DEVON were two runs short of qualifying for the Hendy Trophy final in yesterday’s three-way tournament with Wiltshire and Dorset at Wimborne CC, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
The 10-overs-a-side festival day was a new innovation for all three counties and a chance to look at potential players for the return of short-form cricket in 2022.
Although three-day and 50-over cricket went ahead as planned this season, white-ball T20 at National Counties level has not been played since 2019 due to the Covid crisis.
The three counties played each other once in a round-robin qualifying pool, which was decided on run-rate.
Devon lost to Wiltshire by 23 runs in their first game and were heading for defeat going into the final over of their match against Dorset.
Run-rate cancellations worked in Devon’s favour though and they reached the final over against Dorset knowing if the limited the opposition to 12 runs or fewer they would face Wiltshire in the final.
Dorset scrambled 14 runs and although the lost the game by 12 runs they went on to reach the final, where they beat Wiltshire by 21 runs.
It might have been a long way to go for a relatively small amount of cricket, but Devon team boss Dave Tall saw the value in it.
“It was a reminder for some how the short forms of cricket are played, both batting and bowling, and a chance to look at new players,” said Tall
“I was keen to see Jonty Walliker given a chance at a higher level and he bowled really well.”
Ben Beaumont, an established Devon batsman, had runs in both games and picked up two wickets when given a rare chance to bowl.
Spinner Toby Codd, overlooked by Devon during the season just ended, reminded the selectors what he can do with festival figures of four for 16 from four overs.
Dorset 82-5 (L Webb 25), Wiltshire 75-5 (J Stearman 17). Dorset bt Wiltshire by 7 runs.
Wiltshire 98-6 (E Young 26; D Goodey 2-27, J Walliker 2-16, T Codd 2-9), Devon 75-7 (E Hamilton 17, B Beaumont 16; M Henley 4-18). Wiltshire bt Devon by 23 runs.
Devon 78-5 (B Beaumont 27, A Small 17), Dorset 66-8 (B Currie 17; E Middleton 2-19, T Codd 2-7, B Beaumont 2-14). Devon bt Dorset by 12 runs.
Dorset 82-7 (L Webb 25, A Eckland 25; A Godsal 2-14), Wiltshire 61-6 (A Godsal 19; E Jack 2-11). Dorset bt Wiltshire by 21 runs.