By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
DEVON did not hang about en-route to a seven-wicket win over Wiltshire at Sidmouth today.
Jamie Stephens, the former Tavistock off-spinner, helped himself to five wickets at a cost of just 12 runs as Wiltshire were bowled out for 92 in the 27th of their 50 overs.
Devon knocked-off the runs before the end of the 26th over, which was early enough to arrange an impromptu 20-over game between the sides rather than write-off the rest of the day.
Devon got off to a flying start as Plymouth paceman Dan Goodey bowled Wiltshire opener Joe Goodwin with the first ball of the match. It was very straight and so full it pitched on the base of the stumps.
Will Wade (17), Jack Stearman (21) and Neil Clark (16) got Wiltshire as far as 62 for three, then it all went horribly wrong as Stephens and fellow spinner Ed Middleton (3-18) ran through the middle order.
Devon backed up their bowling effort at times with some impressive out-cricket, which included a spectacular diving catch by Plympton’s Elliot Hamilton to dismiss Stearman.
Plymouth’s James Degg was Devon’s first casualty on the chase, followed five runs later by Hamilton, who wafted at a wide and snicked it through to the keeper.
By the time Cornwood’s Ben Beaumont (26) was third out on 87 – caught on the run by a leaping boundary rider – the target was six to win and the game over as a contest.
Matt Golding reached 36 not out when he hit the four that won the match.
It was a comprehensive win over a strong side by a Devon team containing seven players aged 19 or under. Even so the view of team boss Dave Tall was there were elements that could have gone better.
“We bowled well, and took some good catches, but need to be more alert closer to the bat,” said Tall.
“This level of cricket is a step up from Saturday afternoon cricket, not just for youngsters but senior players as well.
“Everyone needs to be sharper fielding in the ring to snuff out the singles.
“When we batted we gave away a couple of wickets. For our young players, learning what shots to play and what balls to leave well alone is all part of what games like this are all about.”
Wiltshire 92 (J A Stearman 21; J A Stephens 5-12, E W O Middleton 3-14), Devon 95-3 (M C Golding 36no, B A Beaumont 26). Devon bt Wiltshire by 7 wkts.