North Devon new boy Jack Whittaker on the way to making 43 on his debut against Plymouth | Photo: Fiona Tyson

CRICKET: Stellar all-round display catching the eye of county selectors

North Devon Gazette

Ben Howe turned in the type of man-of-the-match performance that has the Devon team management showing an interest in him in North Devon’s 69-run win over Plymouth in the Sandhills.

North Devon were bowled out for 219 in the 43rd of their 50 overs – which was a good effort on Plymouth’s part considering the home side were 100 for none 20 overs in.

Opener Howe was on his way to 66 and Jack Whittaker, newly signed from Braunton, was patiently making his way to 43 on debut.

Teddy Haffenden (3-22) got into North Devon’s top order and Peter Lojszczyk (2-30) kept the pressure on during a lively second spell.

Plymouth were marginally behind the clock at their 20-over mark on 72 for two, but with wickets in hand and Hon Varcoe (61) and Jerome Bossr (50) well set, they had a chance of catching up. They didn’t.

The game was won and lost in the time it took Plymouth to slip from 121 for three to 125 for eight as man of the match Howe (5-35) ran through the batting.

North Devon spin bowler Ben Howe twirling away towards a five-wicket haul against Plymouth | Photo: Fiona Tyson
North Devon spin bowler Ben Howe twirling away towards a five-wicket haul against Plymouth | Photo: Fiona Tyson

Jack Popham, who was filling in as North Devon captain for brother Tom Popham, said: “It was another really good win to keep the momentum going.

“We were probably 30-40 runs short of where we wanted to be after a great start from Howe and Whittaker, who batted very maturely on debut.

“After a good start when we bowled with Darren Butler taking two early wickets, Plymouth formed a good partnership for the third wicket.

“We showed good fight and character with Howe and McEndoo bowling tightly and building pressure, which led to us taking some much-needed wickets and getting over the line for a great victory.”

Howe was called into the Devon Lions development team for a 50-over match against Wiltshire last week and is likely to feature in the up-coming game against Warwickshire at Sidmouth.

Next weekend will prove a major test for North Devon’s title credentials, as they travel to leaders Heathcoat, who beat Cornwood by three wickets on Saturday.