National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties Cricket Association

Berkshire Named Champions: NCCA One Day Trophy Final Review

28 August 2023
Berkshire Named Champions: NCCA One Day Trophy Final Review

Berkshire won the National Counties Trophy for a fourth successive year with Cumbria again suffering final heartbreak in front of a big crowd at Wormsley. 

Cumbria were on top for two-thirds of a gripping contest but went down by 29 runs after they lost their last six wickets for 20 runs in 11 overs against tight bowling and superb fielding. 

The win maintained Berkshire’s record of having won at least one trophy in each of the last seven seasons and was their 11th piece of silverware in that period including the Trophy five times. 

Berkshire found themselves on the back foot from the moment Dan Lincoln lost the toss as Ed Moulton delivered a superb opening spell, bowling his ten overs off the reel and taking two for 14. 

A late onslaught from Tom Nugent lifted Berkshire to 195 for eight but the trophy appeared to be heading to Cumbria when they reached 146 for four with 15 overs to score the last 50 runs. 

But JJ Fielding went LBW to slow left-armer Rhodri Lewis, a team-mate for Glamorgan Second XI last week, for a polished 43 and Nico Watt and Matt Sempill were both brilliantly run out by direct hits from Andy Rishton as panic set in. 

Despite their success Berkshire coach Tom Lambert admitted that this has not been a vintage season for his side having relinquished the Durant Cricket National Counties Championship. 

“It was quite a good toss to win. We were desperate to bowl and losing the toss knocked us a bit but Ed Moulton and Michael Slack bowled really well up front,” he said. 

“We all said 175 would have just about got us there although psychologically it would not have been enough. 

“But that little injection from Tom Nugent and Toby Greatwood - who has done that all year coming in eight or nine in the Championship and getting us out of trouble – was important. 

“We have got questions to ask about how we get ourselves in these positions because we need to be better. Ultimately we always find a way which we have here. 

“We said all week in the lead-up that it’s a psychological game. I guess that if you play someone four times there are always a few demons if you can open the wounds at some stage. 

“We said that at some stage this game won’t be going our way but they were going to have to do a lot to get over the line. 

“Cumbria are a really good side and we have got out of jail there. I’m not sure we necessarily deserved to win it but you have got to turn it round at some stage and we did so. 

“We have got a bit of work in the winter. We are not quite at our best. There are one or two bits that we need to get better at and a few questions that some of the players need to ask themselves to keep going again. But to end the season with a trophy is really pleasing.” 

Defeat was hard on Cumbria – Moulton, Fielding and Sam Dutton, who opened the innings with a fluent 41, in particular - but Berkshire’s experience of winning every final they have appeared in proved decisive in the pressure moments at the death. 

Only Archie Carter, with 61, batted with any fluency for Berkshire who slipped from 22 without loss to 29 for four against Moulton and Slack then 56 for six when captain Dan Lincoln and Rishton departed in successive balls from Sam Sharp. 

Carter and Rhodri Lewis revived Berkshire with a seventh wicket partnership of 79 but it was Greatwood and Nugent who provided the acceleration with Nugent thumping the last two balls of the innings for sixes. 

Berkshire’s total may appeared below-par on a hybrid pitch but it gave them a chance if they bowled and fielded well. 

Rishton struck an early blow when Freddie Fallows drove him to cover but Dutton, fresh from three successive Championship centuries, looked in ominous form until he was stumped off Luke Beaven. 

Having lost three wickets for 15, Fielding and Sempill took control and appeared to have taken Cumbria to the brink of victory when they added 69 in 18 overs for the fifth wicket. 

But Lewis opened the door with the wicket of Fielding followed by a return catches to account for Drew Postlethwaite and Moulton to clinch victory and leave Cumbria to reflect on what might have been.  

“I thought we were in charge for 80 overs of the day but, fair play to Berkshire they are serial winners and we came off on the losing end again,” Slack said. 

“You have to credit them for winning big moments in the game towards the end. But there are quite a few lads in our dressing room who would have hoped to have performed better but that’s the way it goes sometimes. 

“I thought a par score would have been 280 with the way they normally play their cricket. We bowled extremely well, every single bowler has bowled unbelievably especially Ed Moulton. He was one leg because his groin had gone so to bowl his ten overs on the bounce says a lot about him as a person. 

“There was a moment in the second half of the game where JJ and Sempy were going well where it looked like we were in charge but it wasn’t to be. 

“I am very proud of the team. We all work in full-time jobs, we travel long distances, we travel six hours down here and get in at 1.30 and two in the morning so to put in a performance like that was unbelievable. 

“We go back to work on Tuesday morning. That’s not an excuse that’s why we are so full of pride right now because we know what we are doing unbelievably impressive.” 

National Counties Trophy Final 

Wormsley: Berkshire 195-8 (Archie Carter 61), Cumbria 166 (JJ Fielding 43, Sam Dutton 41, Rhodri Lewis 3-19, Luke Beaven 3-32). Berkshire won by 29 runs. 

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