Devon's James Horler hits out against Gloucestershire<br>credit: Conradcopy Ltd


JAMES Horler and Adam Small both clubbed half-centuries as Devon slipped into top gear to be the Gloucestershire Academy by 90 runs in a Twenty20 warm-up double-header at Exeter.

Devon’s players owed the team management a performance after going down by two runs in the morning match with a performance that earned a rebuke from director of cricket Dave Tall.

“The scorebook says we lost by two runs and a margin that close really flattered us,” said Tall.

“Having worked hard with the ball to keep them to 120 for seven – and that was too many after we had them 35 for five at one stage – we snatched defeat from the jaws of victory.

“We were 47 for three at half way and could have won it from there. You have to score more quickly than we did in the next five or six overs and only got as close as we did thanks to Jonty Walliker hitting out in the final over.”Adam Small shapes to square drive against Gloucestershire Academy

Devon reached the last over needing 22 to win and lost Adam Small to the first ball down from Prakeel Choughule. Walliker signalled his intent by hitting the next ball on to the pavilion balcony and followed with another six and a four. A wide helped.

It was classic six-to-win stuff from the final ball, but Walliker and non-striker Ed Middleton could only scamper two and the game was lost.

Tall was all smiles after the 90-run win in game two on the back of a performance that could not have been a bigger contrast.

Although opener Jamie Baird went cheaply, a stand of 81 for the second wicket between Horler (55) and Hamilton (41) took Devon to 91 for two in the 12thover.

Hamilton may have missed out on a half-century, but Horler got there before he was third out with the score on 116.

Small then batted through until the start of the final over for 53 from 37 balls as Devon reached 178 for five.

When Gloucestershire bowled width outside off-stump at Small, he drilled it through cover.

Gloucestershire lost opener Max Trotman to the first ball of their reply and subsided to 26 for four in a hurry. A feature of Devon’s fielding was their sticky fingered catching, which included two one-handed grabs off the ground by Elliot Staddon and Ed Middleton.

The rot stopped for a while when Choughule and Shay Sainsbury were together, but once they went it was downhill all the way from 66 for five to 88 all out. The last four wickets fell for just for runs scored.

Kazi Szymanski (3-10) did the damage up top, Fahad Sabir (2-19) and Middleton (1-24)  had a couple in the middle and Ben Beaumont mopped up the tail with the last three wickets at a run each in 11 balls.

Tall was all smiles after the 90-run win and said: “We showed during the day we are learning how to adapt to changing situations in a game.

“Our batting was excellent in the second game and put them under pressure.

“Horler batted superbly and I thought Hamilton and Small batted very well indeed.

“In the first game we allowed them to bowl at us and that put us under pressure.

"In the second game we did not do that at all and we were the ones putting the pressure on."


Kazi Szymanski on the way to a three-wicket haul against Gloucestershire