Taunton CC made it four home wins out of four this seaon by romping to a 10-wicket victory against Knowle at Gipsy Lane last Saturday (5th July).
The result was made possible by a sensational unbroken opening partnership of 207 between Chris Davenport (106 not out) and Tom Abell (93 not out), aged 19 and 20 respectively.
The visitors’ bowlers showed no lack of effort and captain, Pete Solomon, regularly rang the changes but was powerless to stop the youthful onslaught. Between them, the two batsmen shared an even split of 30 boundaries, while Davenport added an effortless straight six for good measure.
Features of both Abell and Davenport’s knocks were the elegance and timing of their stroke play, with barely the hint of a miscue or false shot at any stage. The young Australian, Davenport, brought up his century at exactly a one run per ball with a trademark pull through mid-wicket, and fittingly saw his side over the line shortly afterwards. Meanwhile, Abell exuded class throughout, and it can only be a matter of time before the call-up to the Somerset first team arrives.
Earlier in the day, the excellent work of Taunton’s bowlers should not be underestimated in restricting their opponents to just over the 200-mark on another fine pitch. In particular, Harry Popplewell and George Cook (two more 20 year-olds) displayed plenty of pace and aggression with the new ball, knocking over both Knowle openers in their seven-over spells.
Cook then held onto a fine ‘over-the-shoulder’ catch to see the back of James Connell, as acting skipper Ben Orr and his fellow spinners got to work.
The mainstay of the Knowle innings was Jack Cresswell, who made a bright 67, which was only ended by a smart stumping by Jon Kerslake off the bowling of Chris Greenwood, who also accounted for Steve Milton (24). In between times, Davenport had run out Joe Brimble with a brilliant diving stop and throw.
Then Graham Fitt added a further 3 scalps to his already impressive haul, including a sprawling caught and bowled effort to take the final Knowle wicket from the last ball of the 50 overs.
Orr was very unlucky to finish with just a solitary victim to his name, but was justifiably proud of the emphatic nature of his side’s triumph. Taunton now need to find the same magic formula away from home, when they travel to Bishopston at the weekend.
Cooper Associates Man of the Match: Chris Davenport.
© Cricket World 2014