03:00PM, Saturday 02 July 2022
Dan Lincoln produced an innings of sheer power and aggression that has become his trademark as Berkshire took another step towards retaining the NCCA one-day Trophy.
Their inspirational skipper cracked an unbeaten half-century off just 36 balls to earn a six-wicket win over Hertfordshire and secure the Group 2 title by a two-point cushion from runners-up Devon.
Berkshire restricted their bottom-of-the-table hosts to 184-8 in 50 overs and needed just 26.3 overs to reach their target. Their reward is another clash with Wales NC, a side they defeated twice in the same competition last season, by three wickets in a group game and by 62 runs in the semi-finals, both ties being away.
This season, Berkshire will have home advantage with the quarter-final on July 17th at Falkland, and the semi-final is pencilled in for Finchampstead on August 7th. The final is at Wormsley on August 28th.
Although they came unstuck against Cornwall, Berkshire’s three group wins have all been by a wide margin and that was again the case at North Mymms last Sunday.
After Tom Nugent and Andy Rishton had reduced the home side to 27-3, Berkshire only met with modest resistance led by the Scott brothers, Charles and James, who scored 45 and 35 respectively, enabling Herts to finish on 184-8. Six different bowlers took at least one wicket with Nugent claiming 2-36 and Euan Woods 2-41.
Berkshire’s batsmen went straight onto the attack, taking just 16 overs to put 100 runs on the board for the loss of Archie Carter for 17, Savin Perera 31 and Woods 23.
Rhodri Lewis was lbw for 16 at 128-4 in the 20th over, but from then on it was a cruise for the Trophy holders.
Lincoln remained unbeaten on 50 from 36 balls with four sixes – the last coming off the final ball - and two fours, while Andy Rishton cracked 27 from 20 deliveries with one maximum and two fours.
The Trophy’s other quarter-final ties are Oxfordshire v Suffolk, Cambridgeshire v Cumbria and Dorset v Devon.
Bucks failed in their bid to reach the quarter-finals of the National Counties Trophy despite recording a narrow three-wicket victory over Staffordshire at Gerrards Cross on Sunday.
Bucks' second win in this competition meant they finished third in Group 4, missing out on the second qualifying spot on nett run rate after finishing on the same points as Wales NC, who finished runners-up to Dorset.
Bucks knew that they had to record a convincing victory to have a chance of overtaking the top and for a while it looked possible. After inserting Staffs, they bowled out their opponents for 187 in 48.3 overs thanks to excellent spells by the High Wycombe duo of Cameron Parsons (3-19 from 10 overs) and Conner Haddow (3-27).
On a pitch where the high bounce helped the spin bowlers particularly, Bucks batsmen also struggled for quick runs. Eliot Callis (27) gave them a bright start, and with Chris Marrow making 53 from 63 balls on his home ground, Bucks seemed set to cruise home at 136-3.
But then three wickets fell for one run, including Ed Bragg and Jack Rodnight for ducks, and it need the calm assurance of Ross Richardson (35no) to guide Bucks home with three wickets and eight balls to spare on 190-7.
Bucks now turn their attentions to the the three-day Championship campaign which starts against Hertfordshire at Bishops Stortford on Sunday week.
Visitors to Burnham Park Hall on Monday May 16 can undergo a ‘living with dementia experience’ as part of National Dementia Action Week.