An unbeaten century from Liam Lewis handed Devon victory by nine wickets over Dorset in a rain-hit Unicorns Minor Counties Knock-Out Trophy clash at Sidmouth.
Lewis is in the form of his life right now as he made a ton for club side Sidmouth against Cornwood the day before, and his two previous knocks for Devon were 86 and 68.
Dorset set Devon 150 to win and the runs were knocked off with nearly 22 overs to spare.
The visitors, who topped the group before yesterday’s fixtures, cashed in on some indifferent bowling by Devon to reach 86 for one in 19 overs.
Two events tilted the game away from Dorset – the dismissal of Hampshire and England Under-19 rising star Lewis McManus and a break for rain.
McManus was on 34 and looking to add a few more when he was tempted to drive Zac Bess and found Matt Thompson at short cover.
The break for rain gave Devon the chance to regroup, get the bowlers focused on line and length and start again.
From 102 for three, when Josh Lawrence was well caught low down by Devon wicketkeeper Sandy Allen off Gary Chappell for 43, Dorset started to fade.
Wickets tumbled in a variety of ways – Jake Lintott caught in the gully, Chris Park to a tumbling catch by Allen, Ed Denham bowled round his legs and Mark Wolstenholme playing a one-day shot known as the “frying pan” – as Dorset were bowled out for 149.
Josh Bess took three for 22 – bowling with venom – and there were two wickets each or Chappell and Scott Barlow.
Lewis soon showed the Dorset bowlers who was boss by knocking Matt Carpenter (none for 38) out of the attack after five overs.
Lewis murdered anything short with a selection of pulls and slog sweeps meant plenty of “go-fetch” jogs to the boundary for the Dorset fielders.
Fellow opener James Toms tried to dish out some of the same, but only got a far as five before pulling Ed Denham round the corner to Sam Thomson at square-leg.
Lewis and Matt Thompson then polished off the rest of the target with the minimum of fuss. Lewis got to his fifty at run-a-ball rate and accelerated after that.
As the target came down, the only question was whether Lewis could get to his hundred before Devon passed the post.
With Thompson on 33 not out at one end, and Lewis on 82 at the other with and 16 needed to win, there was only one thing to do – hit out.
Lewis got to 95 with a couple of lusty blows, taking Devon to within four runs of victory. Left-armer Jake Lintott chucked up a full-toss, which Lewis launched for six over long-on to reach 101 not out and win the match.
Victory puts Devon top of the table, but they have played one more game than Wiltshire, who can still overtake them.