Berkshire - Western Division champions now face showdown with Northumberland
BERKSHIRE sealed the Minor Counties Western Division title in sensational style when beating Dorset by 327 runs to secure a championship play-off with Eastern Division winners Lincolnshire at the Wormsley ground from August 28 to 31.
It wa sone of the most emphatic victories in Berkshire’s history, completed with more than a day to spare at Finchampstead.
Having made 351 with Waqas Hussain scoring 145 and skipper James Morris 100, they bowled out Dorset for 96 with Tom Nugent taking 7-40 and after deciding not to enforce the follow-on, posted 156-6 declared after 26 overs with Morris making another 48 to stretch their lead to 411.
Dorset, coached by former Berkshire player Paul Prichard, fared even worse in their second innings when they were shot out for 84 in 44 overs with Ollie Wilkin taking the last four wickets with successive deliveries - two bowled and two LBWs while Nugent took 3-26 to record match figures of 10-66.
It is Berkshire’s fifth Western Division title, although their last was in 2008, and with runners-up Cornwall suffering a 10-wicket defeat to Devon also inside two days, Berkshire finished 22 points clear at the top with four wins and two draws, meaning they have now gone through two seasons unbeaten in the Unicorns Championship.
“We want to go on and win the whole thing,” said skipper Morris. “We have been comfortably the best team in this division and now we want to be the best team in the whole of the minor counties.