Devon slip to defeat against Berkshire in second Unicorns Trophy qualifier
DEVON were left to reflect on missed opportunities after slipping to a 44-run defeat at Henley in their second Unicorns Trophy pool match.
Berkshire recovered from 37 for four to make 234 for nine in their 50 overs – James Morris and Dan Lincoln turning things round with a stand of 84 for the sixth wicket.
Devon wobbled to 95 for five in reply, then got going again as Jack Dart and Josh Bess added 54 for the sixth wicket.
Problems started all over again when Dart chipped a catch to mid-on. Bess kept going, but wickets fell at the other end.
After Bess was ninth out on 173, last pair Hugo Whitlock and Dan Goodey took the tally to 190 before Berkshire wrapped things up.
Defeat isn’t terminal to Devon’s hope of qualifying for the KO stages from Group One – they reached the semi-finals last season as runners-up.
But they have no room for error in their remaining games against Oxfordshire at Sidmouth and Cornwall at Werrington.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said it was a frustrating game that could have been nailed down more than once.
“We got ourselves into promising positions, then found ways to get out of them,” said Donohue.
“Sometimes it seems we are not aware of the state of the game and don’t consider the consequences of our actions.
“You can’t do much about a good ball that you nick early on, but 50 overs is a long time and once you get settled you can be a bit more selective in your approach.”
Whitlock (2-35) and Scott Barlow (3-33) rocked Berkshire early on by reducing them to 37 for four.
Morris (47) and Andy Rishton (26) put on 40 for the fifth wicket, a stand that ended when Rishton was caught behind off Barlow.
Lincoln (43) and Morris put together the stand that gave Berkshire the platform for their eventual total.
Goodey (2-38) broke the stand and there were wickets for Dom and Josh Bess as the overs ran down.
Stewart Davison batted through from sixth wicket down for 33 not out, garnering 73 runs with help from the tail-enders.
Devon lost opener Liam Lewis in the first over – caught at second slip – and Matt Thompson caught behind soon after.
Dan Pyle (18), Ben Green (44) and Bess (43) took Devon to a useful 95 for three, only for Green then Matt Golding to fall in successive balls to ex-Middlesex spinner Chris Peploe (3-30).
Bess and Dart (23) got the target down to 85 to win in 17 overs with five wickets intact, which looked like a winning position.
Once Dart chipped one up and departed it was left to Bess and the tail, which proved an unequal struggle.
Berkshire 234-9 J C Morris 47, D Lincoln 43, S R Davison 33no; H M Whitlock 2-35, S Barlow 3-33), Devon 190 (B G F Green 44, J J Bess 43, J F S Dart 23; T M Nugent 3-40, C T Peploe 3-30). Berkshire (2pts) bt Devon (0) by 44 runs.