Sam Read hits out for Devon on the way to 66 off 29 balls<br>credit: All photos Conrad Sutcliffe


DEVON’S cricketers picked themselves up, dusted themselves down and did just what team boss Dave Tall hoped they would do by handing out a hiding to someone else.

The only way was up for Devon against Bedfordshire at Exeter after a 10-wicket hammering by holders Berkshire in the first pool game of this season’s NCA KO Cup.

This time it was Bedfordshire’s turn to hiding as Devon crushed them by 161-runs to keep alive chances of qualifying for the last-eight knockout stages. Dan Goodey bowling for Devon against Bedfordshire - he took three wickets in a 161-run win

A brutal batting performance inspired by a rapid 66 from opener Sam Read took Devon to 284 for seven in their 50 overs.

Then four wickets for debutant Jonty Walliker, and three more for old hand Dan Goodey, reduced Bedfordshire to 59 for eight in reply.

Bedfordshire’s tail-enders showed some durability missing higher up the order, but a wicket each for Ned Leonard and Ed Middleton had them all out for 123 and gave Devon victory by 161 runs.

For Tall it was exactly what he was looking for as a response to the heavy defeat by Berkshire.

“What we the players have done is shown what they can really do by picking themselves up after a real drubbing to play like this,” said Tall.

“That tells me a lot about the character of the players and their determination to do well.

“Perhaps we could have wrapped it up a little sooner, but had anyone offered me a 161-run win five minutes before the start I would jumped at it.”

Tall said Read’s opening salvo – 66 off 29 balls including seven fours and four sixes – was the catalyst for what came next.

“Sam went off so quickly it made it easy for the batsmen coming in as they were under no pressure at all,” said Tall. 

Devon made a disastrous start when opener Elliot Hamilton was dismissed second ball, but Read soon made amends by getting off the mark with a six!

Read went on to reach his 50 from 24 balls faced, thought to be a speed record for Devon in 50-over cricket, and was going for six number five when he was caught trying to pull Jack Fuller in front of square.

Matt Thompson was at the other end from Read during a stand of 76 and by the time Thompson was dismissed he had posted another 80 with James Horler (47).

Devon lost Thompson and Horler close together, but the runs kept coming from captain Calum Haggett (63no) and partners. Adam Small made 20 in a 60-run stand with the skipper and Walliker flailed 17 not out at the end.

Bedfordshire might have recovered from being 35 for three in reply had it not been for a devastating spell from left-armer Walliker, whose attacking line around off-stump kept posing problem.

Two caught behinds and the lbw that caught Alex Wakely unawares as it hooped in on him were the highlights of Walliker’s four-for-40 debut haul.

Goodey, recalled as a late replacement for the injured Hugo Whitlock, had three for 20 from 10 lively overs. And Leonard (2-38) dealt Bedfordshire a psychological blow by removing opener Eddie Ballard with his first delivery.

Devon’s cup campaign continues this Sunday when they face Hertfordshire at Hertford CC.

Devon 284-7 (S O Read 66, C J Haggett 63no, M W Thompson 48, J D Horler 47; J Lowe 2-25), Bedfordshire 123 (S Jarvis 30no; J E B Walliker 4-40, D J Goodey 3-20; E O Leonard 2-38). Devon (2pts) bt Bedfordshire (0) by 161 runs.

Jonty Walliker at full pelt for Devon against Bedfordshire