North Devon captain Barney Huxtable was relieved his decision to bat first at Exmouth didn’t backfire on him after clocking up a 20-run win.

Gary Chappell and Marques Clarke took three wickets each as North Devon were hustled out for 154.

Exmouth started disastrously – they were 30 for five – and after one recovery collapsed from 67 for five to 68 for seven.

Trevor Anning (45) and tail-ender Finlay Marks (20no) battled back, but the damage had been done by then.

“I decided to bat first after last week, wanting to be nice and positive,” said Huxtable.

“It turned out to be the wrong decision as the wicket played a lot worse first up than I predicted.

“We battled really hard and got ourselves to a position were we could have a crack at the end.”

Clarke (3-14) and Anning had North Devon wobbling at 37 for four before Callum French (15), Tom Allin (17) and Jaz Kalsi (11) found a few runs.

A middle-order collapse from 63 for four to 68 for seven – Chappell doing most of the damage – left North Devon requiring a rebuild.

Quintin Dreyer (32) and Rob Ayre (22) put on 41, then Josh King (22) joined Ayre to add a valuable 39 for the ninth wicket.

“Callum French looked a class act on a very difficult wicket,” said Huxtable.

“Dreyer played some great attacking shots at the end alongside a match-winning knock, in my eyes, from Rob Ayre who ran really well between the wickets and put us in a position where we had a chance of winning the game.”

Buzza was the only one of Exmouth’s first six batsmen to reach double figures – he made 10 – as Allin (5-24), Dreyer (2-23) and King got among the wickets.

Anning’s patient 45 from 78 balls needed a bit more support before Marks got in at 85 for eight to get Exmouth back in contention.

Defending low totals is never easy and Huxtable praised his bowlers for doing just that.

“Tom Allin opened up and bowled the best spell I’ve seen him bowl this year so far,” said Huxtable.

“He bowled some unplayable balls and constantly beat the outside edge.

“Dreyer and French backed him up the other end by bowling dot ball after dot ball.

“We managed to hold our catches in a 100 per cent improvement in the field from last week.

“It was really nice to get a win under our belts as it gives us great momentum going into a tough game against Plymouth.”