More runs for Barrow and Bess as Devon take commanding lead over Dorset
DEVON have got Dorset under the cosh at Sidmouth after piling up a whopping 458-run lead by the end of day two.
When bad light stopped play around 15 minute early last night, Devon have reached 218 for five second time round.
Dorset, who were 52 for one going into day two, reached 186 all out shortly after lunch in their first innings.
Devon, already 240 ahead, opted not to enforce the follow-on and aimed instead to bat Dorset out of the game. It only needed a cursory glance at the scoreboard last night to confirm it was one mission accomplished.
The challenge today is whether or not Devon will be able to bowl out Dorset a second time to win the match? That’s mission two.
Dorset are highly unlikely to succeed in a run chase. They have only topped 300 once all season and that wasn’t enough to beat Shropshire.
Devon captain Josh Bess will be backing his side to run through Dorset in three sessions which, if they bowl and field as well as they did on day two, is a plausible assumption.
What Devon won’t want are any more breaks for rain – they lost an hour after lunch yesterday – or any more problems with iffy light.
“The break for rain scuppered out plans to get Dorset back in for the last hour or so and have another crack at them,” admitted Devon team chief Keith Donohue.
Runs on the board are a splendid thing. They allow captains to set attacking fields, which is exactly what Devon’s Josh Bess did in the morning session. He had more slips than a Petticoat Lane market trader.
The seamers were rotated regularly – Benton, Goodey, Green and the captain all had spells – and wickets fell as edges were found.
“On the first day we went past the bat but could not find the edge as often as we would have liked,” said Donohue.
“Second day the ball ran for us, we found the edge and catches went to hand, either caught behind or in the slips.
“We bowled well and caught well.”
Ben Green (4-34) found the edge more often than his colleagues. Bess gobbled up four slip catches in an innings where no batsman got out caught in front of the wicket.
Spinner Josh Stephens (2-20) was deployed to remove Dorset pro Jigar Niak, who made a top score of 32.
Bess and Alex Barrow, who put on 220 for Devon’s fourth wicket on day one, tucked into the Dorset bowling again for scores of 70 and 66 respectively and shared another sizeable stand, this time worth 129.
Green chipped in with 27 and George Allen dealt largely in boundaries on his way to 31.
Devon 426-5 (J J Bess 203no, A W R Barrow 101) & 218-5 (A W R Barrow 66, J J Bess 70, G B Allen 31; J K H Naik 3-73), Dorset 186 (J K H Naik 32, L A Webb 30; B G F Green 4-34, D J Goodey 2-43, J A Stephens 2-20). Today 11am-6.30 or 7pm