Elliot Hamilton lines up a stroke during his innings of 154 against Herefordshire<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consentd's


ELLIOT Hamilton celebrated receiving his Devon county cap with a highlight score of 154 not out on a dominant first day against Herefordshire at Sidmouth.

Hamilton and one-day skipper Jamie Horler, who is caretaker captain for this game in the absence of injured skipper Jamie Stephens, were awarded with their county caps prior to the game by Devon president Jack Davey.

Neil Gamble, the Devon chairman, praised both players for their commitment to playing and training as well as their consistent performances with the bat, and pointed out they had benefited from working their way through the county club’s development programme.James Horler – he and Ben Privett rocked Herefordshire by going off at seven an over from the get-go

Horler, who won the toss and chose to bat, made a bright-and-breezy 30 at the top of the order in an opening stand of 53 with Ben Privett.

Hamilton, in a 105 for two, eclipsed everyone before and after him during a fraction over four and a half hours in the middle. He offered one half chance on the way to a hundred, another on 115 when he was dropped in the slips.

Otherwise it was largely flawless stuff that helped Devon tot-up 377 for nine before the compulsory declaration point at the 90-over mark.

Dave Tall, Devon’s director of cricket, said Hamilton’s innings contained two vital ingredients: ‘confidence’ and ‘concentration’.

“Elliot showed confidence in the way he batted and the shots he played,” said Tall.

“His concentration was clear when we lost three wickets close together yet he remained totally unfazed by that and set about rebuilding with Will Christophers.”

Horler described Hamilton's innings as 'brilliant' and part of the reason Devon ended day one 'in the driving seat'. 

"It would have been good to take a couple of wickets at the end, but we are 330 runs ahead and that's a good day's work," added Horler.

Privett made a well-paced 57 at the top of the order and was never looked like getting out until he did. Bowler Roshan Venkataraman was latterly knocked off his feet by the speed of the ball he grabbed to complete a caught-and-bowled dismissal. 

Matt Thompson, in at second wicket down, went into the game 29 runs short of reaching 3,000 Championship runs for Devon. He reached the milestone during a typically watchful knock of 34.

Calum Hackett snicked-off to Ben Chapman-Lilley, an alleged part-time off-spinner whose three for 71 from 19 overs suggested he should bowl more often!

Hamilton and Ben Beaumont took Devon to 246 for four and appeared have the power to add a few more when the latter was bizarrely caught behind off pad and the back of his bat… in that order.

Beaumont, Sam Read and Matt Skeemer were the three wickets that fell during a spell when Herefordshire turned Devon’s 246 for five into 276 for seven.

Hamilton and Christophers (27) added 63 either side of tea to take Devon past 325 and into maximum bonus points territory. 

The lasts significant piece of cricket on day one was the tumbling catch taken at deep-mid-wicket by Herefordshire’s James Rudge to remove Max Shepherd. It was a cracking piece of fielding.

Chapman-Lilley, back in his day job as an opening batsman, was 31 not at the close in a Herefordshire total of 47 without loss.

Herefordshire will resume on day two 330 runs behind with all 10 wickets intact.Ben Beaumont - bizarrely dismissed caught behind