Pollard pounds Sidmouth + Dibble takes a pasting + Abrahams lashes Alphas again + Mitchell's knock among best ever seen at Braunton +
ALPHINGTON must be sick of the sight of Exeter batsman Ben Abrahams after he whacked a hundred off them again.
The last time Alphas ran into Abrahams he took 125 off them at the Chronicles.
Abrahams was at it again on Saturday with an unbeaten 113 in a hefty nine-wicket win on the County Ground.
Alphington made 192 for nine – opener Mark Halse top scoring on 38 – which Exeter knocked off with nearly 10 overs to spare.
Alphington went into the game short staffed in the bowling department, and were generally struggling for numbers. Retired 2nd XI captain Andy Mills made a comeback and, batting at number ten, made 30.
Exeter shared the wickets around with three each for Cameron Cunningham and Peter Hensor and two for Naj Choudhary.
Mike Wilkinson (21) was Exeter’s only casualty as the runs were knocked off. Abrahams and skipper Sean Langford (41) hoisted 132 unbroken to win the game.
Abrahams is clearly in a bit of nick at the moment. He scored a pre-season ton for Exeter against Abbotskerswell, 50 for Devon Dumplings against Exeter School, a ton against Alphington on Saturday and another against Shebbear College for the Dumplings on Monday.
ALVIN Pollard clubbed an unbeaten 94 in Exmouth 2nd XI’s five-wicket win over Sidmouth on the Fortfield.
Nick Gingell and Nick Mansfield both hit half-centuries for Sidmouth in their 45-over tally of 243 for nine. Matt Parker made 33 not out off 24 balls at the end,
James Edworthy (3-49) just shaded the Exmouth bowling stats from veteran Sean Day (2-35) and Marc Douglas (2-45).
Edworthy (56) and Baggs (52) got Exmouth away to a 103-run start before Jashan Patidar (2-45) dismissed both of them.
Enter Pollard to smash Exmouth to victory with more then seven overs to go. Pollard, who hit 12 fours and four sixes from 69 balls faced, was particularly severe on the usually parsimonious Charlie Dibble.
Dibble was battered for 56 runs in the 4.2 overs he bowled.
Baggs, relishing his new role as Exmouth’s 2nd XI captain, said it was an unexpected win over a strong side.
“We weren't expected to win but we bowled and fielded well and the lads stuck to the task on a very good Sidmouth pitch.
“I said to the players ‘let's give it a go with the bat and be positive’ – and we were.
“We had a great start then myself and James Edworthy threw it away and we lost our way for a few overs.
“Alvin's innings was incredible to watch. He hit the ball extremely hard and at times miles!!
“Sidmouth seemed a bit shell shocked and he took the game completely away from them.
“Overall it's a great start. It it's only one game.”
BRAUNTON held their nerve to beat Heathcoat 2nd XI by one wicket in a real nail-biter and Kelsey.
The obvious star of the show was Braunton opener Callum Mitchell, who batted from start to finish for an unbeaten 120. To put Mitchell’s knock in perspective, no one else scored more than eight!
Dan Briereley, the Braunton captain, felt there was more to winning the match than Mitchell’s knock.
Mike Brown bowls the rarely seen left-arm unorthodox spin that used to be called a chinaman – the ball turns like an off-break but more sharply – and his six-wicket haul caught Heathcoat on the hop.
“It was an unreal effort by two stand-out performers in Mike Brown, who took six for 22, and Callum Mitchell with one of the best knocks ever seen at Braunton,” said Brierley.
“Boom time is back and, hopefully, we can gain some momentum and continue on into Shobrooke Park this week.
“We will have a couple of changes from the team this week but the replacements have the X-Factor to win the game.”
Heathcoat will be disappointed they were bowled out for 171 after Toby Lochead (42) and Simon Sobczak (42) got them to 119 for three.
Wickets fell steadily once Brown came on with Henry Frankpitt (24) the only batter to linger. Finn Stoneman’s 22 not out at the end earned Heathcoat a batting bonus point.
Mitchell was involved in partnership after partnership with batters who let him get on with it. James Kemp contributed just seven runs to a stand of 58.
Jaime Valadao (3-54) and Paul Elliott (3-26) chipped away at the batting and when Mark Mitchell was ninth out the target was 26 to win with last man Mark Johnson at the crease.
Johnson blocked out for nought not out as Mitchell wiped off the runs at the other end.
BARNSTAPLE & Pilton’s first game back in the C Division East ended in a three-wicket defeat by Whimple.
George McEndoo and Sam Bithell both made scores of 20, but B&P lacked the big knock to build an innings on and meandered to 152 for nine in their 45 overs.
Whimple shared the wickets around with two each going to Stephen Hathaway, Matt Brown, Sam Jefferson and Harry McNamara-Campbell.
Whimple had to work for their runs as James Lake (1-32), Jack Moore (2-22) and Steve Moore (0-20) all bowled mean nine-over spells.
Opener Nathan Kidd (44) got Whimple up to 124 for three with support from David Culshaw (27) and Cameron Kidd (35). Bits and pieces finished the job.
SHOBROOKE Park were three-wicket losers in their C Division East game at Ottery St Mary.
The odds were always stacked against Shobrooke after they were dismissed for 125 in the 40th of their 45 overs.
Neil Branton faced 97 balls making a top score of 42 and veteran Chris Ford chipped in with 21 during a stand of 48 for the fourth wicket.
Ottery skipper Will Harrison (2-27) took early wickets, Harsha Liyanage (3-18) struck in the middle and Jody Clements (3-18) knocked off the stragglers.
Ottery’s overseas all-rounder Oliver West opened his account for the season with a steady 48 at the top of the order to get the chase up and running. Lawrence Walker (23no) was there at the end.
By the time Shobrooke’s Joe Robbins (3-9) took the last of his three wickets the target was four to win and it was game over.
Harrison said the game could not have gone much better from an Ottery perspective.
“A good, all-round bowling and fielding performance was followed by chasing down a tricky little score on an early season wicket with a shortened batting line-up, which was extremely pleasing to watch,” said Harrison.
“The two debutants – Harsha and Lawrence – put in great performances, really taking their opportunity which is fantastic to see.
“I can't wait to get on with the rest of the season.”