HEATHCOAT’S Jack Dart is back in Devon’s side for the final Minor Counties Championship game of the season.
Dart, who sustained a knee injury in the win over Wiltshire at Salisbury last month, wasn’t considered for the rain-ruined game against Shropshire at Sandford last week.
He played for club side Heathcoat in the nine-wicket win over Exmouth on Saturday and, although not required to bat, showed his fitness in the field and is in the XI to face Berkshire at Exeter.
Dart comes in for Tom Lammonby, who is in the England Under-19 squad for the series against India that started in Cardiff yesterday.
Otherwise, the side is the same as the one that squelched around Creedy Park for three days without obtaining a result.
Chris Read, the former England keeper and current captain of Notts, keeps his place in the side.
Read is playing for Devon to get some match-practice in after the County Championship took a five-week break during the T20 season. He wants to be in form for Notts’ final assault on the Division Two title.
Berkshire are 24 points clear of second-placed Cheshire at the top of the table with one game and 24 points to play for.
Their runs-per-wicket ratio is so superior to Cheshire’s they can’t be caught for the Western Division crown.
Devon are fourth in the table going into the game and could finish third if they win.
Devon need to win and take three more points than Dorset earn against Cornwall, to be sure of third.
Any other result could let Oxfordshire (v Cheshire), Shropshire (v Wiltshire) or Cornwall go past them.
Third place may seem like a consolation prize but for Devon it would represent real progress.
“Two years ago we finished bottom and didn’t win a game so just to be talking about finishing third is progress,” said Keith Donohue, the director of cricket.
“We are not the finished article yet, but we are a much better team than we were two years ago.”
Devon: T P P Ansell (North Devon), L J Lewis (Sidmouth), M W Thompson (St Fagans), C M W Read (Paignton/Notts), J J Bess (Sidmouth), J F S Dart (Heathcoat), Z G G Bess (Sidmouth), M C Golding (Bovey Tracey), J A Stephens (Falmouth), J V King (North Devon), T J R Codd (Bovey Tracey). 12th T W Simmons (Sidmouth).
Umpires: D Gower & M T Ennis.