CORNWALL'S hopes of a third successive one-day quarter-final are hanging by a thread after Sunday's seven wicket defeat by Devon at Truro, writes Michael Weeks.
They could still make it, depending on other results, but that will depend on winning their final two group games. The first is at the familiar venue of Corsham this Sunday when they take on Wiltshire, who have won their only game to date.
Dorset at Werrington, a fortnight later, completes the group. The Duchy can have few complaints over Devon's success, who ran out winners by seven wickets with over 13 overs to spare.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing and both captain and the team manager, Matt Robins and Godfrey Furse, openly admitted that the decision to bat first didn't really work as hoped on the day.
Furse said: "We were hoping to get 180 to 200 on the board to put them under pressure in a game they had to win, and hopefully the pitch may have deteriorated."
The decision was made under overcast morning skies but by mid afternoon Boscawen Park was bathed in spring sunshine.
Needing a modest 156 Devon's openers had 44 on the board in ten overs and the writing was already von the wall.
They took their stand to exactly 100 when Rob Woodman fell to Christian Purchase for 28. Liam Lewis was trapped by Shakil Ahmed for 67 and Matt Thompson was out shortly before the end to Kelvin Snell. Cornwall's top order never really got going with Ben Smeeth, Tom Hughes and Callum Whittaker, on debut, all failing to get into double figures. Matt Robins was fifth out for 21 with the score at 56.
A plus point was the innings of Mike Bone, who was making his one-day debut at the age of 29.
The St Austell all rounder made an unbeaten 34, in over an hour at the crease, to cement his place for this weekend.
Afterwards he admitted he was as happy as ever with his game at the moment. Rob Harrison, who got an early morning call when Antony Angove pulled out due to illness, hit a six in a breezy 19.
Evergreen, Trevor Anning took three for 16 from ten overs.