The Under 11 Boys fourth matchday was against Gloucestershire at sun-kissed Ipplepen Cricket Club. Devon were looking to continue their winning streak against a formidable opposition who inflicted a very heavy defeat last season.
Devon won the toss and elected to bowl first.
It was important to make a good start and build early pressure. However this plan went out of the window as the bowlers struggled to bowl both a consistent length and line which led to a fast start by the Gloucestershire openers. The score reached 60 in only the 9th over before Joe Gillett, last week's bowling hero, struck with the help of a smart catch behind by Harry Witcher. A second wicket followed shortly afterwards after Alfie Mason bowled the other opener.
Gloucestershire continued to build the score with a mix of quick singles, bad balls being hit to the boundary and freebies (wides and no balls). At 93 in the 17th over Devon picked up their third wicket when Henry Squire and Ed Wilson, who had taken over behind the stumps at drinks, combined. Devon continued to press for wickets but this was turning into a very impressive batting performance by the opponents. Further partnerships of 56 and 93 led to a final score of 264-5 after 40 overs. Matt Whalley and Witcher picked up a wicket each during the later third of the innings.
Devon's below average performance in the fielded including multiple overthrows, including one 5, and 46 wides and no balls. These extra's contributed to an additional 5 overs and 20 minutes in the field!
With 265 likely to be out of reach, Devon opted to focus on a solid batting display where we looked to bat our overs and score 60% of the score (160) - good practice for the King's Festival.
The Devon batters failed to execute the basics of rotating the strike, putting the bad balls away and building partnerships which led to a frustrating reply of only 116 all out in the 30th over. Included in this were 3 run outs which were classic 'school boy' ones!
Highlights of the innings included Gillett playing some big shots to knock the leg-spinner of his length and the 10th wicket partnership of 44 between Henry Squire (26 no) and Ed Wilson (21).
The post match review was a positive one as we knew we had not executed the basics or played to our required standards against a very much better team. The response will be to see how we perform against them at the Festival.
Our next matchday is a T20 'double header' against Cornwall on Sunday 7th July at Cornwood CC.