December 13 2013 Latest news:
Thursday, August 15, 2013
The pre-designated “battle of the pygmies” turned out to be a canter for Exeter Civil Service II, as Topsham St. James 2nds simply failed to compete, writes Mike Tracey.
Civil Service had first use of a doubtful looking track, but it seemed to hold few terrors as they compiled a useful 213-6.
Topsham’s cause would have been better served had they been able to hold their chances, but no fewer than five went down.
The chief beneficiary was Paul Mackie, who took full advantage to post a hard hit 42, but, apart from skipper Blair McRobbie (26), he was the only top order batsman to flourish. Unfortunately for Topsham, number seven bat, Adam Harding was in top form, and scored an undefeated 77, which was the exact amount of his unfinished seventh wicket partnership with Bhaski Bhaskiran, which effectively won the game for the home side.
The Topsham bowlers generally performed rather better than of late, but they still lacked the killer instinct, with the possible exception of 74-year-old Dave Vranch, who took 3-27 in nine overs of top quality off-spin that showed he has lost little of the skills that have served him so well for so long. He was well backed up by Rudi Ellis, with yet another tidy spell of 1-28. The other wicket takers were Lee Solway and Giles Darch Young Alex Davison bowled a promising spell without luck or reward.
When Topsham batted, the first half of their innings was played in light drizzle, which made the wicket more difficult, although not so difficult as the batsmen generally made it appear. Only three batsmen got into double figures, and one of those only just. Rudi Ellis again led the way with a well-crafted 36, to make him undoubtedly Topsham’s man of the match, and he was supported by Neil Argyle with an elegant 21. Thirty-two extras helped the total to limp to 125 all out.
All the Civil Service bowlers finished with good figures, but the pick was the star of the day, Adam Harding, with 4-28 from nine overs, while Craig Brownlow cashed in on the tail, with an amazing analysis of three overs, two maidens three wickets for one run!
Topsham took five points to the home team’s 20, and have clearly forgotten how to win.
With only three games left, they might yet find themselves struggling to avoid bottom spot in the basement division of the 2nd XI League.