Last over woes for Axminster leaves skipper with mixed feelings.
Axminster skipper Paul Miller had mixed emotions at stumps in the game at South Devon.
With the home side starting the match having suffered just the one defeat all season, Miller was left knowing that that ought to have become two, as his side were unable to score the required six runs off the final over, with three wickets in hand, to claim a famous victory.
The hosts batted first and had a century stand for starters but, three wickets in quick succession, put Axminster back into the contest only for the home side’s overseas player to bludgeon an unbeaten 72 from just 40 deliveries.
Gary Larcombe and Alex Wraight each bagged a pair of wickets as innings closed on 206-4. Gary Larcombe (64) and David Murnane (50), helped by 39 extras, took Axminster to the brink of a famous win, but, with three wickets in hand, and six runs required from the final over, bowled by the hosts overseas player, it was only a losing draw that Axminster emerged from the game with.
Miller said: “It’s disappointing because, if you have three wickets in hand and need a run a ball from the last over, you really ought to be getting over the line. The outcome underlined the difference an overseas player makes to the side, they had one who dominated proceedings, without him, things may well have ended very differently.”
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On reaching of the halfway stage of the season the Axminster skipper has a short and sharp view of the term so far: “Can, and should, be doing better! There’s little doubt in my mind that we have ability in the side but we are not showing it consistently enough in all departments. I am looking for us to improve with bat and ball in each of the remaining nine games. If we do that we’ll not have to go into the final few games looking over our shoulders. If we don’t then it could be a painful journey.”
Axminster II may well be without a win but they have plenty of fight in their ranks as they displayed when making leaders Ipplepen II work hard for a six wicket Cloakham Lawns win. Batting first, the home side closed on 197-9 with Joel Seward the pick of the batsmen with 68 and Dan Murnane played the main supporting role with 46 whilst there were more runs for Colin Ledbetter (35). Steve Harris claimed 3-42 for the visitors who were led to a six wicket win by Steve Bowden with an unbeaten 67 and a knock of 41 from Simon Tapley. Seward completed a fine all-round effort for the home side with 2-63.
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Axminster III were beaten by seven wickets in their East Devon derby at Acland Park against Feniton II.
Sean Perry (88) and John Whitehouse (43) were the principle run scorers for Axminster in a total of 206.
Stuart Bright took 4-55 for Feniton who lost just three wickets crossing the winning line with Mark Salter hitting 65 before Steve Haysom (47no) and Ben Allen (30no), took them over the winning line.