Saturday, 20 January 2018
TWO 17-year-olds helped BERKSHIRE to beat OXFORDSHIRE by seven wickets to retain their unbeaten record in Group A of the Unicorns Trophy group.
Debutant Mark Firth, the left-arm spinner from Boyne Hill, took 2-20 off 10 overs as Berkshire bowled out the hosts for 146 in the game at Bicester and North Oxford CC on Sunday.
Then Henley batsman Jack Davies, showing maturity above his years, remained unbeaten on 47 (off 89 balls) in Berkshire’s reply of 148-3.
Davies shared a third-wicket stand of 102 in 23 overs with Richard Morris, who made 66 off 75 balls.
It was another strong all-round performance by the three-day champions, who always looked capable of winning after reducing their hosts to 75-5 and then 93-7, although Luke Ryan with 30, and Will Eason (33) did offer some late resistance.
In addition to Firth, there were wickets for Ollie Wilkin (2-27), Tom Nugent (3-23), Chris Peploe (1-23), Euan Woods (1-34) and Andy Rishton (1-18).
The highlight of another good fielding performance came when Dan Lincoln sprinted from square leg to deep mid-wicket to produce a spectacular diving catch to dismiss the dangerous Lloyd Sabin off the bowling for Nugent.
Berkshire are the only county in Group 1 to have won both their opening games and will be looking to make it three wins when they play pointless Cornwall at Wokingham CC’s Sadler’s End ground this Sunday (11am).
Skipper James Morris said after the game: “This was a clinical performance. Previously we have been winning when a little under par, but today we were closer to our best.
“It was a really satisfying afternoon and some notable performances from our younger lads. We all know what a good player Richard (Morris) is and he produced another excellent innings here, but Jack Davies had a fantastic knock and Mark Firth bowled really well in his 10 overs, finding his pace right from the start.
“We are in a nice place to qualify for the knock-out stages of the trophy, but at the moment we are not looking beyond the game with Cornwall next Sunday.”
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