Thompson piles on runs as Devon take control at Exmouth
Matt Thompson stroked his second century of the match as Devon took a vice-like grip of proceedings against Oxfordshire at Exmouth.
Oxfordshire were 89 for one in their second innings at close of play last night – needing another 433 to win in three sessions today to win the Minor Counties Championship encounter.
The man out was opener Joe Barrett, who was caught at slip off Josh Bess for five.
The main reason Devon are so far in front is the battering Thompson gave them not once, but twice.
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Thompson, 120 not out in the first innings, went in second time around when Devon were 24 for one after the early loss of opener Rob Woodman.
Devon were already 152 runs ahead on the first innings scores, having dismissed Oxfordshire for 81 in reply to their own 233 all out.
Thompson dominated a second-wicket stand of 103 with surviving opener Rob Holman, making 65 of the runs added before Holman went for 35. David Lye was the brisker partner in a fourth-wicket stand of 92, before he went for 66 off 45 balls with the score on 219 for three.
Thompson was only ten runs short of his ton when Lye got out and did not hang about chalking off the last few. He went from 92 to 99 in an over and a half, then spent three balls on 99 before flicking Richard Kaufman down to fine-leg to pass a hundred for the second time in the match.
Scoring two centuries in the same game is a rarity in any form of cricket and has only been done twice before by Devon players. Bob Dawson did it against Wales in 2004 and Neil Hancock followed suit against Cornwall in 2006.
Thompson said his second ton of the match was made easier by having hit one. “I wouldn’t say it was a case of picking up where I left off in the first innings, but having had a long knock then definitely helped,” he said.
“When you bat for a long time, you have to stay concentrated, and that was a struggle at times. I went through a patch of wanting to whack every ball out of the ground for six and had to rein myself in a bit. The important thing now is to go on and win the game as we are in a great position to do it.”
Earlier, skipper Bess, who had four wickets overnight, took two more as Oxfordshire collapsed from 49 for six to 81 all out. He finished with six for 25, his best bowling performance for Devon.