DEVON are waiting on Somerset to confirm whether Exeter’s dual-registered duo Dom Bess and Ben Green are available before finalising a side to face Dorset at Instow on Sunday.
Skipper Josh Bess and head coach Keith Donohue sat down with chief executive Neil Gamble after Sunday’s nine-wicket win over Somerset 2nd XI at Sidmouth to pick a 14-man squad for the Unicorns Trophy date with Dorset.
Dan Goodey (4-12) and Scott Barlow (3-8) put the skids under Somerset, who were skittled out for 103 in the 50-over friendly.
Liam Lewis cracked an unbeaten 49 and Alex Barrow was 33 not out against his former employers as Devon completed the warm-up phase of their campaign unbeaten.
With doubts over the availability of Bess and Green, dual registered with Somerset, Devon have named an extended squad.
Devon have to get their bowling options right for the match and until Somerset decide what’s happening with Bess and Green the squad won’t be whittled down.
The good news for Donohue is the pre-season games have highlighted some new talent, which was evident in the win over Somerset 2nd XI.
“All our bowlers did well, not jut Dan Goodey but Hugo Whitlock and Scott Barlow, who showed his huge experience at this type of cricket,” said Donohue.
“It was nice to see Josh Bess bowling flat out again as that gives us an extra option.
“Over the pre-season games Dan Goodey has found the knack of taking wickets.
“We are in a good position going into the Dorset game with selection decisions to make and players who have had worthwhile time in the middle.”
Whitlock hasn’t taken the same number of warm-up wickets as Goodey – four at 28.25 as opposed to nine at 11.11 – but that doesn’t weigh heavily against him in the selection stakes.
“Hugo had a good season in the league for Bovey Tracey last year, getting some good wickets and posting a respectable set of stats,” said Donohue.
“He hasn’t had the wickets Dan has had pre-season, but bowled well up front in the two games against Hampshire and also against Gloucestershire 2nd XI.
“Dan and Hugo have done themselves a lot of credit and given us confidence that the new kids on the block are up for it.”
To put Whitlock’s 2016 league season into context, no English qualified bowler took more Premier Division wickets (28), although Bovey clubmate Toby Codd had the same number.
North Devon’s Josh King is in the 14, but there is no place for Instow team-mate Max Curtis, who played in the win over Somerset but didn’t bat or bowl.
“For the first time in my tenure as head coach we have had to leave some keen and capable cricketers out, which shows the strength of the squad we are developing,” said Donohue.
Dorset’s match-day 12 includes Somerset spinner Max Waller
Start time in the Sandhills is 11am and admission to the ground is free.
Devon squad v Dorset: J J Bess, L J Lewis (both Sidmouth), R J Woodman (Taunton), M W Thompson (St Fagans), M C Golding (Bovey Tracey), F R Trenouth (Millfield), B G F Green, A W B Barrow (both Exeter), J F S Dart (Heathcoat), D M Bess (Exeter), D J Goodey (Plymouth), H M Whitlock (Bovey Tracey), J A Stephens (Falmouth), J V King (North Devon).
Dorset: TP Arnold, E Ellis, M T C Waller, M J Porter, J Niak, L A Webb, S R J Thomson, C L Park, M A Wolstenholme, B J Currie, T E Barber. 12th: J G Digby.
Umpires: R C Hampshire & G I Callaway.