Topsham St James 2nds well beaten by visiting Feniton

PUBLISHED: 08:32 18 August 2017 | UPDATED: 08:32 18 August 2017

Picture: Matt Smart

Picture: Matt Smart

Archant

After a fighting performance the previous week, Topsham St James slid back into the depths of mediocrity, going down by nine wickets to a rampant Feniton, writes Mike Tracey.

Batting first, Topsham encountered another slow and low wicket, with just enough variable bounce to make life awkward. The Feniton opening bowlers, Jamie Baker (2-6 from nine overs) and Tobi Pugsley (1-14), exploited the conditions superbly, and the home batsmen found it almost impossible to score.

The only man to buck the trend was skipper Usman Sheikh, whose unusual batting style produced four boundaries in his 22 off 17 balls. By contrast, the innings was held together by Neil Argyle, whose style is a purist’s delight, but limited him to 21 not out off 71 balls.

Nobody else contributed very much, although 14 year-old Alan Peter again batted with great maturity and common sense to hold up an end for rather longer than most of his elders were able to do.

The later Feniton bowlers all contributed, and there were wickets for Brandon Knight (3-19), Kevin Lovegrove (2-13) and Kevin Brandom (1-25). Twenty-two extras equalled the top individual score for Topsham St James.

The Feniton openers, Ben Norris (11) and Stuart Bright (28 not out) found batting no easier than had Topsham, whose opening attack of Usman Sheikh and Jack Purchall (who took the only wicket) was as effective, in the conditions, as the visiting openers.

However, when Matt Baker got out to the middle, he seemed to be playing on a different wicket from everybody else, and with a fine eye smashed the ball to all parts of the ground. In 21 balls he hit three towering sixes and finished the match in double-quick time with 39 not out.

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