Devon aiming for second one-day finals spot of season
DEVON take on Suffolk at Sidmouth tomorrow (noon) bidding for a second KO cup final place of the summer.
Devon are already through to finals day in the Unicorns Twenty 20 Trophy at Wormsley on August 26.
Berkshire and Norfolk are already through to the play-offs. One of Cheshire, Cumberland or Northumberland from pool one will be joining them.
If Devon defeat Suffolk in the semi-final they will be back at the Getty family’s private ground near High Wycombe three days later for the final of the 50-over Unicorns KO Cup.
Devon have to be regarded as serious contenders to win the cup this season having disposed of holders Berkshire by 22 runs in the last round.
Ben Green, Matt Thompson and Zak Bess all scored 50 or more in a Devon total of 273 for eight, then Toby Codd and Jack Popham took three wickets each to dismissed Berkshire for 251.
Popham suffered an injury in the T20 quarter-final win over Wales a week later and is still in the sidelines.
The Devon management won’t be too worried about losing Popham as George Benton has declared himself fit and will take Popham’s place in the attack.
Benton picked up four wickets in the second-round win over Wiltshire at Sidmouth – just the sort of ‘previous’ director of cricket Keith Donohue likes to see in his teams.
“We don’t seem to have a lot of luck with our seamers and quicker bowlers as the injury rate is quite high,” said Donohue, who has had to write off Hugo Whitlock as well for the time being due to a side strain.
“Where we are fortunate is in having a decent pool of seamers to dip into when we need one.”
Former Somerset and Surrey all-rounder James Burke isn’t available for this game, which leaves Devon with a potential bowling deficiency.
“In 50-over cricket you are tempting fate going in with the bare five bowlers in case one gets injured, or just has an off day.
“Josh King has come into the squad of 14 as an extra bowler and Dan Pyle as a replacement batter.
“We will have a look at the conditions on Sunday morning and, assuming everyone has come through Saturday’s games unscathed, pick a side from there.”
Suffolk, who play in the East Division of the Unicorns Championship, are a real unknown quantity for Devon.
Honours are even in two previous KO Cup meetings with Suffolk winning in 2004 and Devon triumphing in 2014.
The only other one-day encounter was in a C&G Cup qualifier in 2003, when David Lye scored a century in a Devon win.
The other semi-final is between Shropshire and Cheshire at Bridgnorth.
Devon (from): J J Bess (Sidmouth), M W Thompson (St Fagans), A W R Barrow (Exeter), L J Lewis (Heathcoat), B G F Green (Exeter), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), D R Pile (Exmouth), G R Chappell (Bradninch), J E Thompson (Congresbury), T J R Codd (Bovey), G Benton (Paignton), S Barlow (Sidmouth), J A Stephens (Falmouth), J V King (North Devon).
Suffolk: J C Mickleburgh (Frinton), J M Foley (Colchester & East Essex ), A J Ball (Copdock & OI’s ), D P Batch (Sudbury ), B D Shepperson (Mildenhall ), D A Ironside (Billericay ), K P Young (Frinton ), T W W Rash (Mildenhall ), J J Cantrell (Bury St Edmunds ), A P Mansfield (Sudbury ), J E Poulson (Sudbury ).
Umpires: J S Attridge & T Caldicott.