Berkshire thrash title rivals Bedfordshire
Berkshire have all but booked their place in the quarter-final stages of the National Cricket Counties Association Trophy after sweeping to a massive 144-run win over Group 2 title rivals Bedfordshire, writes DAVID WRIGHT.
The NCCA Trophy holders made 229 all out before dismissing their visitors for just 85 at Wargrave.
Berkshire’s victory was built on an outstanding second-wicket stand of 163 by Euan Woods, who made 81 off 112 balls at the ground where his family lives, and Archie Carter, who added 74 from 93 balls.
Woods was the fourth man out at 185 in the 39th over, and his departure triggered a collapse – slow left-armer Archie Houghton claimed 5-32 after being brought on in the 31st over.
Apart from the two leading scorers, only Jafer Chohan (22no) and Rhodri Lewis (20) managed to reach double figures as Berkshire lost their last nine wickets for 60 runs.
Bedfordshire’s response couldn’t have started in worse fashion as three of their top four batsmen were all out for ducks – the trio lasted a total of 11 balls.
At 39-5 the match, and Bedfordshire’s title hopes, were all but over.
Houghton (32) offered some resistance, but was the final wicket to fall in the 25th over.
Luke Beaven finished with 4-20, Chohan 2-11, Andy Rishton 2-16 and Tom Nugent 2-23.
Berkshire were favourites to win, but it was the margin of victory that was surprising.
Bedfordshire supporters left Wargrave bitterly disappointed with their team’s performance – their second defeat in four games rules them out of a top-two finish, leaving it down to Berkshire, Cornwall and Devon.
Berkshire are away to bottom-of-the-table Hertfordshire on Sunday, while Devon host Cornwall.