Budleigh Salterton gave their A Division status a real boost as they won their visit to Tavistock by three wickets – a result that leaves the home side closer to the drop than the Ottermouth men.
The home side won the toss and opted to bat and they were given a 34-run start before a Matt Kimber catch off Jack England ended the opening partnership. Joel Murphy knocked the stumps over to give Budleigh a second wicket with the score then 61-2 and it was soon 102-3 and then 104-4 thanks to wickets from Will Oxland – bother Tom holding the catch and Max Mejzner.
Budleigh were to enjoy just two more moments of wicket taking success – a fifth was claimed with the Tavvy score on 141 – Joel Murphy again hitting the stumps and the sixth and final wicket fell to the last delivery of the 50th and final over thanks to another Tom Oxland catch, this time off the bowling of Ed Doble with Tavistock closing on 231.
When the Budleigh reply began, Harry Parkin rifled the very first ball over the boundary rope, but, to the final delivery of the opening over, fellow opener, Will Oxland was trapped leg before and trooped back with a second ball duck to his name.
Charles Parkin was next man in – and out – in his case stumped off the second delivery of the fourth over, dismissed for a five ball one and, 20 balls into the run chase, Budleigh were 24-2.
Matt Kimber joined Harry Parkin, but the new man did not last long, falling to the fourth ball of the seventh over, out for a 10-ball four to leave Budleigh wobbling on 38-3.
Parkin though, was still there, and he was joined by Sam Whitehead and they took the score to 119, when Whitehead fell to the fourth ball of the 30th over, caught having faced 75 balls for his contribution of 36 – the fourth wicket partnership being one of 83 runs.
Ed Doble joined Parkin and the pair carried the score to 160 before the fine innings of Parkin finally ended, the opener out to the 115th delivery he faced, but not before he had scored 76 runs, 48 of them coming in fours.
With Budleigh 160-5 after 37 overs and five balls, it meant they needed a further 72 runs from 73 balls with five wickets in hand.
Tom Oxland came in at number seven and he and Doble took the chase to 184 when Doble, two balls after slamming a six, was trapped leg before wicket having scored 38 from just 30 balls. That left the score 184-6 and now the equation was one of 38 runs required from the final 56 balls.
Skipper Lloyd Murrin joined Oxland, but, with the score on 194, Oxland was run out for a 16-ball 14 to leave Budleigh needed 38 runs from 43 balls and with now, just three wickets remaining.
Max Mejzner joined his skipper and it was the same pair of batsmen at the wicket when the winning line was crossed off the first bal of the 50th and final over when a wide delivery also brought a run to give Budleigh a thrilling three wicket win.
At the close, skipper Murrin was unbeaten on 20 from 24 balls faced and Mejzner was not out 11 from 17.
The result leaves the Ottermouth men on 94 points, now nine clear of Tavistock (85) who sit second bottom with Cullompton (54) the basement dwellers. However, the tables are somewhat disjoined just now with Tavistock shown as playing eleven with Abbotskerswell shown as playing ten.
The splendid cricket resource that is found at www.devoncricket.co.uk shows the latest A Division table as
Bradninch 12 153 19.13
North Devon 12 173 17.3
Torquay 11 113 16.14
Plympton 12 118 14.75
Barton 12 134 13.4
Tavistock 11 85 10.63
Budleigh Salterton 12 94 10.44
Seaton 12 93 9.3
Abbotskerswell 10 74 9.25
Cullompton 12 54 5.4
There are now six games left in the season and its very much ‘home comforts’ ahead for the Ottermouth men with four of their remaining six games being at home.
The last six Budleigh games are
July 24 H Torquay
July 31 H Plympton
Aug 7 A Cullompton
Aug 14 H Abbotskerswell
Aug 21 H North Devon
Aug 28 A Seaton