By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE
BRADNINCH proved that underdogs really can have a nasty bite by beating Exmouth by 13 runs to claim the Sunbelt Rentals Devon KO Cup in a thrilling final at Bovey Tracey.
Premier side Exmouth should have been favourites to beat A Division pacesetters Bradninch, although a combination of suspensions and other availability issues meant they certainly weren’t red hot!
Bradninch made 144 for seven in their 20 overs – opener Rory Thomas top scoring with 41 off 28 balls.
Thom Bunker made 24 and Mitch Pugh 29. Bits and pieces from Craig Penberthy (14) and Ankit Badwall (15) all added up to what proved a winning score.
When Exmouth were 45 for none in reply in the fifth over – Richard Baggs and Tim Piper the men who had been battering the bowling – Bradninch were on the back foot.
Two wickets in four balls – Piper (17) first, Baggs next for 29 – changed the dynamic for a while and by half way Exmouth were fractionally behind the clock at 64 for three.
Andy Buzza (29) and Fin Marks (21) started catching up and by the 14-over mark the target was 41 to win with seven wickets in hand. Cup glory was in Exmouth’s reach, or so it seemed.
A double strike by Ninch skipper Gary Chappell – Buzza then Lawrence Greenway in successive balls – was the start of Exmouth’s downfall. Marks was run-out by Chappell in the next over and from then on there was only one likely winner.
Aryan Raigangar (2-22) and Chappell (2-22) slowed Exmouth’s scoring rate to the point that they arrived at the final over from Chappell needing 24 to win. That was never going to happen and they came up short on 131 for eight.
Winning captain Chappell said he was always comfortable with his side’s total, but Exmouth gave him a few anxious moments during the chase.”
“I felt 144 was about par on a tricky wicket,” said Chappell. “We could and maybe should have got another 10-15 the way we were going by halfway (75-2) we were happy.
“When Exmouth were batting I felt the game was finely poised. I only thought we were clear favourites with four overs left when they needed about 40.
“A good game and fantastic day for us.”
Bradninch had already accounted for Premier side Plymouth in the semi-final, which was played out in mid-afternoon.
Plymouth made 113 for seven in their 20 overs – Hal Kerton top scoring on 44 – which Bradninch knocked off with more than eight overs to spare. Chappell (60no) and Bunker (41no) put on 103 unbroken in an eight-wicket win. Chappell smashed Teddy Haffenden for six to win it.
Exmouth defeated Cornwood by 42 runs in the other semi-final. There were three wickets each for father and son Greg and Fin Marks as Exmouth defended 145 for seven by dismissing the Corns for 103
FINALS DAY SCORECARDS
Plymouth 113-7 (H Kerton 44, A Hill 25; A Raigangar 4-17, R Acton 2-12), Bradninch 117-2 (G Chappell 60no, T Bunker 41no; R Goldsby-West 2-19). Bradninch bt Plymouth by 8 wkts.
Exmouth 145-7 (D Pyle 30, F Marks 28, T Bath 25; A Goodliffe 2-40, J Goodlife 2-31), Cornwood 103 (R Rickard 30; F Marks 3-13, G Marks 3-10). Exmouth bt Cornwood by 42 runs.
Bradninch 144-7 (R Thomas 41, M Pugh 29, T Bunker 24; A Buzza 2-27, G Marks 2-20), Exmouth 131-8 (R J Baggs 29, A Buzza 29, F Marks 21; G Chappell 2-22, A Raigangar 2-22). Bradninch bt Exmouth by 13 runs.