Devon need to show killer instinct when opposition are in the ropes says Tall

Toby Codd - taking wickets for Devon against Wales at Sandford last season

DEVON need to play more positively if they are going to beat Wiltshire in the three-day Unicorns Championship game starting at Sandford on Sunday (11am).

Devon’s 32-run defeat by Herefordshire was a setback after they beat Wales first time out to go second in the Western Division. Devon need to finish in the top five to avoid being placed in a new Division Two planned for next season. Devon sit sixth in the table with four games to go.

There were times in the game when Devon eased off when they should have gone for the jugular, or were content to use up time.

Dave Tall, the county club’s director of cricket, said getting the positive-versus-cautious balance right is never easy and is a work in progress that needs developing.

“There are times when you need to be more aggressive in the field, which we weren’t on the first day against Herefordshire when we had them 83 for seven and they got way to make 193 all out,” said Tall.

“If that was us batting against Berkshire or Cheshire or anyone else they would be round the bat putting us under pressure and not allowing nine or ten to get settled.

“We did not bat well in our first innings – 89 all out tells you that – but we worked hard when Hereford batted again to get them all out for 237.

“To score more than 300 batting last on wearing pitch that seemed to do something different every few overs was a tremendous achievement. You can’t fault our effort in the second half.

“In a nine-session game you think there is always time to get back in the game, but it is not hard to see where we lost it. Herefordshire got too many in their first innings and we were all out for 89. The next time we have a side 80 for seven or 90 for eight we need to be at them and now allow their lower order time to settle.”

Matt Golding - nine wickets in the game when Wiltshire were last at Sandford in 2016Devon’s XII is little changed from the one that went to Eastnor. Abraham Kopparambil, who made four and 14 in the game against Herefordshire, has been left out of the squad this time. Also missing is Sidmouth spinner Max Hancock, who only bowled eight overs.

Keeper-batter Matt Thompson will play as a batter only due to a fractured hand sustained in the defeat by Herefordshire.

Torquay’s George Allen will keep wicket and his inclusion should add much-needed depth to the batting.

James Burke, the former Somerset and Surrey all-rounder, is one of the top-six batters Devon have had availability issues with this season. He can play in this game.

Spinner Toby Codd was 12th man against Herefordshire. With Hancock not in the squad he will be disapppointed not to make the XI

Wiltshire were last at Sandford in 2016 when Devon defeated them by 70 runs.

Golding, who took nine wickets in the match, and Jamie Stephens, who took seven, bowled Devon to victory on the final day.

Start time on each of the three days at Creedy Park is 11am.

Devon: A W R Barrow (Sandford), G B Allen (Torquay), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), J E Burke (Plymouth), M W Thompson (St Fagans), W A White (Leek), J H G Degg (Torquay), J A Stephens (Taunton Deane), M P Skeemer (Cornwood), H M Whitlock, T J R Codd (both Bovey), E W O Middleton (Exeter).

Wiltshire: W J Wade, J Goodwin, U A Qureshi, E G C Young, N J Clark, B C Dawson, T I Morton, T G Afridi, L A Evans, J M King, W J Harries. 12th: J B Lintott.

Umpires: R W Tolchard, R G B Allen.