National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties 50-Over Knockout Trophy - Week 5 Review

26 June 2023
National Counties 50-Over Knockout Trophy - Week 5 Review

Berkshire kept alive their dream of winning the National Counties Trophy for a fourth successive season by solving a complicated equation to secure qualification for next Sunday’s quarter-finals.

Berkshire needed three things to go their way if they were to avoid missing out on the last eight for the first time since 2016. Firstly, they had to beat Bedfordshire at Southill Park, then they had to rely on Hertfordshire doing them a favour by beating Cornwall at North Mymms and, if both of those results happened, they also needed a significant swing in net run rate to oust Cornwall.

A clinical five wickets victory over Bedfordshire with 27 overs to spare ticked the first box but Berkshire then had to monitor events 35 miles down the A1 where former Hertfordshire’s Essex seamer Jack Plom took five wickets to send Cornwall to an 118 runs defeat.

That left Berkshire and Cornwall level on five points but Berkshire’s win was so emphatic that it allowed them to turn their net run rate, which was -0.02 at the start of play, into +0.78 while Cornwall’s dropped from 0.55 to 0.44.

Berkshire now face a trip to Dorset, the winners of Group Four, in the quarter-finals.

Berkshire were always in control at Southill Park with only a third wicket partnership of 69 between Northamptonshire’s Gus Miller (40) and Oli Soames (38) threatening to frustrate them.

Andy Rishton took three for 29 to throttle the middle order and seamer Tom Nugent and slow left-armers Luke Beaven and Rhodri Lewis shared six wickets between them to help dismiss Bedfordshire for 131 with almost ten over unused.

Euan Woods (35) and Savin Perera (31) got Berkshire more than halfway to their target by adding 70 for the second wicket before the loss of three wickets for nine runs forced the holders to regroup.

Captain Dan Lincoln settled any nerves by seeing Berkshire home with an unbeaten 28.

Hertfordshire finished top of Group Two and will now host Wiltshire, the Group Four runners-up, next Sunday.

Tanveer Sikandar’s 66-ball 72 and useful lower order runs from Plom (31) and Andrew Neal (32) built on opener Hasan Azad’s 49 to lift Hertfordshire to 271.

Plom then had Dan Jenkin LBW to the second ball of Cornwall’s innings then accounted for Charlie Kent, Alex Bone and Will MacVicar in the space of three balls.

Plom took his fifth wicket when he had Adam Hodgson LBW and although Tommy Sturgess did his best to boost Cornwall’s run rate with 75 not out from 52 ball, they were dismissed with more than half of their overs unused.

Cumbria secured top spot in Group One and a home quarter-final by routing Lincolnshire by nine wickets at Keswick.

Lincolnshire were shot out for 65, their lowest-ever total in the Trophy, and Cumbria needed only 52 balls to knock off the runs long before the arrival of the forecast rain.

Lincolnshire’s total would have been even more meagre had Joe Pocklington and Josh Knapton not added 33 for the eighth wicket.

Former Lancashire and Derbyshire seamer Ed Moulton (four for 28) and Michael Slack (three for 16) were Lincolnshire’s tormentors.

Openers James Bowman and Sam Dutton knocked off all but four of Cumbria’s runs to clinch the victory they needed to overtake Northumberland at the top of the group.

Cumbria will now host Cheshire, who will count themselves fortunate to have finished as runners-up to Suffolk in Group Three.

Cheshire faced a stiff run chase against Shropshire at Toft before the rain arrived and the match was abandoned with both sides taking a point each.

Shropshire had piled up 336 for seven, their highest Trophy total, with former Worcestershire batter making 110, his second successive century.

Andre Bradford and skipper Charlie Home weighed in with half-centuries but their efforts proved in vain.

Cheshire were 18 for one from 21 balls when play was halted and a further six-and-a-half overs were required to be bowled to obtain a result.

As runs scored and wickets taken in no result matches do not count towards calculating net run rate Cheshire’s pre-match rate of 0.09 to Shropshire’s -0.34 proved decisive.

Suffolk will have home advantage against Northumberland next Sunday.

Dorset overtook Wiltshire, the long-time leaders of Group Four by beating them by six wickets at Dorchester.

Dorset benefited from the presence of Sussex left-arm seamer Brad Currie, who took one for 26 in ten miserly overs on his seasonal debut, and Hampshire all-rounder Ross Whiteley, who took three for 17 on his first appearance in the Trophy.

Joe Eckland, another Hampshire staff man, led the chase with 51 and Sam Young finished it with 74 not out which clinched victory with more than 18 overs to spare.

Hampshire Academy prospect Archie Fairfax-Ross made 33 from number eight on his debut to help Wiltshire to 195 for nine.

Oxfordshire opener Zach Lion-Cachet followed a century in a T20 match earlier in the season with 112 but he finished on the losing side as Herefordshire ended their Group One campaign with a six wickets win at Great & Little Tew.

Oxfordshire lost their last seven wickets for 49 after Lion-Cachet departed with Roshan Venkataraman taking four for 34.

Ben Chapman-Lilley anchored Herefordshire’s chase with 98 not out from 151 balls with excellent supporting innings from captain Matt Pardoe (57) and Jughar Johal (46).

Cambridgeshire ended their white ball season with their first win, beating Norfolk by 72 runs at Exning in Group Three.

Half centuries from Lee Thomason and Will Routledge and 44 from Yousuf Choudhary took Cambridgeshire to 279 for nine.

Will Bowman made a maiden half century and Brett Stolworthy followed up his four wickets with 34 but Mohammad Danyaal took four for 33 as Norfolk laboured to 207 for nine in reply and finished bottom of the group.

Wales NC beat Buckinghamshire by nine wickets in the Group Four wooden spoon decider at Slough where Cameron Hemp, son of former Glamorgan, Warwickshire and Bermuda batter David, and Steffan Roberts saw them home with an unbroken second wicket partnership of 167.

Buckinghamshire never got going against experienced seamer Richard Edwards (three for 30) and leg-spinner Sam Pearce (four for 22) with only opener Ewan Cox (39) reaching 30.

National Counties Trophy

Group One

Keswick: Lincolnshire 65 (Ed Moulton 4-28), Cumbria 66-1. Cumbria won by nine wickets.Great & Little Tew: Oxfordshire 259 (Zach Lion-Cachet 112, Luke Hayes 52, Roshan Venkataraman 4-34), Herefordshire 261-4 (Ben Chapman-Lilley 98 not out, Matt Pardoe 57. Herefordshire won by six wickets.

Group Two

Southill Park: Bedfordshire 131, Berkshire 132-5. Berkshire won by five wickets.

North Mymms: Hertfordshire 271 (Tanveer Sikandar 72), Cornwall 153 (Tommy Sturgess 75 not out, Jack Plom 5-33. Hertfordshire won by 118 runs.

Group Three

Exning: Cambridgeshire 279-9 (Lee Thomason 61, Will Routledge 58), Brett Stolworthy 4-74), Norfolk 207-9 (Will Bowman 51, Mohammad Danyaal 4-33). Cambridgeshire won by 72 runs.

Toft: Shropshire 336-7 (Tom Fell 110, Charlie Home 62, Andre Bradford 53), Cheshire 18-1. No Result.

Group Four

Slough: Buckinghamshire 161 (Sam Pearce 4-22), WalesNC 167-1 (Cameron Hemp 80 not out, Steffan Roberts 71 not out). Wales NC won by nine wickets.

Dorchester: Wiltshire 195-9, Dorset 196-4 (Sam Young 74 not out, Joe Eckland 51). Dorset won by six wickets.

Quarter-final draw

Cumbria v Cheshire

Suffolk v Northumberland

Hertfordshire v Wiltshire

Dorset v Berkshire.

Ties to be played Sunday July 2. Venues TBC.

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