devon on his way to figures of four for 39.

Matt Golding - took the key wicket of Mark Porter. Photo: www.ppauk.comSix wickets fell for 19 runs as Devon went from170 for three to 189 for nine with Bess and Barrow among the casualties and Barber among the wickets.

Matt Golding (22no) and tail-ender Hugo Whitlock put on 26 for the last wicket to get Devon past 200.

Dorset were roughed-up from the word go by Bess, who took every wicket to fall in a running total of 22 for four after nine overs.

Two batters were caught hooking – Somerset’s Max Waller in the first over and Ed Ellis down at long-leg – with two more nibbling and nicking outside off-stump.

Luke Webb (60) and Mike Porter (32) mounted a recovery that took Dorset to 114 for four and at that stage they were slight favourites.

Webb’s departure to a run-out from sideways on by Liam Lewis was the beginning of the end for Dorset.

Dorset’s last five wickets went for 30 runs with Dom Bess and leg-spinner Golding the men of the moment with the ball.

Golding, who started the slide by trapping Porter lbw, finished with two for 24.

Dom Bess (3-30) prospered after changing ends, taking three for 15 from the Pavilion End having been none for 15 at the other in his first spell.

Dorset were all out for 156 with eight overs to go, their last six wickets tumbling for 42 runs.

It was a comprehensive win for Devon, but one that was hard to obtain.

Devon misfired when they batted –Golding and Finlay Trenouth were the only batters to supports Barrow and Josh Bess with scores of 20-plus – and laboured at times with the ball.

“We had a couple of mad half hours in both innings, but we worked through it,” said director of cricket Keith Donohue.

“It was a case of finding the right combinations to get us over the line in the end.

“Josh Bess was captain fantastic and I was pleased it came good for Dom who got his length spot on after changing ends.”

Coming next for Devon is a date with Berkshire at Henley this Sunday. Berkshire had no game in the first round of fixtures.

Oxfordshire got off the mark with a slender one-run win over Cornwall in their opening game.

 Devon 215 (J J Bess 53, A W B Barrow 63; T E Barber 4-39), Dorset 156 (L A Webb 60, M J Porter 32; D M Bess 3-30. J J Bess 4-20). Devon (2pts) bt Dorset (0) by 59 runs