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National Counties Championship games - week 1 day - 3

7 Jul 2022
National Counties Championship games - week 1 day - 3

Oxfordshire launched their defence of the National Counties Championship title with a four wickets win over Cheshire in their Western Division One opener at Alderley Edge. 

A maiden Championship century from acting-captain Harry Smith and a brisk maiden half-century from Prav Chahal saw Oxfordshire home after they had wobbled at 162 for six with the experienced slow left-armer David Wainwright taking half of the wickets. 

But Smith and Chahal saw Oxfordshire home without further loss in an unbroken seventh wicket partnership of 97. 

Smith passed his previous competition-best of 95 and finished unbeaten on 134 from 219 balls with Chahal crashing three sixes and six fours in his 55 not out from 59 balls. 

Staffordshire held off Bedfordshire to open their Eastern Division One campaign with a jittery two wickets win at Dunstable. 

A brilliant century from former Northamptonshire and Glamorgan opener James Kettleborough, who carried his bat for 115, kept Staffordshire in the field until just before lunch and took Bedfordshire from 43 for seven to 240 all out. 

Kettleborough received excellent support from Tom Brett, who made 45 in a ninth wicket partnership of 81 which left Staffordshire with a target of 173 which increased to 178 after the umpires Brett Gates and Bilal Shafayat imposed a five runs penalty on Staffordshire for two level one offences, both for objecting to LBW decisions. 

The first came when Shahal Malvernkar was given LBW to Jack Fuller in Staffordshire’s first innings and the five runs penalty was imposed when Tim Maxfield also breached the ECB disciplinary code when he went LBW to Brett in the 38thover of the second innings. 

Openers Alex Mellor (44) and Tom Moulton (28) launched Staffordshire’s  chase with a stand of 69 but Staffordshire slipped from 121 for three to 148 for eight against the spin of Brett and Archie Houghton, a Covid substitute for Fayaz Homyoon. 

Staffordshire required Dan Richardson (26 not out) and Dan Gibbs, who kept him company for almost nine overs, to get them over the line in an unbroken ninth wicket partnership of 33.. 

Brad Wadlan returned the best-ever match figures for Wales NC to help them secure a tense five runs win over Devon at Abergavenny in Western Division Two. 

The left-arm spinner started the day with 11 wickets in the match and soon added a sixth when he bowled Elliot Hamilton. Wadlan finished with a match haul of 12 for 71 which bettered Wales’ previous-best of 11 for 34 by Callum Taylor against Shropshire in 2017. 

But it was another slow left-armer, Josef Davies, who took the important wicket when he had Hugo Whitlock LBW to claim Devon’s last wicket and his first for Wales. 

Former Glamorgan pace bowler Kaz Szymanski had threatened to win the game for Devon as he made 30 before being stumped by Wales captain Cameron Herring. 

Cumbria were early winners in Eastern Division Two, completing an eight wickets win over Northumberland at Tynemouth. 

Cumbria lost openers Ben Davidson and Alex Grainger before they had reached 50 but Michael Slack (50 not out) and Brodie Glendinning (46 not out) saw them home without further alarm with an unbroken third wicket partnership of 89. 

Ben Seabrook’s Championship-best 149 not out proved to be in vain as Hertfordshire beat Cambridgeshire by eight wickets at March. 

Seabrook’s second century in the competition spanned almost six hours and kept Hertfordshire in the field until after lunch on the final. 

Hertfordshire could not dislodge Seabrook but they were able to chip away at the other end with Masoor Khan three wickets before Jigar Mehta ended a stubborn last wicket partnership of 74 that spanned almost two-and-a-quarter hours between Seabrook and Josh Porter. 

Hertfordshire reached their target of 110 in 22 overs with David Burnell (52 not out) and Khan sharing a second wicket partnership of 55 and former Essex batter Kishen Velani striking an unbeaten 31 from 22 balls to accelerate them to victory. 

Wiltshire coach Tom Morton showed his liking for Corsham’s Station Road ground by making his second century there to set up a 173 runs win over Shropshire in Western Division Two. 

Morton’s 150 not out followed his career-best 167 against Devon 11 years ago, his only previous century in the competition. 

It allowed Wiltshire to declare on 406 for eight and gave them plenty of time to bowl out Shropshire 

Captain Ed Young and debutant Keron Bennett-Thomas took four wickets apiece with only Andre Bradford, who batted almost three hours for his 75 not out, threatening to deny Wiltshire. 

The only draw in the opening round of matches was at Eastnor where Herefordshire were 74 short of a target of 320 set by Dorset with five wickets left when the captains shook hands. 

Alex Eckland made his second half-century of the match before Dorset declared their second innings at 280 for seven. 

Herefordshire responded with an opening partnership of 120 between Ben Chapman-Lilley and Josh Dell, the Worcestershire batter who is on the comeback trail having broken a finger in pre-season training. 

Dell struck 11 fours in his 109-ball 66 while Chapman-Lilley missed out by one run on his half-century when he went LBW to the off-spin of Hampshire staffman Felix Organ. 

Herefordshire captain Matt Pardoe completed his second half-century of the match off what proved to be the last ball of the contest. 

National Counties Championship (final day of three)  

Eastern Division One  

Dunstable: Bedfordshire 296-5 (George Thurstance 117 not out, Matt Taylor 105 not out) & 235 (James Kettleborough 115 not out, Dan Gibbs 5-54), Staffordshire 359 (Tim Maxfield 93, Dan Richardson 80, Paul Byrne 61 not out) & 178-8. Staffordshire (22pts) beat Bedfordshire (7pts) by two wickets. 

Western Division One  

Eastnor: Dorset 315-9 (Alex Eckland 65, Harry Fisher 58, Sam Young 56) & 280-7 dec (Alex Eckland 68, Felix Organ 61), Herefordshire 276-9 dec (Matt Pardoe 73, Felix Organ 5-113) & 246-5 (Josh Dell 61, Matt Pardoe 51 not out). Herefordshire (9ts) drew with Dorset (11 pts). 

Alderley Edge: Cheshire 246 (Rob Sehmi 91, Max Mannering 6-67) & 199, Oxfordshire 189 (Jamie Harrison 51) & 259-6 (Harry Smith 134 not out, Prav Chahal 55 not out). Oxfordshire (21pts) beat Cheshire (6pts) by four wickets. 

Eastern Division Two  

Tynemouth: Northumberland 177 (Fin McCreath 57 not out, Matt Siddall 6-60) & 205 (Fin McCreath 68, Matt Siddall 5-49), Cumbria 248 (Sam Dutton 57, Nico Watt 55) & 137-2 (Michael Slack 50 not out). Cumbria (22pts) beat Northumberland (5pts) by eight wickets.  

March: Cambridgeshire 72 & 378 (Ben Seabrook 149 not out, Wayne White 94, Lee Thomason 51), Hertfordshire 343-8 (Ed Wharton 77, Ben Waring 67 not out) & 110-2.  Hertfordshire (24pts) beat Cambridgeshire (3pts) by eight wickets. 

Western Division Two  

Abergavenny: Wales NC 255 (Brad Wadlan 100, Josef Davies 54) & 123, Devon 194 (Adam Small 90, Brad Wadlan 6-18) &  179 (Elliot Hamilton 56, Brad Wadlan 6-53). Wales NC (22pts) beat Devon (5pts) by five runs. 

Corsham: Wiltshire 223 (Jake Goodwin 97, Sam Whitney 5-38) & 406-8 dec (Tom Morton 150 not out, Jake Goodwin 58), Shropshire 253 (David Laird 55) & 203 (Andre Bradford 75 not out). Wiltshire  (21pts) beat Shropshire (6pts) by 173 runs. 

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