An outstanding all-round performance from Andy Rishton helped holders Berkshire into the last four of the National Counties Trophy with a five wickets win over Devon in the quarter-finals at Sidmouth.
Rishton starred first with the ball, taking one for 12 in a miserly eight over spell then returning to mop up Devon’s resistance to finish with three for 18.
He then played a decisive role with the bat, clobbering 57 not out from 37 balls to help Berkshire reach their target of 254 with three-and-a-half overs to spare.
Rishton shared an unbroken sixth wicket stand of 108 with the unflustered Euan Woods (75 not out) which turned a finely balanced match decisively in Berkshire’s favour.
Devon looked the more likely winners when Tom Scriven was bowled by Matt Golding for a patient 75 which sustained Berkshire after Devon’s quartet of slow bowlers had threatened to the throttle the innings when the champions slipped to 59 for four.
Devon’s total of 253 always looked at least 30 runs light. They lost their last six wickets for 16 and failed to capitalise on Matt Thompson gritty half century and Calum Haggett’s 81-ball 87 which included six sixes.
But Haggett was snared by the wily Chris Peploe and Rishton returned to make short work of the tail.
Berkshire now face another away trip in the semi-finals to play Wales NC, who beat Herefordshire by 39 runs at Port Talbot.
Former Glamorgan all-rounder Connor Brown was the anchor man for Wales’ 240 for eight with Andrew Gorvin (36 not out from 34 balls) providing late acceleration.
Gorvin then took three wickets for 14 and there were three apiece for Steve Reingold and Glamorgan staff man Callum Taylor in a solid team bowling performance.
Cameron Smith (31), Nick Hammond (42), Ball (35) and James Rudge (31 not out) all contributed useful runs but could not get Herefordshire close to their target.
Cumbria, beaten finalists two years ago, defeated Suffolk by five runs at Barrow to book another home tie against Cambridgeshire.
Cumbria’s victory would have been more comfortable but for half centuries from Josh Cantrell and Adam Mansfield.
Suffolk were in disarray at 63 for seven, with Matt Siddall taking three of the wickets, but Cantrell and Mansfield added 98 for the eighth wicket.
Paul Hindmarch bowled Cantrell and then ran out Mansfield, who was batting with the injured Tom Rash, in the final over to complete a good afternoon’s work by the former Durham man.
Hindmarch had earlier made 52 and shared a fifth wicket partnership of 70 with Matt Sempill (51) which lifted Cumbria to 213 for nine.
Cambridgeshire remain the only side to have won all five of their games this season after Ben Seabrook made a superb 123, his second century of the season, to set up a four wickets win over Cheshire at Exning.
Seabrook faced just 109 balls and struck 13 four and five sixes before he fell to lsow left-armer David Wainwright with Cambridgeshire 52 short of victory.
Lee Thomason completed the work Seabrook had started with an unbeaten half century which saw Cambridgeshire home with more than six overs to spare.
Cheshire’s 247 was built around opener Sam Perry’s 97 but Andrew Jackson’s quickfire 49 was the only other score over 20.
Ali Hancock’s four wickets included Rob Sehmi and Luke Robinson in successive balls.
National Counties Trophy
Barrow: Cumbria 213-9 (Paul Hindmarch 52, Matt Sempill 51), Suffolk 208-9 (Josh Cantrell 63, Adam Mansfield 52). Cumbria won by five runs.
Sidmouth: Devon 253 (Calum Haggett 87, Matt Thompson 52), Berkshire 256-5 (Tom Scriven 75, Euan Woods 75 not out), Andy Rishton 57 not out). Berkshire won by five wickets.
Port Talbot: Wales NC 240-8 (Connor Brown 85, David Ball 4-39), Herefordshire 201. Wales won by 39 runs.
Exning: Cheshire 247 (Sam Perry 97, Ali Hancock 4-44), Cambridgeshire 253-6 (Ben Seabrook 123, Lee Thomason 51 not out). Cambridgeshire won by four wickets.
Cumbria v Cambridgeshire
Wales NC v Berkshire
Ties to be played on August 8.