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National Counties Trophy Quarter-Finals Preview

16 Jul 2021
National Counties Trophy Quarter-Finals Preview

Cambridgeshire are counting the cost of their heavy defeat against Suffolk in the opening National Counties Championship match of the season. 

 

It was not just the margin of defeat at Bury St Edmunds – 329 runs – that hurt. Three keys players sustained injuries during the match and are doubtful for Sunday’s National Counties Trophy quarter-final against Cheshire at Exning. 

 

Former Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire all-rounder Wayne White, whose century against Norfolk at Peterborough two weeks ago secured the home quarter-final, suffered a side strain against Suffolk. 

 

Spinning all-rounder Kieren Mackenzie tweaked a hamstring and batsman Jack Potticary dislocated a finger. All three will require fitness tests before Cambridgeshire finalise their side to face Cheshire. 

 

The availability of Cambridgeshire captain Callum Guest is also in doubt as he is working as a volunteer at The Open golf championship at Royal St George’s in Kent although he has been named in a provisional squad. 

 

Cheshire have no such selection issues and have made just one change to the side that was named for the rained-off group match against Staffordshire two weeks ago. 

 

Flowery Field seamer Mike Finan, who impressed in the drawn Championship match against Dorset last weekend, replaces the unavailable Harry Dearden. 

 

Cumbria, who topped Cheshire’s group, host Suffolk at Barrow in the quarter-finals and have captain Gary Pratt and his former Durham team-mate Paul Hindmarch available after they missed the washed out group match against Shropshire. 

 

Suffolk will give a competitive debut to Max Dias, a 19-year-old seamer from Bury St Edmunds. 

 

Dias played in a friendly against Cambridgeshire last season and replaces Matt Wareing as one of two changes to the side that defeated Hertfordshire two weeks ago. 

 

Former Sussex and Hampshire batsman Joe Gatting returns in place of Josh Rymell, who is in line to make his senior debut for Essex having been included in their squad for their last two Vitality Blast matches. 

 

Rymell made 139 on his Championship debut for Suffolk against Cambridgeshire last weekend. 

 

Trophy holders Berkshire face an away quarter-final against Devon at Sidmouth where Josh Lincoln will make his Trophy debut in place of his elder brother Dan. 

Dan made his first-class debut for Kent against Sussex in the LV= County Championship last weekend when he received a late call up following positive COVID-19 tests in their squad. 

Having played for Middlesex for the past two seasons, Dan has been retained by Middlesex for Sunday’s Vitality Blast match against Sussex on Sunday. 

Josh impressed on his Berkshire debut in the drawn Championship match against Wiltshire at Corsham where he plundered 96 from 69 balls. 

Berkshire welcome back acting captain Richard Morris, former Middlesex slow left-armer Chris Peploe, Toby Albert and Tom Scriven who were all unavailable last weekend. 

Devon are missing Somerset all-rounder Ned Leonard who took five wickets in the win over Dorset that secured top spot in Group Two. 

Leonard has not been released by Somerset this weekend as a COVID-19 precaution. 

Batsman Ben Beaumont faces a late fitness check after he suffered a direct hit on an arm fielding a short leg in the Championship match against Herefordshire on Monday. 

Adam Small has been named in the squad as cover for Beaumont and Dan Goodey comes in for Leonard. 

Wales NC take county cricket to Port Talbot’s New Mansel ground for the first time with Herefordshire the visitors. 

Wales have reached the quarter-finals for the first time since 2015 while Herefordshire will be appearing in the last eight for the first time in five years. 

Wales, who have used only 12 players in the competition so far this season, will again be missing captain Sam Pearce, who is on county duty with Glamorgan, so Andrew Gorvin will lead the side. 

All-rounder Greg Holmes is unavailable but Glamorgan staff man comes into the squad for his seasonal debut for Wales. 

Herefordshire have included Worcestershire Academy batsman Henry Cullen, who impressed on his Championship debut against Herefordshire, in their Trophy squad for the first time. 

Seamer Tom Hage is also named in the 12-man squad having missed the victory over Devon. 

Herefordshire won only half of their four group matches bit narrow home defeats against Cornwall and Dorset enabled them to progress as runners-up to Devon on superior run rate. 

In 2016 Herefordshire also won only two group matches but they went on to lift the Trophy, winning away ties against Bedfordshire and Devon respectively in the knockout stages. 

The draw for the semi-finals on August 8 has already been made with the winners of Cumbria v Suffolk hosting Cambridgeshire or Cheshire and Wales NC or Herefordshire having home advantage against the winners of Devon v Berkshire.  

 

National Counties Trophy quarter finals  

Sunday July 18 (11am) 

Barrow: Cumbria v Suffolk  

Exning: Cambridgeshire v Cheshire  

Sidmouth: Devon v Berkshire  

Port Talbot: Wales NC v Herefordshire.  

 

Semi-finals draw 

Cumbria or Suffolk v Cambridgeshire or Cheshire 

Wales NC or Herefordshire v Devon or Berkshire 

Ties to be played on August 8.

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