Calum Haggett on the way to a three-wicket haul for Devon against Cornwall at Werrington<br>credit: Conradcopy Ltd

By CONRAD SUTCLIFFE

DEVON and Cornwall fought out two nail-biting finishes in the National Counties Twenty20 Cup double header at Werrington.

The first match of the day went down to the last ball before Devon clinched victory by just one run.

Match number two was another last-over finish, only this time Cornwall overcame a major batting collapse with victory in sight to win by three wickets with three balls to spare.Umpire Paul Smith stands impassively as Devon paceman Dan Goodey hurls down a delivery | Photo: Conrad Sutcliffe

Both games were low-scoring affairs – neither side posted more than 150 when they batted – and both teams probably can and could have performed better than they did.

Dave Tall, Devon’s director of cricket, said his side’s bowlers have to put the ball in better areas if they want to make an impression in their qualifying group.

“In both games we bowled with too much width and if you send down wide half-volleys you will get punished, which we were,” said Tall.

“We won the first game because when it came down to the final over, and Cornwall needed seven to win, we stayed calm and they let the scoreboard pressure get to them.

“It is worth remembering that only two of this side have played T20 cricket at this level before and have a lot to learn about what’s required. They showed they can learn quickly.

“We lost the second game because we bowled poorly and this time Cornwall did not fall apart after we took three of their wickets in four balls and five in total between the start of the 18thover and the end of the 19th.

“What this game showed is there is still a lot to learn, but I am confident this group of players will keep growing with game experience.”

Godfrey Furse, Cornwall’s long-serving team manager, said because of the way his team he could live with a narrow defeat and a slender win.

Jamie Baird batting against Cornwall at Werrington“If we were totally outplayed I would worry, but when you get results like we did without playing as well as we can then when we are at our best other sides will suffer against us,” said Furse.

“At 130 for two chasing 149 to win with three overs to go in the second game we were in a strong position. Then the wickets fell.

“Our players are not the sort to work the ball around and win it in ones and twos: they like to play their shots. I told them to carry on doing what they do and it worked out for us.

“Alex Bone, who hit the winning runs, for us, has opened for us in the past and to have him going in at number nine with six to win and an over to go meant we had a chance.”

Openers Elliot Hamilton (34) and Jamie Baird (23) got Devon off to a 55-run start and when they went quickfire Jamie Horler (35) and skipper Calum Hagget (36) put on 69 towards a total of 150 for five.

Baird had to retire hurt after he was pinned on an elbow by a short ball from Cornwall seamer Tom Dinnis.

The only Cornwall bowler to concede fewer than six runs an over was new county professional Ateeq Javid, whose four overs only cost 17 runs.

Javid, formerly with Warwickshire and Leicestershire, led the Cornwall run-chase with 55 off 47 balls. When he was sixth out on 131 with 13 balls to go the game seemed won and lost. It wasn’t.

Cornwall got down to the final over from Haggett needing seven to win and reached the last delivery two runs short of victory. Bone drove it straight to mid-off, from where Dan Goodey calmly threw down the stumps to give Devon victory.

Game number two followed a similar pattern as Devon made 148 for eight with Adam Small (33), in-form Horler (50) and Goodey with 32 off 17 balls the main contributors.

Javid (3-23) and Craig Johnson (2-21) were Cornwall’s most effective bowlers.

Javid then scored 60 of the first 93 runs of Cornwall’s reply with support from James Turpin (29).

Christian Purchase chipped in with 26 in a hurry and at 133 for two it looked like a stroll for Cornwall.

Then the wickets started to tumble – three in one over from Haggett (3-15), two more in the next one from Kazi Symanski – and it was a relieved Cornwall team that won it in the last over.                                                                      Click here for scorecards

Elliot Hamilton hits out for Devon in the one-run win over Cornwall at Werrington

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