Devon lose Green from squads for Unicorns T20 and 50-over finals

Ben Green (left) receiving his county cap from Devon skipper Josh Bess before the game against Dorset at Sidmouth earlier this week
Ben Green (left) receiving his county cap from Devon skipper Josh Bess before the game against Dorset at Sidmouth earlier this week

By Conrad Sutcliffe

DEVON have lost Somerset all-rounder Ben Green from their squads for the looming Unicorns T20 Cup and Unicorns KO Cup finals.

Green was pencilled into the squad for today’s T20 play-off day at Wormsley and the 50-over final against Cheshire on Wednesday at the same Buckinghamshire venue.

Devon, who qualified for finals day as winners of the West group face old-rivals Berkshire in the early afternoon semi-final on the Getty family’s private ground near High Wycombe.

Josh Mailling - called into the Devon squad for WormsleyCheshire and Norfolk play their semi in the morning so it will be a case of winner-stays-on for the final, due to start around 4pm.

Somerset pulled Green out of yesterday’s Devon Premier Division match between Exeter and Heathcoat and told Devon they need him at Taunton.

Josh Mailling, who has been in Devon’s three-day squad all season, comes into both squads, bringing them back up to 14-men.

“We are bound to miss a player of Ben’s calibre, but we have to be realistic too,” said Donohue.

“Ben only played in the first two T20 games and we won five of the next six without him.

“He played a big part in our 50-over wins over Berkshire and Suffolk to get us to the final and not having his potential runs and wickets is disappointing.

“The good thing for us is we don’t rely on one or two players to dominate and I am confident others will step up on both days.”

Devon took a couple of qualifying rounds to get into the swing of T20 cricket – this is a new competition – but won four games on the bounce to secure their group.

Donohue said having found a formula that works it is crucial to stick to it.

“When you get to finals it is easy to get carried away by the occasion and start over-thinking things,” said Donohue.

“We know Berkshire well – this will be the third time we have played them this season – and know who their key men are and what they do already.

“They are a good side in all forms of the game, but they will know much the same about us too. We will concentrate on getting our game right, and so will they.

“What we must not do is lose sight what got us this far as remember to keep doing it.

“The team and the tactics evolved over the first few games and by the end of the group games we were quite well polished.

“Moving Gary Chappell up the order to open gave us some swash and buckle at the top.

“When you have James Burke and Alex Barrow the early order (both ex-England U19 players) then hitters of the calibre of Josh Bess and Joe Thompson after that, it is a powerful batting line-up.

“In our bowling we have options in case someone has an off day – and variety which helps stop opposing batsmen getting too settled.

“When I look at our side I see one with talent, application and nous that can get you over the line in tight circumstances.”

Gone from the squad that defeated Wales twice in a day to qualify are Tom Lammonby (injured), stand-in keeper Ed Yeo, Josh King and Jack Popham, whose fitness has been up and down all season, and work-tied Zak Bess.

In come current Somerset staffer Green, keeper Matt Thompson, one-day specialist Scott Barlow and paceman Dan Goodey to make up a 14-man travelling party.

Read Paul Bolton's rundown on Devon's T20 finals day opposition

Devon, squad: L J Lewis (Heathcoat), A W R Barrow (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), J H J Mailling (Bovey Tracey).