CONRAD SUTCLIFFE at BOSCAWEN PARK
CORNWALL spinners Ellis Whitford and Craig Johnson took four wickets each as Devon stumbled to a 39-run defeat at Truro..
Left a target of 167 to win in a minimum of 57 overs had it gone the distance, Devon collapsed from 112 for four to 127 all out as Whitford and left-armer Johnson twirled away.
Whitford finished with four for 67, which included Devon’s limpet-like batter Matt Thompson for 43. Johnson bowled a tighter line and length to claim four for 30 and his prize wicket was that of Devon’s pro Calum Haggett, who departed lbw for 46.
Haggett was the sixth man out for Devon and the first of five wickets to tumble for five runs scored as the batting collapsed. Maybe losing opener James Horler caught behind to the first ball of the chase bowled by Tommy Sturgess was an omen?
Devon went into day three as favourites to win the game as they led by 74 runs after both first innings were out of the way and had reduced Cornwall to 148 for seven by the end of day two.
Cornwall, effectively 74 for seven going into the third and final day, showed determination all the way down the order to cobble together a defendable total.
Paul Smith moved from 23 not out overnight to 53 and shared a 59-run partnership with Sturgess (27) for the eight wicket.
Spinner Sam Read accounted for Smith on 187 for eight and when Sturgess was the fourth of five wickets bagged by Devon captain Jamie Stephens soon after it looked all over. It wasn’t.
Last pair Ben Ellis (30) and tail-ender Johnson (12no) put on 45 runs to reach 240 all out, which ultimately put the game beyond Devon’s reach.
Dave Tall, the Devon team manager, said having got themselves into a winning position the members of the side need to reflect on how and why they lost.
“It was not just one thing but lots of components that did not go as well as they should have,” said Tall.
“Over three days our fielding was average at best, in stark contrast to how well virtually the same side had fielded in all our one-day games.
“Some batsmen certainly need to reflect on their shot selection and take into account the state of the game and whether they need to play less aggressively?
“And there are times in a game when you have to make the most of your opportunities and that is something we just did not do.”
Godfrey Furse, the Cornwall team manager, said his side came from behind to win, even though the odds seemed stacked against them.
“From the first session on day one when we were nine for three before we knew it, we were behind in the game,” said Furse.
“We achieved an excellent win because we stuck at it even when things were not going our way.
“To bat for 110 overs in our second innings showed the spirit of this side – as did that fantastic tenth-wicket partnership between Ben Ellis and Craig Johnson. Those runs probably made the difference between winning and losing.”
Cornwall 206 (M L Robins 49, P S Smith 59, S A Harvey 27; K B Szymanski 5-42, J A Stephens 3-73) & 240 (C F Gibson 30, M L Robins 26, P S Smith 53no, T G Sturgess 27, B A Ellis 30; E W O Middleton 3-52, J A Stephens 5-58), 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) & 127 (M W Thompson 43; C J Haggett 46; E A F Whitford 4-67, C M Johnson 4-30). Cornwall (21pts) bt Devon (7) by 39 runs.