BERKSHIRE face a crunch clash with unbeaten Oxfordshire in their final Unicorns Trophy group four match
BERKSHIRE face a crunch clash with unbeaten Oxfordshire in their final Unicorns Trophy group four match at Henley’s Brakspear Ground on Sunday (11am).
The derby clash is one Berkshire head coach Tom Lambert is looking forward to. Lambert said: “I can’t wait for this one, it’s a massive game. We are well placed in the group and we can win the title. We know what we have to do.”
Oxon, last year’s losing finalists, are two points ahead of Berkshire, so a fourth straight win will give them top spot and a home tie in the quarter-finals on June 14.
A Berkshire victory will also leave them with six points and, if Herefordshire beat Staffordshire this weekend, then three counties will finish level on points.
Even if they lose, Berks could still finish runners-up in the group, but for that to happen they will need Herefordshire to lose to Staffs at Himley.
The top two in the group qualify for the last eight of this national one-day competition. So, with several permutations, it is likely that the final placings will be decided on run rate.
But Berkshire’s director of cricket Danny Hall commented: “I think the team need to forget about run rate and just concentrate on winning the match.”
He added: “Oxfordshire are obviously a very good one-day side, having reached the final last season. They have a 100 per cent record this season. It will be a tough challenge for Berkshire, but we have played very well in our last two matches.
“It would be a great if we can win and go on to the quarter-finals. That would also give the team a massive confidence boost for the remainder of the season.”
The Berkshire squad, which features five Henley players is as follows: Michael Roberts (Henley), Waqas Hussain (Slough), Harry Stephens (Datchet), Richard Morris (Bashley), James Morris (capt, Bashley), Steve Naylor (Datchet), Stewart Davison (Henley), Chris Peploe (Ealing), Euan Brock (Henley), Matt Carter (Henley), Tom Nugent (Henley), Callum Gregory (Finchampstead).
Berkshire Academy lost to Surrey Academy at Kidmore End last Sunday in their first match of the season. They bowled out the visitors for 180 with Bagshot’s Alex Bartlett taking 5-52.
Berks, who slumped to 11-3 and then 52-5, were dismissed for 125 with Finchampstead’s Craig Hodges making top score of 30 while there was 21 from Slough batsman Daniyal Akhtar. They added 60 for the seventh wicket. Spinner Chris Jones took 4-36 for Surrey.