Nestled just below the university, boasting some impressive facilities and a deal of cricketing pedigree – Dom Bess, Tom Lammonby and Ben Green – Exeter CC welcomed the Deane U.15 side on Sunday for the second round of the national U.15 T20 competition.
We were all there on time for a 09.00 talk and warm up. Keith would have been pleased.
As the Exeter players arrived they were confronted with the sight of Russ Jones leading a training session. They also encountered a strong contingent of Deane supporters who had already taken over the upper tier of the pavilion terrace.
Exeter won the toss and chose to bat. The first over, on the dot of 10.00, set out the stall as Charlie Sharland’s over conceded just one bye and the Exeter openers looked a little dismayed.
Wickets fell at 14, 15, 27, 37, 38 and 48 before Ben Sims was able to find a partner. Only Bradley Hunt joined Ben on double figures as the Exeter total staggered to 93.
Top scorer for Exeter was Extras – a worrying 27 – while the bowlers all enjoyed success if not an equal share of the wickets. Taylor Flitton took the only non-caught wicket with an LBW and, although wicketless, Max Johnson and Harrison Hambly showed their qualities of line, length and control.
Josh Thomas and Aman Rao took two wickets apiece as did Taylor but any commentary on this part of the game cannot pass without mention of Charlie Sharland whose bowling figures of 3 wickets for just 9 runs from his 3.4 overs do not exaggerate his influence nor can I move on without noting Charlie’s catching and throwing which gave us three wickets we might have waited longer for if not for his agility and accuracy. This lad makes things happen.
While we are not yet the finished article as a fielding side there were some excellent examples of high quality fielding in the deep with Will Baverstock, Harry Love and Max Johnson showing the importance of chasing hard, picking up cleanly and throwing in accurately.
Our route to victory after the break was, truth to tell, unexpectedly easy.
Both Ben Chaffey and Aman Rao played some very good shots and the running between the wickets was confident.
We reached the target with few alarms in the eleventh over and now look forward to the regional semi final and finals day on Monday July 29 at Wembdon CC.