Cricket: Rain leaves Devon with the double

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DEVON yesterday won the Minor Counties title for the first time since 1978 - completing a Championship and Cup double in the process - when rain ruined the second day of the play-off match against Cambridgeshire at Worcester.

Only 80 minutes' play was possible and Devon became champions for only the second time in their history by virtue of having claimed more first-innings bonus points in a drawn match.

Play started nearly four hours late and Cambridgeshire - 36 without loss in their second innings - quickly made up for lost time by hitting 129 runs off just 18 overs.

Nigel Gadsby, their captain, completed his second half century of the match to finish on 60 not out, while Giles Ecclestone (32) and Simon Williams (29) helped themselves to some brisk runs.

A declaration at 165 for 4 left them two hours to bowl Devon out, having offered the carrot of a 169 victory target but more rain during the tea interval thwarted Cambridgeshire.

Peter Roebuck, the Devon captain, said: 'Over the course of the season we deserved the success, even though the manner of the victory over Cambridgeshire was unfortunate. But we didn't make the rules and we are worthy champions.'