James Coles and Scott Currie further enhanced the reputation of National Counties cricket for producing talented young cricketers by making their debuts in the final round of Bob Willis Trophy group matches this week.
Oxfordshire batsman Coles became the youngest-ever player to play first-class cricket for Sussex at the age of 16 years and 157 days against Surrey at The Oval.
Dorset all-rounder Currie took a wicket with his fourth ball in first-class cricket for Hampshire against Kent at Canterbury.
Coles, a student at Magdelen College School in Oxford, did not get the chance to bat on the opening day at as Sussex rattled up 239 for three but he is due to be next man in.
Coles has progressed through Oxfordshire’s age group teams and joined the Sussex Academy at the end of last season as part of the partnership between Oxfordshire and the National County.
Currie, who developed through Dorset’s age group teams into their senior squad, is in his first season on Hampshire’s staff having previously played for their Academy side.
Having played in three recent Vitality Blast matches Currie impressed with bat and ball on his first-class debut, first making 38 important runs to help Hampshire to 191 all out then having Jordan Cox caught in the slips in his maiden first-class over.
Coles and Currie added to the number of players with National Counties experience with 57 involved in this weeks Bob Willis Trophy matches.
While Coles and Currie were on first-class duty their respective native counties had contrasting in their friendly matches today.
Oxfordshire inflicted a rare defeat on Berkshire in a low-scoring 45 overs contest at the Falkland club in Newbury.
Slow left-armers Luke Beaven and Chris Peploe took three wickets apiece to dismiss Oxfordshire for 146.
But Berkshire struggled in turn with Banbury slow left-armer Olly Clarke taking three for 14 as they limped to 92 for nine before rain halted play.
Josh de Caires, the son of former England captain Michael Atherton, managed only a single on his Berkshire debut having played against them for a Middlesex XI last week.
Dorset were beaten twice by Somerset Academy in two T20 matches at Bashley with Will Smeed making an unbeaten 106 from just 62 balls in the second match.
Bedfordshire beat Cambridgeshire by 47 runs at Flitwick thanks to a century from Kashif Ali.
Matt Doran top scored with 57 in Cambridgeshire’s reply.
Shropshire defeated a Shropshire League XI by eight wickets at Whitchurch where half centuries from Will Parton and Wem opener Harry Chandler led the run chase.
Falkland CC (50 overs): Oxfordshire 146, Berkshire 92-9. Oxfordshire won by 54 runs.
Flitwick (45 overs): Bedfordshire 254-8 (Kashif Ali 116), Cambridgeshire (Matt Doran 57). Bedfordshire won by 47 runs.
Whitchurch (50 overs): Shropshire League XI 174, Shropshire 177-2 (Will Parton 73 not out, Harry Chandler 60). Shropshire won by eight wickets.
Bashley (T20): Dorset 109-8, Somerset Academy 110-4. Somerset Academy won by six wickets. Somerset Academy 164-3 (Will Smeed 106 not out), Dorset 77-6. Somerset Academy won by 87 runs.