Devon make two changes for cup match against Berkshire

DEVON have made two changes – one of them enforced – for Sunday’s Unicorns Cup pool one game against Berkshire at Exmouth.

Early order batsman Max Curtis (pictured) is not available and his place goes to dual-registered Ryan Stevenson.

Stevenson started last season opening the bowling or Torquay, quickly graduated to the Devon side and by the end of August was on a two-year contract at Hampshire.

Injuries have prevented Stevenson from bowling much this season but he has been batting in the 2nd XI – Surrey were recently on the end of 97.

Hampshire have released Stevenson to play for his home county, although he is unlikely to bowl.

“Ryan is on the brink of being fully functional, but he won’t bowl unless everyone is happy it is the right thing for him to do,” said Devon’s director of cricket Keith Donohue.

Also in the 12 to face Berkshire is Exeter all-rounder Dom Bess, who made 72 for Somerset 2nd XI against Sussex last week.

Bess comes in for Sidmouth spinner Charlie Miles, who was 12th man in the first two pool games.

Miles has been a career number 11 for Devon and that counted against him in these days when multi-faceted sides are de rigueur.

“Matt Golding has been providing an extra spin element and his all-rounder game has allowed us to select an extra batsman,” said Donohue.

Bess bowls off-spin in addition to his batting, which makes him an obvious pick for the shorter form of the game.

Devon lost by 54 runs to Cornwall in their opening pool game, but bounced back strongly to beat Oxfordshire by five wickets in their next match.

Rob Woodman and Matt Thompson both made half centuries chasing 199 to win – and kept Devon in the hunt for a top-two place in the pool.

“It makes it a lot easier when you get two of your experienced players batting well in a partnership,” said Donohue.

“We played a lot better than we did when Cornwall beat us in the first game.”

Devon didn’t play in Sunday’s round of games as it was their turn for a day off in a pool of five.

Not playing dropped them down to fourth in the table, although they are only a point behind Cornwall and Berkshire, who have both played one more game.

In Sunday’s round of matches pool leaders Dorset defeated Cornwall by five wickets at North Perrott CC and Berkshire were three-run winners over Oxfordshire at Wargrave.

If Devon defeat Berkshire it will set them up for an all-or-nothing tussle with Dorset at Bashley a week on Sunday for a place in the last eight.

Devon (from): R J Woodman (Taunton Deane), M J Thompson (St Fagans), D J Wolf (Paignton), L J Lewis (Sidmouth), M C Golding (Bovey Tracey), B G F Green, D M Bess (both Exeter), R A Stevenson (Torquay), T S Anning (Exmouth), J R Popham (Brislington), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), T A Lammonby (Exeter).

Umpires: S E Lavis & R C Hampshire