Bowlers put Devon in strong position going into day two against Cheshire at Sidmouth
DEVON go into day two against Cheshire at Sidmouth on the front foot thanks to their bowlers.
Cheshire may be 176 runs ahead overnight, but Devon will feel they had the best of the first day.
Callum Rowe (75) and Rick Moore (24) had taken the score up to 96 for two then Wayne White and Rowe pushed the score along to 143 without further mishap.
Devon skipper Josh Bess shuffled the bowling attack on a regular basis, which stopped Cheshire stepping on the gas.
If there was a turning point it came when Bess sent Rowe’s middle stump cartwheeling.
Sibling rivalry meant Zak Bess had to do something too – and he plucked out Luke Robinson’s middle pole to leave Cheshire 157 for four.
Cheshire captain Luke Dixon went six runs later – Zak Bess striking again – but dangerman White was still there.
White, the former Derbyshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire all-rounder, had been doing a thoroughly professional job keeping the good balls out and scoring a run or two.
Getting White out was crucial and spinner Jamie Stephens duly obliged.
Cheshire still had batting to come in the shape of Will Evans and Jack Williams.
Evans got as far as 47. But no further. Stephens shouted for lbw, umpire Hampshire agreed and Evans had to go, reluctantly judging from his reaction time to the raised finger.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said the bowlers got their reward for sticking at it.
“Even before we started taking wickets we were bowling well and bowling thoughtfully,” said Donohue.
“We rotated the bowlers and didn’t give Cheshire chance to get settled for long.
“Jamie Stephens got four wickets, but there were lots of other contributions.
“Zak Bess picked up a couple of wickets in a spell. Josh King didn’t see the ball until the shine had gone, but 10 overs for 23 helped build pressure.”
Debutant Ansell, an 11th hour replacement for the injured James Burke, showed the benefits of putting round pegs in round holes when he opened up with Liam Lewis.
Devon have struggled through the first two games of the season without two recognised openers and found the going tough at times.
Ansell opens for club side North Devon and was averaging exactly 48 when the county decided to pick him.
He was 33 not out overnight in Devon’s total of 75 for one and looked in no real difficulties against the Cheshire bowling – any of the seamers or the left-arm spin of Dan Woods, who has troubled Devon in the past.
Cheshire 251 (C Rowe 75, W A White 38, W J Evans 47, J J Williams 28; J A Stephens 4-86, Z G G Bess 2-17), Devon 75-1
(T P P Ansell 33no, M W Thompson 24no). Bonus points: Devon 4, Cheshire 2. Click here for full scorecard