Elliot Hamilton – top scored for Devon in their second innings<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe

Day One | Day Two


DEVON won’t want to run into Brad Wadlan again in a hurry after his influential role in a five-run defeat by Wales at Abergavenny.

Wadlan went into the game, the first for both sides in this season’s Western Division Two, with back-to-back centuries against Devon in his previous two tussles with them.

When the game ended shortly before lunch on day three, Wadlan had made it three tons on the trot and done the majority of the work to bowl Devon out twice to win his side the game. His bowling figures for the match were 12 for 71.

Wadlan’s first-innings ton helped Wales reach 255 all out. His six-for-18 bowling haul helped dismiss Devon for 194 and leave them 61 runs in arrears. Adam Small top scored with 90 for Devon.Kazi Szymanski

Devon got Wadlan cheaply the second time Wales batted –and with Kazi Szymanski taking three wickets against his former team they were dismissed for 122.

Devon were left a target of 185 to win in four sessions, which looked very gettable when they were 66 for three in reply. Losing three wickets on 85 – all of them to Wadlan – put Devon on the backfoot and they ended day two on 142 for seven with Elliot Hamilton not out on 52.

Although Hamilton went early on day two for 56, Devon’s tail-enders dug in as they whittled away at the remaining target, which was 39 when Wadlan squirmed a ball through Hamilton’s defences.

Szymanski got to 30 off 70 balls as the target came down to 19 to win and it seemed his partnership with Fahad Sabir (12no) might just earn an unlikely victory. Then Szymanski got out stumped.

“The ball went through to the keeper, Kazi was out of his ground and the keeper threw the stumps down,” said Dave Tall, the Devon team supremo.

“Kazi had batted really well – he and Elliot Hamilton got us back in a game that looked to be going only one way – and he did not deserve to get out that way.”

Last pair Sabir and Hugo Whitlock got the target down to six before Ben Morris snared the latter lbw to give Wales victory.

Wadlan claimed six Devon wickets for 53 runs in the second innings to finish with match figures of 12 for 71 on top of his century. 

Tall said there was more to praise then moan about at the end of game of cricket he described as ‘bizarre’.

“Twenty-odd wickets fell on day two when Wales bowled out us, we bowled Wales out and they took another seven of our wickets late in the day on a pitch that had absolutely nothing wrong with it,” said Tall.

“It has been the most bizarre game of cricket I have ever been involved in by some way.

“We almost lost the game in the session before lunch on the second day when we were bowled out cheaply and instead of building a good lead were 60-odd runs behind. 

“There was a bit of turn in the pitch, but we lost seven for 50 in the session and it was not turning that much!

Elliot Hamilton – half-century for Devon in their second innings“Then we bowled and fielded really well to get Wales all out for 123 and that left us to get 185 to win, which we should have been able to get.

“Apart from Small (33) and Elliot Hamilton (56) we did not bat that well, but our tail wagged and very nearly won the game for us.”

Turning to the positives, Tall said there were individual performances to cherish and real signs team members are developing in ways that matter.

“Twelve months ago had we been in a position where Matt Thompson and Calum Haggett did not get many runs we would have lost within a day and a half,” said Tall.

“Now we have got Adam Small batting beautifully in both innings – only a really good ball denied him a ton in the first innings – and Elliot Hamilton playing a very mature innings when our backs were against the wall.

“And at the end we showed some real grit and determination to get as close as we did. Kazi and Fahad batted superbly under pressure and had me thinking we could win it.

“Although we lost, and you can look at two or three periods of play when we did not push home our advantage, the way we stuck at it shows the progress the side has made in a short time.

Devon have an immediate opportunity to move on from this defeat as they play Cornwall at Sandford over three days, starting on Sunday (11am).

Skipper Jamie Stephens will be available – Haggett captained in his absence against Wales – and seamer Jonty Walliker and spinner Ed Middleton are both free of other commitments to play if selected. 

Wales 255 (B L Wadlan 100, J Davies 54, H L R Friend 25, C F Brown 23; C J Haggett 4-42, H M Whitlock 2-31, K B Szymanski 2-45) & 123 (M J Bevans 44; K B Szymanski 3-34), Devon 194 (A J Small 90, M W Thompson 26; B L Wadlan 6-18) & 179 (A J Small 33, E H Hamilton 56K B Szymanski 30; B L Wadlan 6-53). Wales (22pts) bt Devon (5) by 5 runs.