Had the Coronavirus pandemic not struck our shores, then the 2020 Tolchards Devon league campaign would have reached the halfway stage this coming Saturday (June 27).
Last season, the mid-term matchday was played out on June 29 and North Devon were involved in an incredible game at Torquay.
The contest saw no fewer than 651 runs, had two centurions and went right down to the wire!
Torquay batted first and powered their way to a close of 327-5 thanks to a wonderful 117-ball 157 from Mitchell Pugh with the Aussie slamming 15 fours and seven sixes! The men from Instow used eight bowlers in a bid to winkle out the home side. Jack Popham was the most successful with his return being 2-37 and there were single wickets for Josh Jing, Fred King and Adrian Isherwood.
Dan Bowser then got the reply off to a cracking start with an eight boundary 23-ball 36.
The impetus was kept up down the order with the main contribution a superb 107-ball 104 from Aussie Isherwood who hit 14 fours and a six. Ben Howe chipped in with a run-a-ball 47 and Josh King slammed a quick-fire 23, but it was Jaz Kalsi who took his side so close to a thrilling win.
As the last over began, Kalsi was on 57 with his side needing 20 to claim victory.
Kalsi rifled the first two balls to the boundary and then bagged a two before slamming the fourth ball over the ropes for a six!
That all meant four to win with two deliveries to come, but the penultimate ball of the match knocked over the stumps with Kalsi out for a 66-ball 73 and North Devon all out for 324 to lose by three runs.
On the same day, Hatherleigh won their A Division game at Ivybridge by 84 runs. Tinotenda Mutombodzi hit an imperious unbeaten 99-ball 123 with 11 fours and three sixes and there were half centuries from Rob Cockwill and Ryan Davies as Hatherleigh closed on 272-6. Ivybridge then limped to a close of 188-7 with sixth change bowler Gareth Tidball claiming figures of 4-13 from five overs.
In another A Division game, Bideford, Littleham & Westward Ho went down by 109-runs at the hands of Tavistock. Tavvy batted first and closed on 216-8. The most successful of the home bowlers were Jack Ford (4-39) and Michael Lemmings (3-34). The reply lasted just 36.4 overs as Bideford Littleham & Westward Ho were bowled out for 107 with the only scores into double figures coming from Ben Perry (49) and Jamie Lathwell (12).
Braunton were 109-run winners of their C Division East game at Exeter II. Ben Whitty (97) and Alfie Huxtable (40) were the main contributors to a Braunton score of 230-8 and then Steve Moore (5-31) and Alfie Huxtable (3-3) combined to bowl the County Ground side out for 121 in 33.3 overs.
In another C Division East game, Barnstaple & Pilton were beaten by a margin of nine wickets in their home meeting with Ottery St Mary.
Barum batted first and were bundled out for just 104 with the only batsmen into double figures being George McEndoo (22), Tom Moody (18), matt Newton (15) and Rob Williams (11). Ottery eased home, using up just 21.4 overs and losing the one wicket, that claimed by Adrian Ashton (2-21).
Bideford, Littleham & Westward Ho II were involved in a thrilling E Division East game at Ottery St Mary II, a contest that ended in a tie!
Ottery II batted first and they were bowled out for 262 in 42 overs with the bowling honours going to third change Tim Cooke (3-44) and fifth change Jim Keates (2-21). Bideford Littleham & Westward Ho then made a great fist of the run chase, closing on 263-7 from their allotted 45 overs. The runs came from Keith Berry (59), Peter Stevens (44), Marten Stanbury (44) and Chris Luxton (43).
In another E Division contest, North Devon II made it nine straight wins with a 96-run home win over Bradninch II. Josh Atkinson slammed a run-a-ball unbeaten 112 in the home offering of 301 all out. Jack Hockin then claimed 3-38 as Bradninch II were bowled out for 205 in 41.2 overs.