CONRAD SUTCLIFFE REPORTING
CORNWALL put up a dogged rearguard action to stop Devon running way with the game on day two of the National Counties Championship skirmish at Truro.
It would be hard to present a case that had Devon anything other than on top for two of the three sessions, but Cornwall proved too tough a nut to crack inside two days, which looked a possible scenario at one stage.
Devon, 119 for two overnight, managed a record partnership followed by a sizeable collapse on their way to 280 all out and a first-innings lead of 74.
Matt Thompson top scored on 71 – he and Adam Small shared a record three-day stand of 87 for the third wicket – and pro Calum Haggett biffed five fours and three sixes on the way to 61.
Devon then lost five wickets for 23 runs as 191 for three became 212 for eight. Haggett was still there though and his stand of 59 with Dan Goodey (22) put Devon back in the driving seat.
Cornwall had stabilised at 148 for seven when stumps were pulled last night. They lost three wickets wiping out Devon’s first innings lead then lost four more men in a running total of 128 for two.
Spinners Jamie Stephens (3-34) and Ed Middleton (3-31) had Cornwall in all sorts of trouble and, briefly, Devon looked capable of bowling them out and claiming an extra half an hour in the hope of rattling off 90-100 to win with a day to spare.
Paul Smith (23no) and Tommy Sturgess (11no) batted out the final 12 overs to prevent Deon running away with the game.
Dave Tall, the Devon team manager, said although the game could have gone better it would be churlish to complain about the state of it.
“We almost got where we wanted to be, although there should have been easier ways of getting there,” said Tall.
“Adam Small batted really well at the end of the first day and the beginning of the second. “To be part of a record partnership so early in your career will give his confidence a boost.
“Matt Thompson batted well, which you almost take for granted from him, and what can I say about Calum Haggett?
“Calum’s batting was in a different class. There were times when it seemed he was batting on a different wicket to everyone else.
“Dan Goodey went in at 10 and helped repair some of the damage done by losing so many wickets so cheaply. I will take a stand of 59 for the ninth wicket all day long, but wouldn’t it have been great if they could have stayed together a little longer and made it a lead of a hundred?
“Having said that, had you offered me where the game is now at 11 o’clock this morning I would not have said no.”
Cornwall 206 (M L Robins 49, P S Smith 59, S A Harvey 27; K B Szymanski 5-42, J A Stephens 3-73) & 148-7 (C F Gibson 30, M L Robins 26, P S Smith 23no; E W O Middleton 3-31, J A Stephens 3-34), Devon 280 (J D Horler 60, M W Thompson 71no, A J Small 35, C J Haggett 61, D J Goodey 23: E A F Whiteford 3-97, T G Sturgess 2-55). Bonus points: Devon 7, Cornwall 5.