Donohue anticipating another 'ding-dong' tussle against Berkshire in T20 semi-final
By Paul Bolton
DEVON'S director of cricket Keith Donohue expects another 'ding-dong tussle' with Berkshire in the semi-finals of the new Minor Counties T20 competition at Finals Day at Wormsley on Sunday.
Although Devon have struggled in three-day cricket – their win over Dorset at Sidmouth on Tuesday was their first of the season – they have been the form side in white-ball cricket and have the chance of completing a trophy double at Wormsley in the next week.
They face Cheshire in the 50-over Unicorns KO Trophy final on August 29 but Donohue’s immediate priority is the T20 semi-final against Berkshire.
Devon have already played and beaten Berkshire in white-ball cricket this season, ending thier reign as 50-over champions at the quarter-final stage of this season's competition.
“The T20 competition is in its first proper year so it’s nice to get through to the first Finals Day and we have played pretty well in the 50 overs competition as well,” Donohue.
“So it’s a big week for us and to have the opportunity to play in back-to-back finals is really exciting.
“Things haven’t gone as would have wanted in three-day cricket. But if you lose one or two key players, as we have, it can tip the balance one or t’other.
“If you lose a couple of experienced players it can take the younger lads a couple of games to get round the three day stuff. But in the limited overs format we have looked pretty strong.
“We know a lot about Berkshire. They have been a very good side for a long time now. They are pretty smart, they have good players but they will probably be thinking the same us. We will have to be at our best if we are going to win the semi-final and it will probably be another ding-dong tussle as our games against them usually are.”
The winners of the Devon v Berkshire semi-final will face either Cheshire – who are also chasing a white ball trophy double – or Norfolk, who meet in the first semi-final at 10am, with a quick turnaround before the final which is scheduled to start at 4pm.
“Emotionally it’s quite hard, having put all your effort and emotion into a game, you come down and then you have to build yourself back up again, which is a difficult thing to do” Donohue said.
“But that’s the format of the competition and, if we are fortunate to come out on top on Sunday, we will have to deal with it.”
Devon will have Somerset all-rounder Ben Green available for his native county with James Burke, the former Somerset, Surrey and Leicestershire all-rounder coming into the squad that beat Dorset in the championship at Sidmouth on Tuesday.
Injury will prevent all-rounder Zak Bess from bowling and restrict him to the role of batsman.
Minor Counties T20 Finals Day: August 26: Wormsley: Norfolk v Cheshire (10 am), Berkshire v Devon (1pm). Final (4pm)