Bideford perform well against county side at Westward Ho!

Somerset came out on top against Bideford by 49 runs in one of the biggest sporting events of the North Devon summer.

Somerset brought a side down to Westward Ho! for a Twenty20 match as part of all-rounder Arul Suppiah's benefit year, in aid of Children's Hospice South West and the Professional Cricketers Association Benevolent Fund. Due to his recent injury-induced retirement, Suppiah was unable to play himself.

The 2005 Twenty20 Cup champions quickly set about piling on the runs after winning the toss and choosing to bat first on a perfect evening for cricket.

The large crowd of around 400 were richly entertained as openers Abell and Jones made 25 and 23 respectively.

When Jones went, dismissed by the King duo of bowler Fred and fielder Josh, star man James Hildreth came to the crease - and didn't disappoint.

The only let down in an impressive innings was that it was all over before he could get to 50.

He cracked his second ball for six, before tucking into Sunday 1st XI captain Ian Hayter, who was greeted with four, four and six off his first three deliveries.

After some great striking, including six fours and two sixes, Hildreth was dismissed by Hayter for 44, struck from just 20 balls.

A number of the Somerset players got in, but it was 19 year-old keeper/batsman James Regan who stood out with a wonderful unbeaten 95 from just 39 balls.

Regan thumped nine fours and six sixes - one of which was so well struck it smashed a window on a nearby house - in a man on the match performance which catapulted Somerset on to a daunting total of 243/6.

Only Barnstaple boy Jamie Overton - who has been tipped as a future England star by Somerset captain Marcus Trescothick - failed to score for the county side.

Despite Somerset's impressive batting display, there were some good bowling figures for the Bideford bowlers, none more so than Hayter's 2-30 off three overs.

"What can I say?" said Hayter after his wickets. "There's a great crowd, great atmosphere and it was very nice to get Hildreth and Gregory out here.

"I've seen Hildreth score hundreds at Taunton so that was special."

The Bideford reply didn't get off to the greatest of starts - opening bowlers Gemaal Hussain and Jamie Overton ripped into the batting line up and left the home side 14/3 after two overs.

Overton claimed the wicket of overseas player Jordi Gilmore, whose parents had come from Australia to watch the game, in his 2-6.

That soon turned into 14/4, when Saturday 1st XI captain James Ford came together with Reece Stanbury.

Somerset's front-line quicks were swiftly removed from the attack - and a couple of comedy drops afforded by their fielders - but that shouldn't detract from an excellent 100 partnership for the fifth wicket, put on in only 63 balls.

The partnership was finally broken at 109 when Lewis Gregory removed Stanbury for 48.

Jamie Overton produced a moment of magic to end Ford's knock on 56, picking the ball up in the outfield and unleashing a perfect throw to hit the stumps direct and send Ford back to the pavilion run out.

Even Somerset's more recognisable bowlers, such as Yasir Arafat and Steve Kirby, offered the Bideford batsmen slow spin bowling, allowing the home side to reach a very respectable 194/7 off their 20 overs.

"It was good fun and a great night for the club," said Bideford captain James Ford.

"It's good for the young lads as well. Everyone enjoyed it at the end of the day.

"Their players are a totally different class with some of their striking."

Somerset's Jamie Overton, back in his home county, said: "It was very good, very enjoyable. It's always good to be back in the county.

"I'm very close with Arul and it's always nice to play for him and help out as much as I can.

"I'm trying not to take too much notice of the England talk because you can always get too far ahead of yourself. I'm just taking it one ball at a time."

Bideford chairman Kevin Fishleigh said the event 'was about taking part, not winning' after the game.

"We've been fortunate - it cost us a few quid to get the weather like this!

"The guys have all been great and raised hundreds of pounds before this. We are proud to be involved with the hospice."