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REPORT: Somerset Academy vs Devon Lions

Somerset Academy XI had to settle for a draw from their two day game against Devon Lions at Bovey Tracey CC that ended on Monday evening.

After winning the toss and opting to bat first the Academy scored 192 for nine declared, for which Will Smeed coming in first wicket down provided the backbone of the innings.

The 15 year old spent over three hours at the wicket and shared in a fourth wicket partnership of 39 with Louie Shaw who made 26. Smeed then added 77 for the seventh wicket with Cameron Harding, before he was out for 54, which came off 140 balls and included six 4s.

Harding was eventually out for 49 off which he scored off 90 balls with seven fours. Devon replied and made 229 for nine declared, left arm spinner Shaw the bowler doing the damage, claiming five for 36 from his 22.3 overs, four of which were maidens.

Second innings Somerset declared on 243 for five of which included another Smeed half century, this time 58 off 91 balls with seven 4s. During his innings Smeed added 133 for the fourth wicket with Shaw who blasted his way to 85 off 61 balls which included seven 4s and six 6s.

Chasing a target of 207 for victory Devon had reached 101 for six before the match ended in a draw. Fion Hand was the pick of the Somerset bowlers with three for 18 off nine overs, four of which were maidens.

Afterwards Steve Snell the Academy Director said: “It was a really good game for us and we got a lot out of seeing our Academy boys playing as a team. It was good to get the chance to get most of them together on the back of a very productive player welfare and development day in conjunction with the PCA on Friday.

“The conditions at Bovey Tracey were quite tricky for batting but Will Smeed showed the temperament, skill and determination well above his years to ensure that we got a total on the board first innings. He was well supported by Cam Harding.

“In the second innings Louie Shaw played an innings that showed a ball striking capability that we haven’t seen from him before, which was exciting. He also took five wickets which showed that is wholly dimensional cricketer.

“It was really good to see Nathan Gilchrist back to full fitness and bowling quickly in the second innings.

Steve added: “As a result of his performances in both innings Will Smeed gets the call up to play in the three day game against Gloucestershire starting on Tuesday, which is quite something because he is only an under 15 player.”

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