Win over Suffolk was no fluke says Devon team chief Donohue

Zak Bess hits out on his way to 78 not out in Devon
Zak Bess hits out on his way to 78 not out in Devon's win over Suffolk

THERE was nothing lucky about Devon’s nail-biting win over Suffolk in the semi-final of the Unicorns 50-over Trophy.

That’s the unequivocal view of director of cricket Keith Donohue now the dust has settled on Sunday’s drama at Sidmouth.

The game finished tied but the rule book sent Devon through to next month’s final against Cheshire on the Getty family ground at Wormsley near High Wycombe.

Devon made 201 for eight in a game initially reduced to 35 overs a side, due to morning rain, and then down to 33 overs each after a stoppage while they were batting.

Duckworth-Lewis kicked in after the stoppage and back-calculated Deovn’s total to 199 for eight. Bizarre, but that’s Duckworth-Lewis in action!

Keith DonohueSuffolk needed 200 to win and finished on 199 for nine. Once the rule book was checked, umpires Attridge and Caldicott confirmed what Devon officials knew all along: fewer wickets lost was the first determiner in the case of a tie.

Suffolk’s players looked crestfallen when they lined up to shake hands at the end, which was hardly surprising.

Suffolk had everything stacked in their favour from the moment they won the toss and for Devon to win, said Donohue, was a triumph over the odds.

“We had the worst of the conditions all the way through yet found a way to win,” said Donohue.

“They stuck us in on a wicket that had been sweating away under a tarpaulin for hours and that will always make it difficult for batsmen,” said Donohue.

“Suffolk had us 58 for five, which was a strong position to be in, and we were batting on damp outfield, which meant we didn’t always get value for our shots.”

“From that position to make 201 was a testimony to the grit, guts and expertise of our batsmen.

“The stand between Zak Bess (78) and Ben Green (38) was critical and gave us a fighting chance of a total.”

Having got to 201 for eight – Scott Barlow chipping in a brisk 29 off 15 balls – Devon then had to defend what they had.

“Suffolk had the best of the conditions to bat in – they had the best of the conditions all day – and it was hard graft that stopped them winning,

“I’ve said before games ebb and flow – and this one certainly did that.

“Four overs out they needed 19 to win with three wickets left and were in the box seat.

“With four balls to go it was two to win with two wickets left and one batsman (Tom Rash) set.

“Ben Green got one out, the tail ender was on strike and his three yorkers to finish were winners.”

Sidmouth chairman Fionn Wardrop (right) leads the mopping-up operation