BERKSHIRE’S championship season ended in frustration at St Austell on Tuesday.
Needing 351 to win, CORNWALL held on for a draw at 316-9 with number four batsman Dan Davis remaining unbeaten on 131 and former Pakistan test spinner Shakil Ahmed with eight.
The last pair survived for 40 minutes, but in a tense finish Berkshire were convinced that Ahmed, who had played for Datchet early in the year, was caught by Shelvin Gumbs off the bowling of Henley’s Gurveer Singh at a time when they had nine or 10 players surrounding the bat. Their celebrations, however, were cut short with the umpire saying not out.
However, it was still a day to remember for James Morris, who ended his first season as Berkshire’s captain with an outstanding 144 not out in a total of 337. He also took four slip catches in Cornwall’s second innings, three of them off Singh and one off Harry Stephens. The spinners finished with 4-88 and 3-53 respectively.
Falkland batsman Morris, who had made 41 in the first innings total of 230, occupied the crease for 291 minutes and faced 247 balls, hitting a six and 14 boundaries.
Berkshire have now completed the championship season with three wins, two defeats and a draw and, subject to confirmation, have finished fifth in the Western Division, with Cheshire taking the title. This is still a fine achievement for the new-look side and they will be hoping to round the season off with some silverware when they play Shropshire in the MCCA Trophy final at Wormsley on Wednesday. Henley paceman Tom Nugent will be added to the 11 on duty at St Austell for the final.