BERKSHIRE lost out by the narrowest of margins by a young MIDDLESEX side in their pre-season friendly at Falkland on Sunday.
In a match reduced to 40 overs a side, the visitors reached their target of 215 off the final ball with their last pair at the crease.
The hosts finished on 214-9 after skipper James Morris had elected to bat first.
Reading’s Martin Andersson, who is also on the books of Middlesex, top scored for Berkshire with 41 off 60 balls.
Openers Michael Roberts (Henley) and Waqas Hussain made 34 and 28 respectively, while Brandon Gilmour belted 26 off 21 deliveries.
Jack Bruce was the pick of the visitors’ bowlers with 4-43 off six overs.
Middlesex made a slow start and were 77-2 at the halfway stage of their innings.
But former Falkland player Ryan Higgins, with 59 off 57 balls, and Dan Manuwelge, with 57 off 70, accelerated the run rate, helping to take their side to 207-5 in the 38th over.
Berkshire then captured four wickets in the space of five runs to set up a tense finish.
Bruce hit the winning run off the final delivery to earn a one-wicket victory though the batsman was not far away from being run out .
Of the six bowlers used by Berkshire, five took wickets with Hussain (2-25 off six overs) and Callum Gregory (2-45 off eight) the most successful.
Henley’s Nugent had economical figures of 1-25 off seven and Andersson 0-33 off eight.
Berkshire will complete their pre-season fixtures a week on Sunday, April 17, when they take on Wiltshire at Calne in their annual challenge for the Marlborough Cup.