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Berkshire clinch historic victory

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Berkshire thumped Middlesex by six wickets in one of the most entertaining games ever seen at Falkland CC’s Enborne Street ground, writes David Wright.

It was a sizzling Sunday with more than 700 runs scored as three players blasted their way to centuries, with home skipper Dan Lincoln reaching his ton off just 50 balls.

Middlesex fielded a 2nd XI, but that should not detract from Berkshire’s stunning performance that saw them chase down a target of 351 with nine-and-a-half overs to spare.

Celebrations in the field
Celebrations in the field

At one stage it looked like the hosts would be chasing a target in excess of 400 as the visitors were 200-2 with just half the 50 overs completed.

Joe Cracknell and Jack Davies, both of whom have played for Berkshire, put on 163 for the third wicket.

Cracknell made 147 from 94 balls, while Davies made a breezy 74 to follow up his 152 for Henley on Saturday against Dan Lincoln’s Slough side.

Rhodri Lewis finished with figures of 1-57
Rhodri Lewis finished with figures of 1-57

But the Berkshire bowlers stuck to their task well and, backed up by some sharp fielding, they ripped through the rest of the batting order, sending Middlesex crashing from 257-3 to 350 all out in the 45th over.

The pick of the bowlers was paceman Mungo Russell with 3-63 from 9.3 overs, while Josh Lincoln took 2-23, including that of Cracknell, and Euan Woods finished with figures of 2-40.

Mungo Russell starred with the ball as his finished with figures of 3-36
Mungo Russell starred with the ball as his finished with figures of 3-36

On a smallish ground with a lightning-fast outfield, Berkshire always looked capable of reaching their target, though it came a little easier than most spectators expected thanks to sensational batting from Lincoln and Johnny Connell.

Henley’s Connell finished unbeaten on 150, which came off just 118 balls with seven sixes and 14 fours, and his composure and shot selection can only have impressed Middlesex’s batting coach Mark Ramprakash.

The teenager shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 189 with Lincoln which got Berkshire to within 19 of their target.

Lincoln, who played T20 cricket for Middlesex in 2019 and 2020, was utterly ruthless against his former club, striking 13 fours and six sixes in his 65-ball 123, having reached his century in just 54 minutes.

Captain Dan Lincoln smashed 123 in just 65 balls
Captain Dan Lincoln smashed 123 in just 65 balls

This performance will have raised Berkshire’s confidence as they prepare to take on Dorset in the semi-finals of the NCCA Trophy next Sunday.

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