Hugo Whitlock - season cut short due to injury

WIN, lose or draw against Berkshire in their final game of the season, Devon will rate the season as a qualified success.

Devon could finish as high as third in the Western Division table if they win and a couple of results go their way.

Berkshire are as good as Western Division champions already, so the two teams can play positive cricket without fear.

Any finish in the top half of the table will satisfy director of cricket Keith Donohue, who is looking for visible improvements to add to the less tangible ones.

Keith DonohueTwo seasons ago Devon were winless Western Division wooden spoonists – quite a come down from winning the division in 2011.

Devon finished halfway up last season and more of the same, or better, will prove Donohue is right in his assessment of the direction of travel.

“We have consolidated out improvements from last year and next season want to up it again,” said Donohue.

“The competitions we play in are short and concise and to succeed in them you need several things going in your favour: weather, fitness and availability of your best players.

“The weather hasn’t always been helpful, we have had lots of problems without our seam bowlers and there are always availability issues.

“We can’t do much about the weather, or having Zak Bess, Jack Popham and Hugo Whitlock fit to bowl.

“Zak wasn’t fully fit at the start of the season, we lost Jack in the first game and didn’t see him again, and Whitlock got a nasty side strain having shown himself a fine young prospect in his first few games.

“The difference now from two years ago is our players have developed and we have more options when players are missing.

“To improve further next year we need to keep our bowlers fit and on the park. In three-day cricket you have to bowl the other side out at least once and better still twice.”

Devon were frustrated by the weather against Shropshire at Sandford two weeks ago when rain prevented a meaningful game unfolding.

Former England keeper Chris Read played for Devon against Shropshire and stays in for the Berkshire match.

Notts skipper Read, who retires at the end of the season, is playing for his home county to get some match time in after the long break in the First Class game to accommodate the T20 programme.

All-rounder Tom Lammonby, who played against Shropshire, is away with England U19s for their mini-series against India. His place goes to batter Jack Dart.

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).

Berkshire: W Hussain, O Wilkin, J D Thomas, R K Morris, J C Morris, J A Rishton, C T Peploe, S R Davison, T M Nugent, O D Birts, A A Raja, A Carter.

Umpires: D Gower & M T Ennis.