Spinners see Saints seconds to thrilling win

PUBLISHED: 19:06 16 June 2010

TOPSHAM St James 2nd XI struck a wonderful win at home to North Devon in a contest that was as compelling as the final victory margin of three runs suggests.

The Saints batted first and were bowled out for 127, half way through the 42nd over.

Amit Kartikeyan provided the top score with a fine 35 before being run out.

The ever green Dave Vranch offered the best of the support with 18 whilst for North Devon, Raymond Clarke bowled 13 overs, three of which were maidens and he claimed five wickets for 34 runs. The Topsham total was also boosted by some 33 extras.

In reply North Devon made steady progress and had reached 50 for the loss of only one wicket after a dozen overs. However, from then on, wickets fell at regular intervals until North Devon reached 77 for 6.

A battling seventh wicket stand took the total to 119 and that left the Instow side requiring just nine runs to win and, with three wickets to play with, were very much the favourites.

The Saints skipper, Ross Treleaven, then turned to spin and put Vranch on at one end and Antony Thekkepalakkal, at the other. The pair, together with a cameo spell from fellow spinner Sam Cooper, managed to bag the three final wickets and Topsham claimed a marvellous three run victory.

The win was sealed with just five balls of the contest to be bowled, North Devon losing their final wicket with the score on 124.

Antony Thekkepalakkal bowled 15 overs, four of which were maidens and he claimed 3-37. Sam Cooper took 2-1 from five exceptionally disciplined overs, four of which were maidens and Dave Vranch sent down 8.1 overs, claiming 2-14. Amit Kartikeyan was the other Saints wicket taker; he finished with figures of 2-14 in seven overs.

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