Devon go into final day against Wiltshire chasing 194 to win
DEVON will be chasing 194 to win against Wiltshire today, hopeful they have laid solid foundations overnight.
Zak Bess took four wickets and there were two each for Matt Golding and Jamie Stephens as Wiltshire were bowled out for 199 the second time round.
That left Devon roughly two hours batting time last night to make inroads into the target of 281 to win.
By close of play Wiltshire had bowled 32 overs and Devon were 88 for two. The two were Stephens and Matt Thompson.
Surviving opener Tom Ansell will resume this morning on 35, Matt Golding is the man at the other end.
Devon have wickets in hand having avoided the curse of the last-session collapse sides batting fourth seen afflicted by on day two in three-day cricket.
Devon have a long way to go to win the game – and memories of the Banbury balls-up remain painfully fresh.
Chasing 245 to win in on the last day, Devon improved from 24 for three overnight to 229 for five, then surrendered five wickets for ten runs and lost the match by six.
It was a harsh reminder nothing can be taken for granted in Minor Counties Cricket. No wonder team chief Keith Donohue chose his words carefully when reviewing the state of the game.
“We have bowled them out twice and they got us all out first time for 127 – and now we are batting last to win on a low-scoring pitch,” said Donohue.
“We have seen throughout the game the only way to score runs is to occupy the crease for long periods and that’s the challenge for us now.
“Matt Thompson and Tom Ansell have given us a start – but that is all it is.
“With three sessions to play there is no real time pressure on us. The pressure its to build worthwhile partnerships and put a high price on our wickets.
Devon, 84 for five overnight in their first innings, struggled to 127 all out before lunch.
Debutant Joe Thompson went almost immediately once play resumed – the first of three mopping-up wickets for James Arney. Tahir Afridi (4-50) and Jake Lintott dealt with the rest.
Josh Bess startled Wiltshire by ripping out both openers for 10 runs on the board.
Will Wade (33) and Ed Young (30) batted time, but when they got out attempts to raise the tempo resulted in 72 for two becoming 99 for five. Zak Bess doing most of the damage,
Jake Lintott’s 34 off 27 did lift the pace, but wickets were falling round him to Golding (2-23) and spinner Jamie Stephens (2-33).
Having got Wiltshire on the ropes at 148 for eight, Devon couldn’t find the combination punches to finish them off.
Tail-enders Afridi and Arney put on 46. Devon will hope that stand does not come back to haunt them.
Wiltshire 208 (W J Wade 69, B Cookson 33, M D Reynolds 33; T R J Codd 4-27, J J Bess 3-30) & 199 (W J Wade 33, J B Lintott 34, T G Afridi 32, E G C Young 30; Z G G Bess 4-25), Devon 127 (T P P Ansell 32; T G Afridi 4-50, J C W Arney 3-30) & 88-2 (T P P Ansell 35no). Bonus points: Devon 4, Wiltshire 5.