Devon name squad for back-to-back white ball finals at Wormsley
THE dust was still settling on Devon’s win over Dorset when the 14-man squad for the Unicorns T20 Cup play-offs at Wormsley on Sunday was announced.
The format for the day is two semi-finals – Cheshire play Norfolk in the morning game before Devon meet Berkshire after lunch – with the winners staying on for the final in late afternoon.
Devon had a settled squad through the group stages to reach the quarter-final and the 14 contains no real surprises.
Injuries prevent Tom Lammonby and Jack Popham being considered and batter Zak Bess has to work. Otherwise the rest are regulars.
George Benton and Jamie Stephens, who came in for the semi-final win over Suffolk at Exmouth, are retained in the extended squad.
Keith Donohue, the Devon team chief, said everyone in the squad was there for a reason.
“There are difficult decisions to make about who to leave out and what combinations work – and you have to allow for players getting injured or having a bad day and making changes if we get through to the final,” said Donohue.
“What has got us this far is variety in the bowling, effective use of spinners and depth in batting. We want more of the same on Sunday.”
Somerset’s dual-registered all-rounder Ben Green stays in the squad for the 50-over Unicorns KO Cup final against Cheshire on Wednesday.
Devon are hoping Somerset agree to release him from 2ndXI commitments for the game.
Zak Bess is back from his work duties and takes the place of Joe Thompson in the 14.
“The easy part is picking 14 to travel, The hard part is which three don’t play,” said Donohue.
“The side has been settled all season, but players have found new roles as we have gone on, such as Gary Chappell moving up the order effectively.
“Ben Green being available will help our bowling options as we are a couple of seamers short as Zak can’t bowl and Tom Lammonby isn’t fit.”
The T20 cup is a new innovation this season, although there was a pilot competition in 2014. Devon got to finals day then – and lost to Cheshire!
Devon have an impressive record in the 50-over Unicorns Cup, not just reaching finals (7), but winning them.
Since their maiden win over Staffordshire at Lord’s in 1992 under the captaincy of Nick Folland, Devon have defeated Lincolnshire (1994), Shropshire (1998) and Berkshire (2008) to lift the cup.
Devon, squad: L J Lewis (Heathcoat), A W R Barrow, B G F Green (both Exeter), M W Thompson (St Fagins), J E Burke (Plymouth), D R Pyle (Exmouth), G R Chappell (Bradninch), G Benton (Paignton), D J Goodey (Plymouth), S Barlow (Sidmouth), J A Stephens (Falmouth), T J R Codd (Bovey), J E Thompson (Congresbury)/ Z G G Bess (Sidmouth).