North Devon bt Torquay by one wicket
NORTH Devon scrambled home by one wicket in a thrilling game against Torquay to move up to third in the Premier table.
Torquay were all out for 218 in the last of their 50 overs – opener Matt Thompson making a top score of 38 at the top of the order.
Thompson and Nick Watkin (22) got Torquay off to a 63-run start, which proved to be their best stand of the innings.
There were contributions from Mitchell Pugh (35) and Faisal Iqbal (24), who played despite a painful ankle injury that prevented him bowling.
Pick of the bowlers for North Devon with four for 39 – all four were in the top five – was skipper Matt Westaway.
North Devon were looking good at 112 for two after 12 overs – opener Neil Bettis slamming 10 fours on his way to 48 off 29 balls.
North Devon then nosedived to 132 for seven – five wickets lost for 20 runs – as Jack Richardson (3-45) and veteran Ian Baker (4-41) got to work.
Baker was playing 1st XI cricket for Torquay before at least four of his current team-mates were born.
Jamie Overton went in at 131 for six and promptly saw Tom Allin sent back by Baker.
The game was won and lost by eighth-wicket pair Jamie Overton and Rob Ayre.
Somerset all-rounder Overton is a handy player to have coming in at number eight – and he showed how handy by stroking six fours and a six in a 48-ball knock of 60.
Ayre made 17 in a stand of 83 that took North Devon within four runs of victory.
Westaway snicked the winning runs through the vacant slip cordon to seal the win.
A relieved Westaway said it could all have ended differently.
“We were 131 for six when Jamie went in and he hit the first ball straight in the air – luckily no one caught it,” said Westaway.
“Jamie and Rob played really well and the longer they were in the more we all relaxed.
“Just when it looked like we were cruising, Jamie hit one down long-on’s throat.
“Three balls later Rob got out lbw – and suddenly it wasn’t that simple anymore.
“Four to win and the last pair in – luckily they didn’t have a slip in to stop the one I snicked through on the ground.”