Record last wicket stand by Topsham St James II duo but it can't deliver victory at Kenn.

PUBLISHED: 22:51 20 June 2011




Seeking their first win of the season, Topsham St James II made the short trip to Kenn.

Acting skipper Matthew Williams lost the toss (a trick learned from 1st team captain Ross Treleaven) and Kenn decided to bowl first on what looked a tricky wicket to bat on.

Losing the captain early in the innings, Zacky Cramer and Aaron Clarke steadied the ship before the latter departed. Batting was looking like hard work and at the half-way stage the score had crept past 50. Most of the batsmen got starts, but none went on to make a big score and, when Will Pratt was dismissed with the score on just 88, Topsham were seven wickets down and a low total seemed the likely outcome.

Daniel Williams, who despite edging his first two balls through the slips, and Callum Treleaven batted sensibly and clearly had listened to the Captain’s instructions to bat out the overs.

With a first batting point having been secured, Callum was out with the score on 116 and 12 overs still remaining. Dan and Sam Garner applied themselves excellently and did not give Kenn the cheap last wicket they cherished. Both were quick to punish the bad ball, although with the slow outfield good running between the wickets was crucial.

Having made it to the last over of the innings, Dan hit two huge 6s off consecutive deliveries; the latter would have happily graced the courts of SW19 over the next fortnight.

The 2nds finished on 172-9, with Dan 53 not out, and Sam 17 not out. They had put on an unbroken 56 for the 10th wicket, which the Handbook informs me is a new 2nd team record.

With the momentum now with Topsham, it was imperative that the bowlers performed. Heavy showers had made the wicket look increasingly difficult to bat on. After their exploits with the bat, Dan and Callum opened the bowling and after their spells the score was around 30-2. Callum was particularly unlucky not to pick up more wickets, having beaten the edge and narrowly missed the stumps on numerous occasions. Sam and Nimish Shah replaced them and continued to keep it tight, Nimish finding some swing and Sam a decent length. Over his two spells he picked up 4 wickets for 40 runs, which was no more than he deserved.

An unusual shortage of bowling options meant that the skipper turned to Matt Collins for a twirl, and despite a liquorice allsorts first over that Bertie Bassett himself would have been proud of, he continued to keep it tight and picked up a wicket thanks to a sharp catch by Peter Moule at square leg. At the other end, Captain Williams came on to bowl six overs of dibbly dobblies, and was unlucky not to get a wicket himself. At 75-6 Kenn could have collapsed, but credit to Gosling and Clay, who batted well. Clay ensured the Kenn innings passed the 150 mark for an extra batting point with some brutal hitting to end 44 not out. The Kenn reply ended on 159-8, with the Topsham 2nds thus coming close to a first win and gaining a respectable 13 points. Considering other teams didn’t play at all on Saturday, this was a good result.

Acting skipper Matthew Williams said: “The stand-out players were obviously the lower order of Dan, Callum and Sam, who ensured that we posted a very respectable score and batted out our overs. They then did their bit with the ball and gave very little away. Everyone did their bit in the field and got behind the bowlers. Hopefully this will give confidence for our next game at home to Cullompton on Saturday.”

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