Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Berkshire on course to qualify for quarter-finals

BERKSHIRE look well placed to reach the last eight knock-out stages of the Unicorn Trophy following their four-wicket win over CORNWALL at Wokingham CC on Sunday.

They top Group A with maximum points from three matches, two points better off than Dorset and Devon.

In the final group games on Sunday, Berkshire play Dorset at North Perrott, while Devon are away to pointless Cornwall.

James Morris’ men will want to finish as group winners as it would mean a home quarter-final tie on June 11.

If more than one team finishes level on points, the placings will be decided on net run-rate.

Morris won the toss at Sadlers End and decided to ask Cornwall to take first use of a greenish strip.

It proved a good move as his opening bowlers Ollie Wilkin and Tom Nugent both took a wicket in their first over.

Nugent had Matt Rowe caught behind by Stewart Davison – all three being Henley players.

It was Nugent’s only success of the day, but Wilkin went on to take 3-17 off his 10 overs.

Boyne Hill spinner Mark Firth celebrated his home debut for the team with 3-41 off 7.3 overs, while Euan Woods proved very economical with figures of 10-1-15-2.

Davison finished with three catches and two stumpings, leaving him just one short of equalling Berkshire’s most victims in a match record of six. Cornwall, who fielded six players from Werrington CC, were bowled out for 141 in the 50th over.

By Berkshire’s standards, their target looked to be an easy one, so they were stunned when opening bats Wilkin (0) and Jack Davies (3) were both dismissed inside the first two overs.

Woods and Richard Morris put on 51 for the third wicket before the latter was caught at slip for 34, which came off just 31 deliveries, of which seven were dispatched to the boundary ropes.

James Morris made only a single and Berkshire were looking a little shaky at 68-4.

Woods improved things with 30 (off 56 balls) but when he was caught behind half the side were back in the pavilion with 87 on the board.

However, such is their batting strength, Berkshire were soon back on track thanks to Andy Rishton and Dan Lincoln. They added 44 in a little more than four overs, taking the total to 131-5 when Lincoln fell for 17.

Rishton finished unbeaten on 49 (1-6, 7-4s) off 51 balls as Berkshire reached their target at 142-6 in the 29th over.

The official man of the match award went to Cornwall’s James Turpin, who made 20 runs and then took 3-31 in 10 overs.

The same two counties will meet again in a three-day championship at Wargrave CC on June 4 to 6.

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