Skipper Bess adds five-wicket haul to double ton and six catches as Devon complete 272-run win over Dorset
DEVON’s players have a few days to catch their breath after the 272-run win over Dorset before embarking on back-to-back white-ball finals at Wormsley.
Coming up first is Sunday’s Unicorns T20 finals day, when Devon face Cheshire for a crack at either Berkshire or Norfolk in the final.
Three days later Devon are back at the Getty Family ground in Buckinghamshire for the 50-over Unicorns KO Cup final, also against Cheshire.
There is a lot coming up, but for a few hours yesterday the Devon players and management just wanted to savour their first three-day, Championship win for more than a calendar year.
You have to go back to July 2-17 and six-wicket verdict against Wiltshire at Salisbury for Devon’s last win in the Championship.
“We have played three-day cricket a bit better than the results suggest so it was good to win this one so emphatically,” said team chief Keith Donohue.
Skipper Josh Bess was the undisputed man of the match in Devon’s first win of the three-day, Unicorns Championship season.
Bess, playing on his home ground at Sidmouth, made an unbeaten double hundred in the first innings and added 70 more in the second.
There were four slip catches for the skipper as Dorset were dismissed for 186 in their first innings – and five wickets for 33 runs to remove them for 186 again in the second.
Others joined in from time to time – Alex Barrow hit a ton, Ben Green had a four-wicket haul – but when the history of Devon CCC is written this game will belong to Josh Bess.
“And probably rightly so,” agreed Donohue. “It has not been Josh’s best season up to now so it is fair to say he was due to come good.
“The thing I liked about Josh’s double hundred was the way he kept his rhythm and stayed in the zone after getting to the first hundred.
“He went on and didn’t swish it away for a hundred a few more.
“When Josh is bowling at his best, as he was today, he is always likely to go through a side.
“And as for the catches, he has always been fantastic in the slips or anywhere else.”
Bess (70) and Alex Barrow (66) had helped Devon to a total of 218 for five at the end of day two. With a lead of 458 in the book, Bess declared with three sessions to bowl Dorset out to get the result.
Dorset’s early order crumbled against Bess, Green and Dan Goodey. At 103 for six it was only going one way.
Dorset were nine wickets down at lunch and it only took seven balls after the break for Bess to finish it off.
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) & 186 (J K H Naik 43, E J Ellis 37; J J Bess 5-33, J A Stephens 3-47). Devon (24pts) bt Dorset (3) by 272 runs.