Exmouth crowned Devon T20 champions
21:43 27 July 2014
EXMOUTH’S experience of the big occasion served them well as they eased to a five-wicket win over Paignton in the Servicemaster Clean Devon T20 final, writes Conrad Sutcliffe.
Paignton had already sprung a small shock by defeating Premier side North Devon in their semi-final to set up the meeting with Exmouth.
Exmouth had side stepped a potential banana skin in the morning semi-final to beat Cornwood by six wickets.
As Cornwood had beaten Devon barely 24 hours earlier in a Premier Division game, they could not be underestimated.
Paignton from the A Division opted to bat first in the final and were all out for 83 in their last of their 20 overs.
Exmouth took their time and with Seb Benton leading the way against his former club with an unbeaten 40 they eased over the line with more than two overs to spare.
Winning captain Gary Chappell said he had to rethink tactics as finals day played out, but was always confident Exmouth had the upper hand.
“I expected the games to be a bit more high scoring than they were, but it turned out to be a day for the spinners rather than the seamers,” said Chappell
“All four sides had good spinners and when you took the pace off the ball it became harder to score.
“We had to rethink in the semi-final against Cornwood as we put ourselves under pressure batting the middle overs, not knowing what pace to go out.
“Bob Dawson (67no) batted through and won us the game.
“The final was different as once we restricted them to 85 I could not see a chance of us not winning.
“It took a bit longer than expected as Paignton didn’t have a bad bowler to go after, but our depth of batting was always going to be too great for them.”
Trevor Anning was named man of the match in the final for his early burst of three wickets that helped reduce Paignton to 33 for four.
Anning took four for 13 in the semi-final win over Cornwood and only David Lye (1-10 and 2-13) was more miserly on the day.
“Trevor has been bowling well for us all season in the league and for once got a bit of luck,” said Chappell.
Richard Ashworth top scored for Paignton with 33 and took them from a standing start to 60 for five.
After Ashworth went Rob Shergold and Dan Wolf played a few shots, but the Exmouth bowlers prospered as Paignton’s last five wickets went for 20 runs in as many balls.
Exmouth lost Lye and Richard Baggs reaching 15 – great catches by George Yates and Zubyar Hamza sending them back – but that was as good as it got for Paignton.
Benton and Dawson (17) knocked off 29, Sandy Allen and Benton subtracted another 29 and by the time Chappell got out the target was one to win and the game over as a contest.
Exmouth now go through to the regional final of the ECB T20 Cup as Devon’s representatives.
The play-offs are at Sidmouth on August 10 where St Just and Taunton St Andrew will be waiting, as well as one other regional qualifier.