Plymouth push Hatherleigh closer to relegation

Almost there! Plymouth

PLYMOUTH are on course for a fourth-placed finish in the Premier Division after beating relegation-threatened Hatherleigh by seven wickets at Mount Wise.

With two games to play and 40 points to play for, Plymouth are 36 poiints ahead of Exmouth in fifth place.

After last season’s final-day escape from relegation, it is quite a turnaround for the city side under the new leadership of skipper Jon Varcoe.

And had Plymouth had a better start to the season – they lost three of their first four outings – there would not be 22-point gap between them and leaders Exeter.

The significance of Plymouth’s sluggish start to the season has not been lost on captain Varcoe.

“We have played some great cricket this year and have beaten teams comfortably on numerous occasions,” said Varcoe.

“It is a shame we could not get over the line early season. A couple of those close games going the other way and it would have made for an interesting finish.”

Zipo Zondo top scored for Hatherleigh with a steady 56 in their total of 179 all out. Opener Rob Cockwill made 31 and Charlie Nielson 23, which does not leave a lot from the rest.

Plymouth spinner Matt Petherbridge moved within one wicket of 100 Premier Division victims with four for 44.

Faizan Riaz tucked away 18 fours and three sixes on his way to an unbeaten 110 as Plymouth raced to victory with more than half their 50 overs unused.

Riaz now has 959 Premier Division runs in the locker this season and has two more game to become the first player in more than 20 years to make 1,000 in a league season.

Riaz and Joe Hagan-Burt (36no) eased Plymouth home during a stand of 95 unbroken after coming together when Dan Robotham was bowled first ball by Sean Letheren (2-29).