Dhayal delights as Topsham St James 2nds are edged out at Woodbury & Newton St Cyres

PUBLISHED: 12:47 28 August 2018

A view from a cricket scorebox

A view from a cricket scorebox

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Topsham St James went from one extreme to the other! After last week’s match, in which neither side could score more than 93, this week, in their league match away at Woodbury and Newton St Cyres both sides scored over 200 and lost only seven wickets between them, writes Mike Tracey.

The outfield had rather more grass on it than we have been used to seeing this season, and for a while it seemed that the boundary was difficult to reach.

Mike Davison and Callum Treleaven gave Topsham a steady start, recording a rare half-century for the first wicket before Davison was bowled for 24, with the score at 63.

Louie Ferraro came and went, and was soon followed into the pavilion by Treleaven, who scored 39; both were victims of Finn Smith.

Unfortunately for Woodbury, this served only to bring together Narender Dhayal and Mandar Deshpande.

Deshpande played very much the minor role, contributing 22 in 39 balls, but he gave excellent support to Dhayal, who was on top form and cracked an extremely impressive 90 not out from only 68 balls, apparently having no trouble at all in reaching the boundary!

He was helped at the end by young Charlie Ferraro, who displayed great maturity and no little skill in pushing singles to give Dhayal the bowling. Topsham closed on 218-4.

Finn Smith (2-35), Josh Moyle (1-35) and Tom Dowie (1-53) were the home side’s wicket takers while another bowler, Neil Richardson, served up an exceptional opening spell which conceded only four runs in as many overs, but then injured a hamstring and was unable to continue.

After tea it was much the same story as before. None of the Topsham bowlers could exert any lasting control, and there was again a half-century opening partnership before John Quicke was bowled by Louie Ferraro for 17.

His partner, Ed Salter, went on to crack 89, before unluckily hitting his wicket when trying to smash a ball from Mandar Deshpande as time began to run out.

He was well supported by wicket-keeper Tom Sutherland, who was run out just before the end for a hard-hit 53. As the overs counted down, it was the opening bowlers, Jack Withers and Neil Richardson, defying his hamstring injury, who saw the hosts home with five balls to spare.

One oddity of the match was that, with the exception of the run-out, all the wickets that fell were clean-bowled, although it has to be said that the catching attempts of Topsham in particular will not be appearing in any coaching manuals!

This win gave Woodbury’s promotion hopes a great boost, whilst condemning Topsham to another season in the league’s lowest division.

Topsham St James 2nds, for whom this was the last match of the season, will, however, take great heart from a vastly better performance than in 2017, when they failed to win a single match, and from the marked progress of a significant number of talented youngsters, who should do much to ensure a prosperous future for the club.

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