Exmouth back to winning ways with thrilling five run win over Sandford

Exmouth batsman Dan Pyle on his way to a half century in the game against Exeter. Picture GERRY HUNT

Exmouth batsman Dan Pyle on his way to a half century in the game against Exeter. Picture GERRY HUNT - Credit: Archant

Exmouth ended a run of back-to-back Tolchards Devon League top flight defeats when they defeated basement side Sandford, but the margin of victory was a narrow one with the final Sandford wicket claimed with just five runs between the teams.

Exmouth skipper Richard Baggs won the toss and opted to bat first, but the Maer men were a man down with just 10 runs on the board with Baggs caught behind off the second ball he received.

Dan Pyle joined Sandy Allen and the pair took the total to 83 when Allen had his stumps knocked over having scored 42 from 51 deliveries with five fours.

Miles Lenygon was next man in – and was immediately out, clean bowled by the first delivery he received.

From 83-3 the score went to 122 before Pyle was bowled having hit a 59-ball, five boundary 45.

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Bob Dawson and David Lye added 38 before Lye became the fifth wicket, caught for 16.

No runs were added as Dawson became the sixth wicket, the fourth of the top five batsmen to be clean bowled, in his case for a 52-ball 25.

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Andrew Buzza (21) and Peter Turnbull (30) both helped push the score beyond 200 and, as the tail continued to wag, Alvin Pollard hit an unbeaten 15 from the number 10 berth as the Maer men closed on 255-9 from their 50 overs.

Peter Turnbull and Ollie Dawe were given the new ball duties by skipper Baggs and Turbull immediately sent back Sandford skipper Richard Foan, caught behind by Sandy Allen for one with the reply on seven.

That became 50-1 before Matt Theedom became the second Sandford wicket, caught by Bob Dawson off Billy Rudolph.

It was soon 77-3 with a David Lye caught and bowled dismissal accounting for the end of Faial Iqbal and, when Lye struck again, aided by a Miles Lenygon catch, the Mid Devon men were 109-4.

The fifth wicket pairing added 76 to give Sandford real hope, but that was ended by a Richard Baggs catch off the bowling of Billy Rudolph and it was six down with 211 on the board after another Dawson catch, this time to give Andrew Buzza a wicket.

With the score board on 226-6, Sandford looked favourites, but Ollie Dawe struck twice, first after a Peter Turnbull catch and then clean bowling number three bat Neil Bettis when he was eight runs shy of a century.

An Alvin Pollard run out left Sandford nine down with 228 on the board, still needing another 28 and now Exmouth were on the front foot.

However, the last two continued to edge their side towards a precious win, but Exmouth stood firm and Ollie Dawe held his nerve to get the Sandford last man to nick the ball behind into the gloves of Sandy Allen and Sandford were all out for 250 leaving Exmouth five run winners!

Exmouth captain Richard Baggs said: “After the back-to-back defeats this win, in a tight game, is a real morale booster.

“It was a cracking game and we did brilliantly to sneak it.

“Actually, we didn’t bat well and should have got 280-300.

“You need that against a side with someone in it like Neil Bettis, who can get match-winning 100s, which he very nearly did.

“Credit to our lads who stuck in the whole way and some good fielding and catching got us home.”

He continued: “We should gain some confidence now and have stopped the rot so really looking forward to the next game.”

On Saturday (June 23), the Maer men host second bottom Bradninch who have lost five of their first seven matches and last Saturday lost heavily at the County Ground, Exeter.

Bradninch are skippered by former Exmouth skipper Gary Chappell while Andrew Buzza, who has been in fine form with ball and bat for the Maer men this season, spent last year with the Mid Devon men.

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