Chris Read shakes hands with Jamie Ralph at the end of the game against Shropshire<br>credit:


DEVON and Shropshire bowed to the inevitable and called it a draw after any chance of a meaningful game went out of the window at Sandford.

Day one lasted an hour, day two started late and finished early, which left day three to try to fashion some sort of game.

Shropshire, 43 for four overnight, resumed their first innings an hour late and made their way to 193 for four.

Devon picked up three wickets in a hurry – Matt Golding (3-37) and Zak Bess (3-21) largely responsible  - and had Shropshire collapsed then a result may have been possible. They didn’t.

What developed was a decent contest between bat and ball as the Shropshire lower order put on 131 for the last three wickets.

Matt Thompson on his way to 30 not out against ShropshireSimon Gregory (51) and Sam Whitney (31) delayed Devon for 18 overs while adding 77 or the eighth wicket.

Jamie Stephens spun out Whitney on 139 for eight and ten runs later Gregory  also fell to Stephens.

Last pair Alex Wyatt and Gurjit Sandhu (39no) added a final 44 before Toby Codd wrapped up the innings.

It was proper cricket but killed any chance of getting a result out of the game.

Devon, 75 runs behind on first innings, batted a second time round and got to 77 for two before common sense prevailed.

“There had been another stoppage for a rain and there was not even the remotest prospect of getting a result,” said Devon team chief Keith Donohue.

“So much time had been lost out of the game there was no where to go with it.

“Half past five came round and we all agreed that was enough.”

Donohue said Devon had it all to do after losing the toss and having to bat first in overcast conditions and did well to make the best of a bad job.

“It was a bad toss to lose and after being bowled out for 119 we had a lot to do,” said Donohue.

“I felt out bowling effort was fantastic, firstly to get them 43 for four then 62 for seven.

“Matt Golding showed his worth bowling seamers rather than spin, proving what an asset he is to the side.

“He was well backed up by Zak who is close to being back to his best again after a nasty side strain.

“It was just one of those games that was going now where from a long way out and whatever either side did was unlikely to make much difference.”

Chris Read, the former England keeper and soon-to-retire Notts captain, played for Devon and was 23 not out when time was called.

Reed played for Devon as a teenager before embarking on a pro career that took him to Gloucestershire, then Notts and included 51 games for England in all formats.

Reed wanted some match time during a five-week break from red ball cricket in the County Championship   and Devon were happy to oblige.

“Chris has confirmed he will be available for our final game against Berkshire and we hope that won’t be the last we see of him,” said Donohue.

Devon 119 (A C F Wyatt 3-41, G S Sandhu 3-46) & 77-2 (M W Thompson 30no), Shropshire 192 (S M Gregory 51, S P Whitney 31, G S Sandhu 39; Z G G  Bess 3-21, M C Golding 3-37).  Match drawn. Shropshire (9pts), Devon (8).