Bucks must win to stand any chance of advancing in National Counties Trophy

BUCKS CCC

Bucks must beat Staffordshire by a convincing margin at Gerrards Cross this Sunday if they are to have a chance of qualifying for the later stages of the National Counties Trophy 50-over competition.

Bucks stand fourth of five in Group 4 but can still finish in the top two by winning their final game and hoping that leaders Wales NC convincingly defeat Dorset in the top-of-the table clash.

In the event of a tie on points, group placings are decided by nett run rate, in which Bucks trail some way behind the top two.

Only a big win over the bottom county will give Bucks a chance of getting a top-two place.

For this crucial match, Bucks make one change to the squad that lost by three wickets to Dorset in their last game. Eliot Callis replaces leg-spinner Stephen Croft, as they bid to shore up their vulnerable batting line-up. Play gets under way at 11am.

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BERKSHIRE CCC

It was home sweet home for Euan Woods when Berkshire blasted their way to a 144-run win over Bedfordshire in the NCCA Trophy at Wargrave on Sunday. Not only does he play for the club but his family live at the ground where Martin is the head groundsman.

The Trophy holders made 229 all out in 48.5 overs before dismissing their visitors for just 85 in under 25 overs.

Euan hammered 81 off 112 balls and it was his second-wicket stand of 163 in 30 overs with Wokingham’s Archie Carter (74) that laid the foundation for the county’s success.

Apart from the two leading scorers, only Jafer Chohan, with 22 not out, and Wargrave’s Rhodri Lewis (20) managed to reach double figures as Berks lost their last nine wickets for 60 runs with slow left-armer Archie Houghton taking 5-32.

In reply, Bedfordshire’s innings never got off the ground with three of their top four batsmen all dismissed for ducks, the trio lasting a total of 11 balls.

Half the side were back in the pavilion with only 39 runs on the board. Houghton briefly held up Berkshire’s victory charge by scoring 32 and he was the last man out – caught by Woods off Luke Beaven - when the 10th wicket went down in the 25th over. Beaven finished with 4-20, Chohan 2-11, Andy Rishton 2-16 and To Nugent 2-23.

Berkshire’s second win virtually assures them of finishing in the top two of their group, so qualifying for the knock-out stages. They replace Beds at the head of the table with one match remaining – against bottom-of-the-table Hertfordshire at North Mymms this Sunday (June 26).

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