Monday, 21 June 2021

Berks close in on quarter-final spot

BERKSHIRE gave their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the MCCA Trophy a major boost by defeating BUCKINGHAMSHIRE by eight

BERKSHIRE gave their hopes of reaching the quarter-finals of the MCCA Trophy a major boost by defeating BUCKINGHAMSHIRE by eight wickets at Kidmore End on Sunday.

It was their second win in succession and, with Dorset losing to Staffordshire, Berks are now in second place in Group 4, two points behind unbeaten leaders Wales Minor Counties. This means the group title is up for grabs when the top two meet at The Mumbles on Sunday.

Having won the toss, skipper James Morris decided to put Bucks into bat in the first county game to be played at Gallowstree Common since 1996. It proved a good decision.

The wicket was a little unpredictable but the bowlers forced the batsmen into making some rash shots.

Bucks, having had Fahim Qureshi trapped lbw by Richard Logan for nine, struggled to produce any fluency in their run-making and lost a further three wickets in the space of four runs, to leave them on 51-4. Two of the wickets fell to Tom Andrews.

The total moved on to 97 before Euan Brock struck twice, including trapping Hamza Taj lbw for 25 after he had spent 75 minutes at the crease.

The lower order offered some moderate resistance, but Bucks were all out for 175 with number 10 Doug King remaining unbeaten on 27, his side’s top score, although not as high as the extras column, which totalled 34, including 27 wides. Matt Carter took 3-37, while there were two wickets apiece for Logan, Andrews and Brock plus one for Gurveer Singh.

In reply Berkshire made a slightly cautious start and lost Matt Jones for 11 with the total on 36. Richard Morris and David Barnes put on 83 for the second wicket before Barnes was caught for 48, made off 109 deliveries. Richard was joined by older brother James and from then on the runs flowed freely. The 50 partnership was reached off just 37 balls.

Richard finished unbeaten on 74 (five fours and three sixes) and James on 23 as Berkshire reached their target with nine overs to spare.

l Berkshire are forced to make two changes for their title decider against Wales on Sunday (11am start). Matt Jones (Falkland) and Richard Morris (Bashley) are both unavailable. Their places in the 12-man squad go to Camberley batsman Harry Stephens and Luke Beaven, the former Reading spinner now with Reigate Priory.

The Berkshire squad is as follows: David Barnes (Henley), Harry Stephens (Camberley), James Morris (Falkland), Shelvin Gumbs (Loughborough University), Euan Brock (Leicester Ivanhoe), Richard Logan (St Cross Symondians), Stewart Davison (Henley), Tom Andrews (Henley), Luke Beaven (Reigate Priory), Tom Nugent (Henley), Gurveer Singh (Henley), Matt Carter (Normandy).

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