National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties Knockout Trophy Quarter Finals Review

04 July 2023
National Counties Knockout Trophy Quarter Finals Review

Holders BerkshireWiltshireSuffolk and Cumbria will contest this season’s National Counties Trophy semi-finals on Sunday July 16. 

Berkshire, seeking to win the competition for a fourth successive season, successfully chased down a target of 297 to beat Dorset by three wickets in their quarter-final at Wimborne. 

Wiltshire, who have never won the Trophy, again held their nerve to beat Hertfordshire by four wickets in a tense run chase at Herford. 

Suffolk were the day’s earliest winners, beating Northumberland by 87 runs in a low-scoring affair at Sudbury and Cumbria, beaten finalists for the past three seasons, beat Cheshire by 14 runs in an attritional contest at Keswick. 

At Wimborne half-centuries from Hampshire’s Felix Organ (63 from 58 balls) and brothers Alex and Joe Eckland helped Dorset reach what appeared an imposing 296 for eight in their 50 overs. 

But Berkshire again showed why they are defending champions with their powerful batting line-up chasing down their target with 26 balls to spare. 

Openers Johnny Connell (95) and Archie Carter (64) laid the foundations with a partnership of 152 before Euan Woods stroked 72 not out from 80 balls and Billy Meads marked his debut with a quickfire 37 from 31 balls. 

Organ eventually broke a third wicket stand of 83 when he bowled Mead, who made a century on first-class debut for Kent last summer, but Woods and captain Dan Lincoln saw Berkshire home without further alarm. 

At Hertford, Wiltshire captain Ed Young made important contributions with both bat and ball to give his side the edge in a keenly-fought contest. 

First Young took three for 37 with his left-arm spin which pegged Hertfordshire back after openers Dominic Chatfield (79) and Northamptonshire’s Hasan Azad (47) had opened with a first wicket partnership of 47. 

At one stage Hertfordshire looked set for a 300-plus total but Young’s bowling, backed by smart fielding, restrained them and it required some late lusty blows from Andrew Neal to lift them to 282 for eight. 

Wiltshire lost Jake Goodwin, caught behind off Jack Plom, to the first ball of their reply but former Glamorgan batter Tom Cullen played a composed innings of 80 from 107 balls to help them recover from that early setback. 

Cullen shared partnerships of 89 for the second wicket with Jack Mynott (47) and 88 for the third with Young before three wickets from the left-arm spin of Hertfordshire captain Ben Waring put the game back in the balance. 

Harry Broderick thumped two big sixes in his unbeaten 42 from 28 balls to regain the initiative for Wiltshire and Josh Croom pulled the first ball of the final over for another six to complete another perfectly-paced run chase. 

Run-scoring was more difficult at Sudbury where Suffolk were indebted to a patient 57 from 113 balls from opener Darren Batch for anchoring their innings. 

Captain Adam Mansfield, playing on his home club ground, and Jacob Marston each contributed a chirpy 30 which boosted Suffolk to 219 for eight. 

Northumberland were soon in trouble as they slumped to 13 for three after 20 balls of their chase. 

Former Durham and Ireland batter/wicketkeeper Stuart Poynter counter-attacked with six fours in 29 before he became the first of three wickets for slow left-armer Jack Beaumont. 

Former Worcestershire all-rounder George Rhodes followed up his 22 in Suffolk’s innings with two wickets with his off-spin as Northumberland subsided to 132 all out with almost 15 overs unused. 

It was also tough-going for the batters at Keswick where Cumbria had dismissed Lincolnshire for 65 seven days earlier. 

Gary Pratt’s patient 69 not out helped Cumbria to 208 for eight with his third wicket partnership of 81 with helping them to counter four wickets for seamer Chris Sanders on his first appearance of the season. 

Slack followed up by taking three for 33 and former Lancashire and Derbyshire seamer Ed Moulton three for 29. 

Cheshire slipped to 64 for five in the 19th over – with skipper Harry Dearden contributing 27 of those runs – but Alex Money and Luke Young led a spirited fightback by adding 82 for the sixth wicket. 

Money made 61 from 81 balls before he was bowled by Moulton and Young made a patient 43 from 78 balls before he was ninth out, caught by Slack off the left-arm spin of Matt Siddall. 

In the semi-finals, Berkshire take on Wiltshire at South Wilts Cricket Club, whilst Suffolk see Cumbria at Sudbury Cricket Club.

National Counties Trophy 


Keswick: Cumbria 208-8 (Gary Pratt 69 not out, Chris Sanders 4-40), Cheshire 194 (Alex Money 61). Cumbria won by 14 runs. 

Wimborne: Dorset 296-8 (Alex Eckland 73, Felix Organ 63, Joe Eckland 61), Berkshire 297-3 (Johnny Connell 95, Euan Woods 72 not out, Archie Carter 64). Berkshire won by seven wickets. 

Hertford: Hertfordshire 282-8 (Dominic Chatfield 79), Wiltshire 288-6 (Tom Cullen 80, Ed Young 55). Wiltshire won by four wickets. 

Sudbury: Suffolk 219-8 (Darren Batch 57), Northumberland 132. Suffolk won by 87 runs.

Photo Credit: Roger Byrne

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