Minor Counties: Herefordshire have to settle for draw with Devon

Herefordshire just missed out on a first Minor Counties Championship win of 2013 as Devon produced a defiant final-day batting display at Colwall.

After declaring their second innings on 347-8, Herefordshire set the visitors 390 to win in 70 overs.

A home victory looked likely when Devon slumped to 191-6 before being rescued by a 35-run stand between Rhys Davies (43) and visiting skipper Josh Bess.

Herefordshire spinner Brad Wadlan ended with match figures of 11-198.

"He bowled 42 overs in the first innings and then 37 in the second innings, taking four more wickets," Herefordshire's chairman of selectors Ernie Morgan told BBC Hereford and Worcester.

Match details at Colwall

  • Herefordshire 344-7 dec (Stebbings 133, Cox 80*, Walker 57) & 347-8 dec (O'Shea 83, Cox 52, Stebbings 42, Bradley 5-125).
  • Devon 302 (Bess 113*, Davies 63, Allen 42, Wadlan 7-121) & 257-8 (Holman 70, Lye 52, Davies 43*, Wadlan 4-77, O'Shea 3-89)
  • Match drawn

"He pretty much bowled unchanged from one end throughout the two innings which is a remarkable achievement."

After two heavy defeats, the home side were determined to put up an improved showing despite being hamstrung by an injury to skipper David Exall and call-ups to Second XI cricket for Callum Stewart and Steve Cheetham, with Somerset and Yorkshire respectively.

Ben Stebbings took over the Herefordshire captaincy and rose to the challenge in hot conditions, with scores of 133 and 42.

"We stopped the sequence of defeats," added Morgan.

"In the previous two games we lost in two, and then two-and-a-half days, so it was good to take it to the end with us being on top. We were always in the driving seat.

"It was a difficult declaration to make because it was a very fast wicket and, although it was turning a bit there was a lot of bounce in it and when you hit it, it stayed hit. There were short boundaries and a fast outfield.

"They had a pretty good start, but we kept chipping away with the wickets. We just ran out of overs. In the last hour we had to bowl 17 and actually bowled 21 but we couldn't force victory."