Crew's a clever chap! Topsham St James bag sensational victory

PUBLISHED: 11:19 04 July 2013 | UPDATED: 11:19 04 July 2013

Archant

Topsham St James marked the halfway stage of what has been, to date, a thoroughly disappointing Francis Clark Devon League season, by serving up the performance of the term to date to inflict a rare defeat on ambitious E Division table toppers Babbacombe.

The South Devon visitors won the toss and batted first and lost an early wicket thanks to the safe hands of Rhys Beauchamp off the bowling of Brian Jeary.

Babbacombe recovered well and soon got onto the front foot! Only a spell in which Rob Harper and Nick Crew bowled in tandem, helped to stem the run flow.

There was a wicket for Crew with his sharply turning leg-spin before Matt Williams then took a fine catch on the boundary off Ross Treleaven to claim a third wicket.

Harper finally picked up the wicket his fine effort warranted and the fifth and final visiting wicket fell to Treleaven as Babbacombe, sensing the chance to bank another maximum of 22 points declared on 259-5.

Topsham St James opened with Charlie Penn and Mike Davison, but they were parted when Davison fell to a good catch in the slips. Joe Thomlinson fell to a drive caught in the outfield, but this brought Nick Horne to the crease to join Penn and the pair went to work!

Penn plundered a smooth 50 and then added ten more before falling to a leading edge for a 70-ball knock of 60.

Nick Crew joined Horne and the pair increased the tempo still further. Horne was next to depart, but not before he had struck a superb 74 off 89 balls.

Two wickets, those of skipper Treleaven and Williams, were lost in quick succession to dent the run chase, and then Harper was run out just as he threatened to take charge.

Ed Baxter was bowled around his legs and Brian Jeary was run out leaving the Saints with just one remaining wicket.

Crew was still there though and the final arrived with Saints needing seven to win.

A dot ball increased the tension, but a four through the covers left three required. A single put last man Beauchamp on strike with three balls remaining and two required for the win.

A paddle-sweep round the corner gave Crew the strike and tied the scores. Topsham required one to win. Babbacombe brought the field in. Crew spoke with Beauchamp. The ball was bowled, Crew got bat on it and the batsmen scuttled through for the single and for the win with one ball to go!

Crew finished on 67 not out off just 57 balls.

Skipper Ross Treleaven said: “That was some run chase, and certainly a great game to be part of. The batting of Penn, Horne and Crew was brilliant. The key thing was that they were able to kick on after they got starts and make meaningful runs. Our fielding was improved, but could still could be better. Our bowling was good in parts, but needs more to be consistent with less four balls. However, I can’t be too critical after such a result and the day firmly belonged to Crew who finally broke his duck and won a game for Topsham!”

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