Bowlers give Devon platform but batters fail to capitalise
DEVON won’t be dwelling too long on their Unicorns T20 Cup 50-run semi-final defeat by Berkshire at Wormsley as there’s another trophy to chase tomorrow.
Next on the agenda is the 50-over Unicorns Trophy final against Cheshire at the same venue, a cup Devon have won four times before.
Finals day in the T20 competition on the Getty family ground in Buckinghamshire was put back 24 hours due to rain on Sunday. In the delayed first semi-final, Cheshire overcame Norfolk by 46 runs.
Devon were on second against Berkshire and were set 139 to win to reach the final. After a promising start spearheaded by Gary Chappell, they collapsed from 68 for two to 88 all out.
Devon had been hampered by losing dual-registered all-rounder Ben Green to Somerset commitments and the absence of run-getter Alex Barrow due to illness.
Keith Donohue, Devon’s director of cricket, said having got into a promising position, the batting was a let down.
“We could not have done much better bowling and fielding to keep Berkshire to 138 for nine, which should have been in our reach,” said Donohue.
“The game was there to be won but we found a way of falling down a hole.
“Gary Chappell gave us a great start, but after we lost a few wickets we seemed to stop thinking clearly.
“Guys got out playing injudicious shots at the wrong times and once you lose a few close together it is hard to keep going in an unforgiving format.
Waqas Hussain (37) and Dan Lincoln (34) were the prime run getters for Berkshire, who slowed up in the second 10 overs while Devon’s Jamie Stephens (4-0-19-0) wheeled away.
Chappell, who made 43 before walking past a delivery from Chris Peploe (4-11), and Matt Thompson (10) got Devon up to 52 for two before it all went pear-shaped.
Peploe and Ollie Birts (3-23) were largely responsible for the collapse that cost Devon the game.
Devon hope former Somerset batter Barrow will have recovered in time to face Cheshire tomorrow. Hard-hitting Zak Bess, who had to work yesterday, will also be back.
“Having beaten holders Berkshire on the way to the 50-over final and won a close one against Suffolk in the semi, we know we are a good 50-over side and will be ready to go again,” said Donohue.
Berkshire went on to beat Cheshire by six wickets in the final
Tuesday should be a rest day for the players, but not for Devon vice-captain Thompson, who is skippering a Unicorns Championship XI against an MCC XI at Wormsley.
Berkshire 138-9 (W Hussain 37, D J Lincoln 34; J J Bess 2-25, S Barlow 2-26), Devon 88 (G R Chappell 43; C T Peploe 4-11, O D W Birts 3-23). Berkshire bt Devon by 50 runs.