Thursday, August 14, 2014
With the season now well in to its third quarter, Topsham St James 2nd XI went into Saturday’s match against Kenn with just a solitary win this season, writes Richard Horne.
However, Saturday’s match saw a much needed change in fortune with the Bonfire Field men in charge of proceedings from start to finish, leading to a comprehensive 115-run victory.
Kenn won the toss and opted to field.
Saints opener Aaron Clark was immediately onto the attack. The 18-year-old did not give the young visiting bowlers the chance to settle as he was particularly brutal to anything short of a length, scoring freely on both sides of the wicket, to reach his 50 in just 35 balls!
During this early onslaught Clarke’s opening partner, Al-Amin Kassam was content to play second fiddle, taking the singles and having a good look at the bowling.
With Clarke finally departing for a well struck 86, the Saints lost Rudi Ellis in the same over for no score, but were able to consolidate with Neil Argyll joining Kassam at the crease. Kassam was looking ever more confident, soon passing 50, and aided by youngsters Sam Warren and Alex Davison he too started to take the tiring Kenn attack to pieces.
He was finally out on the penultimate ball of the innings for a superb 132 as the Saints closed on 266-6, their highest total of the season.
Veteran seamer Richard Horne was to the fore at the start of the Kenn innings, clean bowling Matthew Shanks and Patrick Boot.
With Rudi Ellis chipping in too, Kenn were soon a troubled 20-3.
Further wickets fell regularly, but a doughty rear-guard action mounted by Pete Murfin, who stayed in through 23 overs for just 21 runs, started to turn the tables. Wily veteran spin-king Dave Vranch claimed two victims, both brilliantly caught by wicket keeper Kassam – undoubtedly Man of the Match for the hosts – and youngsters Sam Warren, Callum Davison and Aiden Pring, all put in decent spells of bowling with no reward.
In the end, Topsham were unable to prise out the remaining two wickets as Kenn’s innings closed at 151-8, leaving a slightly heady Saints earning 19 points to give them a healthy chance of now finishing the season not sitting in bottom spot in the 2nd XI E Division East table.