The Under 11 Boys third matchday was against Wiltshire at Ottery St Mary Cricket Club. Devon were looking to avenge last season's heavy defeat.
With the day's forecast showing prolonged light rain for the afternoon, the scheduled start time for the 40-over contest was moved forward to midday to maximise playing time.
Wiltshire won the toss and elected to bowl first.
After the dramatic batting collapses of previous matches it was essential Devon made a solid start this time around and so it proved. Devon's opening pair of Tobias Alsop (Captain) and Henry Squire (Vice-Captain) laid the foundations early on with a 'low risk' approach which yielded 41 runs in 11 overs. The 12th over brought the first dismissal of the day with Squire (18) caught smartly at point. The scoreboard was kept ticking over by Alsop and Matt Whalley but a double strike left Devon at 59-3 after 18 overs. However Alsop was still at the crease.
A further wicket fell at 72 (20th over) before a partnership of 31 between Alsop and Harry Witcher (15), who was on debut, either side of a one-hour rain break kept Devon fighting against the Wiltshire spin bowlers. Witcher fell to a catch at square leg and was quickly followed back to the hutch by two more to leave Devon on 109-7 after 30 overs. Alsop's innings finally came to a end with the score on 118 when he was bowled for a excellent 48. Joel Kopparambil and Freddie Wolfgang nudged the score up to 137 after 40 overs. This looked a competitive and hopefully a defendable score!
Devon went for a bold approach and opened the bowling with Joe Gillett (Left-arm Pace) and Joel Kopparambil (Leg Spin). Two early strikes were made and Wiltshire were left 4-2 after 3 overs.....game on. Wiltshire rebuilt their innings and moved without further alarms to 83 after 23 overs. Devon needed to find something to break the partnership and open the game back up.
Time for Witcher (5-2-12-2) to make another telling impact as he struck in his 3rd and 4th overs to leave Wiltshire on 91-4. This quickly became 97-7 as Gillett (8-2-8-4) returned to the attack and dispatched three with 'Mitchell Starc' style yorkies. This left Wiltshire needing 41 runs in 9 overs with only 3 wickets left. The scoreboard moved to 118 in the 37th, before Devon finally closed out the came with a superb run out by Fletcher Byrne from deep square leg and a double from Alfie Mason (4-1-8-2).
A hard fought and well deserved win by 16 runs by the lads, which was cheered loudly by the Devon parents and grandparents!.
The lads will still be buzzing as they go again on Sunday 30th June in a 40-over match against Gloucestershire at Ipplepen CC.