Devon's Ben Privett – five wickets against Cornwall<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consent

Game One | Game Two

DEVON and Cornwall slugged it out to a standstill at St Just in the group stage opener of the National Counties Twenty 20 Competition.

Cornwall won the first encounter of the day by three wickets after shooting Devon out for 127 with two balls to go.

Devon had their revenge in game two when they skittled Cornwall for 94 – Ben Privett bagging a five-wicket haul – and knocked-off the runs with 10 balls to spare.

As the game between Dorset and Wiltshire at Wimborne was rained-off without a ball bowled, Devon and Cornwall are joint top of the group five table going into the Bank Holiday double headers.

Devon face Wiltshire at Exeter on Sunday then travel to Wimborne to face Dorset on Monday. Cornwall face Dorset at Truro then travel to Salisbury to meet with Wiltshire.

James Horler, the Devon captain, had no complaints about sharing the spoils, which he described as ‘a fair outcome’.

More importantly for Horler was learning gains from time in the middle, something Devon had to manage without in the warm-up phase of the new season.

“Happy to get a victory on board but, more importantly, we played two games of cricket, which hardly anyone else did in the competition,” said Horler.

"There's a lot of things we can learn from both how we batted and also Cornwall’s batting performances. 

"I thought we were a tad 'early season rusty' in batting. But, as always, there were big positives.”

Among the positives for Horler were the debut batting of opener Charlie Sharland – he described it as ‘very solid’ – and the bowling and fielding effort.

“Privett bowled a superb spell and deserved his five-fer,” said Horler. “Conway Gilbert, on debut, bowled with high pace and control.”

Will MacVicar’s (5-28) five-wicket haul in game one helped slow Devon from 41 for one to 58 for four with Horler, Ben Beaumont and Sam Read among the casualties in his first spell. Top scorer Privett (27) had already been and gone.

Calum Haggett (17) and Lawrence Walker (16) put on 36 for the sixth wicket before the former was run-out by Adam Snowdon.

MacVicar’s second spell earned two more wickets. Without Will Christophers (14) propping-up and end with Walker during a stand of 29 for the eighth wicket, Devon could have been all out for under a hundred.

Cornwall made sedate progress to 98 for one on the chase with opener Alex Blake showing the way with 51 off 31 balls. Skipper Paul Smith made 28 as the target was whittled down.

Just when it seemed all over, Blake, Smith and Max Tryfonos fell for eight runs added to Privett and Christophers (2-8). It was a different story at 106 for four.

MacVicar (10) and Billy Taylor (11) got Cornwall most of way to victory and not even the loss of three wickets on 127 could change the outcome.

Privet did the damage with the ball for Devon in game two with a five-for-14 return that included dangerman Blake. Cornwall slumped from 24 for one to 32 for five as Privett ran through the top order.

Alex Bone (30) held the middle order together until Haggett (2-10) took him out. The last four Cornwall wickets tumbled for just seven runs.

Privett (23) and Devon newcomer Charlie Sharland (29) got the chase up to 44 for one. Snowdon (2-7) slowed things briefly, but with time on their side and wickets in hand Devon were not in a rush.

Haggett’s 15 not-out and 17 from Read took Devon within touching distance of victory, sealed when Haggett dispatched Ben Ellis for four.