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National Counties Trophy Semi-Finals Preview

7 Aug 2021
National Counties Trophy Semi-Finals Preview

Experienced campaigner Brad Wadlan is set to make his first appearance in three years for Wales NC as they attempt to reach the National Counties Trophy final for the first time. 

Wales host Trophy holders Berkshire at Port Talbot on Sunday (11am) in their first semi-final since they were beaten by Bedfordshire at Dunstable in 1996. 

All-rounder Wadlan, who has a decade of experience at this level having previously played for Herefordshire and Cornwall, has not played for Wales since he made a century against Devon in the three-day Championship in July 2018. 

But he has been included in a 13-man squad for Sunday’ keenly-anticipated tie along with fellow all-rounder Joe Voke who is in line to make his seasonal debut on his home club ground. 

Andrew Gorvin returns to the squad having broken into Glamorgan’s first team squad in recent weeks but batsman Steve Reingold is not available having played in all of Glamorgan’s six Royal London One Day Cup matches so far this season. 

Seamer Richard Edwards, who impressed in the victory over Glamorgan in the Showcase match at Cardiff three weeks ago, has been ruled out by injury and Wales will give a late fitness test to former Glamorgan all-rounder Aneurin Norman before they finalise Sunday’s side. 

Sam Jardine and teenage pace bowler Ben Morris, who took five wickets on debut in the drawn Championship match against Shropshire, have also been named in the squad. 

Wales have been beaten only once in all cricket this season and that came at the hands of Berkshire in their final Trophy group match at Newport. 

Berkshire return to Wales with four changes to the side that won by three wickets that day with Hampshire Academy prospect Toby Albert, batsman Josh Lincoln, slow left-armer Luke Beaven and seamer Tom Nugent coming into the squad. 

Tom Scriven, who made 75 in the quarter-final victory over Devon three weeks ago, is required by Hampshire this weekend and Dan Lincoln is expected to keep wicket in place of Stewart Davison. 

Cumbria, who were beaten finalists two years ago, host Cambridgeshire in the other semi-final at Keswick which has a later start time of 11.30am to allow Cambridgeshire extra time to recover from their long trip on Saturday evening. 

The tie pairs the only  two unbeaten sides in the competition with Cambridgeshire the only one to have won all their 50 overs matches this season. 

Cumbria have named the same side that beat Suffolk in the quarter-finals at Barrow which includes seamer James McGown from the host club. 

Cambridgeshire are awaiting late fitness tests on former Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire all-rounder Wayne White (side strain) and seamer Ali Hancock (ankle) before they finalise the side that will travel north. 

White made a century in Cambridgeshire’s final group match against Norfolk but missed the quarter-final victory over Cheshire because of the injury which he sustained in the Championship match against Suffolk. 

Hancock took four wickets in the quarter-final at Exning but pulled up in the second innings of last weekend’s drawn Championship match against Lincolnshire at March. 

Opening batsman Ben Seabrook, who did not play last week, returns to the side having made two centuries in the Trophy this season, including a match-winning 123 in the quarter-final. 

National Counties Trophy semi-finals 

Sunday August 8 

Keswick: Cumbria v Cambridgeshire (11.30am) 

Port Talbot: Wales NC v Berkshire (11am)

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