Exmouth and Exeter bring in students for Maer Ground tussle

EXMOUTH and Exeter meet at the Maer on Saturday with opening day wins safely stashed.

Exmouth won on the chase at Plymouth, where half-centuries from Callum French, Bob Dawson and skipper Richard Baggs eased them to a two-wicket win over Plymouth.

Alvin Pollard was the man of the moment for Exmouth as he hit the winning runs off the final ball to reach the target of 292 to win.

Exeter bowled their way to victory away to Heathcoat, who were dismissed for 128 chasing 172 to win.

After Blake Reed made 50 and Dom Bess 48 in Exeter’s total of 172 all out, Alfonso Thomas (3-23), Bess (3-30) and Reed (2-20) steered the city side to victory.

Exmouth make just one change for the game against Exeter, bringing in Husnan Kazmi, a student at the University of Exeter for the unavailable Jon Evenett.

“He is a strong opening bowler and powerful middle-order batter,” said Exmouth skipper Baggs.

One the game ahead, Baggs added: “They are always tough games against Exeter and one to really looking forward to.

“Confidence is high and we want to build on last week’s win.”

Exeter include a University colleague Kazmi’s as they are giving opening bowler Tom Pedel his debut. He replaces Pete Hensor.

Miles Lenygon, the Exeter captain, feels his side will have to play better to win at Exmouth.

“Exmouth are a good side and have a number of real quality and proven cricketers in their side,” said Lenygon of his former club.

“Last week proved that they are very much up for this season and will be a handful.

“The bowlers won us the game last week, I am hoping to see an improvement with the bat this week and looking forward to what is always a competitive fixture.”

Heathcoat will try to bounce back from the defeat by Exeter when they host defending champions Torquay.

“We need to raise our game against the defending champs and to play smarter cricket,” said skipper Brad Barnes.

Torquay captain Justin Yau is taking the same side that walloped Brixham by 10 wickets.

It was just the start the defending champions wanted, not that Yau is expecting Heathcoat to capitaulate in the same way.

“We had a great start but Heathcoat are a very solid side and similar to us in the respect that they are young and field extremely well and fight hard for every point,” said Yau.

“I think it will be a very close game but we just need to maintain our current form and hopefully we can get a positive result.

“It's a cracking place to play cricket and we are looking forward to trying to maintain our run.

“I think it's important to gain some momentum early on like we did last year and we will do everything we can to win.”