NORTH Devon will be joining Cullompton, Plymouth and Exmouth for Sunday’s Servicemaster Clean Devon T20 Cup final –if it takes place!
Matt Westaway, the North Devon captain, hit the last ball of the semi-final clash with Bradninch for six to win a nail-biting tie.
Budleigh Salterton CC was booked for finals day long before the England football team started marching through the knockout rounds of the competition.
If England beat Croatia tomorrow (Wednesday) they will be in Sunday’s World Cup final, which presents Devon cricket chiefs with a clash of fixtures they did not want.
The Devon T20 is a qualifier for the ECB National competition with the county champions going through to area then regional rounds to qualify for the national finals day.
This year’s final is on September 16 at Derbyshire CCC’s ground.
There isn’t much time for re-arrangements in the schedule, but it is unlikely there would be much enthusiasm for playing a cricket match at the same time England are playing in a World Cup final.
A league spokesman said: “If England beat Croatia in the semi-final, then a contingency plan will be considered, possibly putting Devon finals day back by a week.”
Bradninch raced to 183 for five in Sunday’s quarter-final at Instow with Tim Piper (66) and Dan Hardy (55) both making half-centuries.
Openers Rory Thomas (26) and Piper put on 61 then Hardy joined Piper to rattle up another 72.
North Devon went off in hot pursuit with Dan Bowser (45), Ben Ward (21) and Ben Howe (63) taking the chase to 130 for one.
Ross Acton (2-30) and Gary Chappell (2-17) got the brake one and a couple of wickets for Tallan Burns left the game in the balance.
It came down to North Devon needing 11 off the last over and four to win from the final ball bowled by Burns.
Westaway was on strike. He knew anything less than a boundary and North Devon were out.
“All I could think was to try and get a good piece of it, watch the ball and stay still until it was delivered,” said Westaway.
“By no means did it catch the middle but it had just enough to make it difficult for the fielder who got his hands to it on the boundary.
“It could have gone either way, but lady luck shone on us in this instance.”
Start times have yet to be decided for finals day. North Devon have been drawn against Cullompton. Exmouth will face Plymouth in the other semi.