DEVON 426-6 lead DORSET 52-1 by 374 runs

DORSET were put to the sword by an astounding unbeaten 203 from Devon captain Josh Bess on the first day of their Unicorns Championship derby with Devon at Sidmouth.

Bess, brother of England Test star Dom and one of three Bess siblings in the Devon line-up, crunched 19 fours and seven sixes in his 231-ball knock, eclipsing Alex Barrow’s 101 as Devon posted an intimidating 426-6 from 90 overs.

Dorset eventually closed on 52-1 trailing by a gigantic 374 runs having lost Somerset academy batsman Ben Wells (24) to Ben Green (1-13).

Earlier, Dorset exploited the new ball to reduce Devon to 59-3, Wimborne & Colehill’s Ed Bartlett (1-62) the most impressive of the visitors’ pacemen.

But Barrow and skipper Bess knuckled down and eventually grew in confidence, lashing the Dorset bowling to the boundary with increasing regularity.

After amassing a stand of 220, Barrow was finally dismissed by spinner Josh Digby (2-91).

Josh Bess continued to score quickly, aided by run-a-ball knocks from brothers Zac (26) and Luke (27) as Devon cruised past 400.

Dorset’s reply began cautiously, Digby (15no) and Wells creeping to 18-0 off 11 overs, although after scoring three fours Wells fell to Green.

Luke Webb (7no) and Digby safely saw their side to the close without perishing, the pair facing a mammoth task to reach parity with Devon’s first-innings total.