One of the prime objectives of the T20 Day at Taunton Vale was to give opportunities to some Devonians to stand up and show they can dominate their peers from Somerset and Cornwall with match winning contributions with bat, ball and in the field. Unfortunately Devon came second in both games. Another huge advantage of playing on the second ground at Taunton Vale is it enables you to gauge a players response to the mundane side of cricket - can you help bring the kit across, two overs each on the scoreboard, five overs on drinks and so on. It really was reassuring over the World Cup campaign that almost the entire squad, including its captain, undertook the mundane. Our captain, who sadly had to leave during the second game with a nasty cut, also led from the front on this one. The interesting aspect was those who filled for others doing more than their nominated four overs in the day and those who did not don the yellow bib all day. From experience those who WILLINGLY undertake these responsibilities willingly give the extra out in the field of play where it really matters. Drinks simply show you are caring for your team mates either batters or bowlers or fielders. The scoreboard is an intrusion on time but it is essential particularly in a limited overs game and our real thanks to the player that took over the first aid kit so Jack could be looked after. It is all about ethos and the Devon Way - in future the captain should not have to nominate but he just knows someone who has not done it will stand up.
In reality although there are a few differences a game of cricket whether it is a test, four, three, two, one day or twenty overs all have very much the same formula refined to the time span. You will soon realise that Sandy Allens White Board does not change much from game to game, obviously taking into account conditions and length of game but the basic ingredients are the same. Those who feel they know better really will have to understand, as proved by Woakes and Broad against Ireland, that the basic requirements preached from our first day together and on match days are essential in becoming a successful team. The inability to squeeze our opponents was telling and the number of shots which went down fielders throats was disappointing, whereas we did not take all our opportunities. For the record the scores -were Devon 119-9 (A.Small 39); Somerset 122-2 (fifty balls unused); Devon 138-9, Cornwall 139-3 (nine balls unused). On the plus side we met James Hayter and Tom Hatton (whose family must think I am totally incompetent - apologies again) for the first time and it is hoped along with the other fifteens will have learnt a lot. They are wished success in their title chase and they put into practice the key lessons learnt at Taunton when they play the Western Storm. Our thanks to Somerset for organising a very useful day of cricket.