National Counties Cricket Association

National Counties Cricket Association

NCCA 50-Over Trophy 2024 Review - Week 2

03 June 2024
NCCA 50-Over Trophy 2024 Review - Week 2

Cambridgeshire snatched victory from the jaws of defeat as they scrambled home by one wicket against Cumbria at Fenner’s after they had dismissed the visitors for their lowest-ever National Counties Trophy total.

Cumbria were shot out for just 59, with former Derbyshire, Lancashire and Leicestershire all-rounder Wayne White taking four for 11.

But Cumbria looked like setting another record by successfully defending the lowest unadjusted total in the competition when they reduced Cambridgeshire to 50 for nine with former Lancashire pace bowler Ed Moulton taking six of the wickets.

Alex Peirson and Harrison Craig managed to cling on to defy Cumbria a dramatic victory as they added 11 for the last wicket with Craig striking Freddie Fallows for the winning boundary in the 20th over and Peirson finishing unbeaten on 20.

Cambridgeshire would have had even fewer runs to chase had it not been for Cumbria’s last wicket pair of Nico Watt (11) and Sam Sharp (14 not out) who added 24 to lift them from 35 for nine.

At one stage Cumbria were 12 for five against the pace of White and they also found life difficult against the left-arm spin of James Sykes, another former Leicestershire man, and were dismissed for a total that was four fewer than their previous lowest against Cheshire at Penrith 38 years ago.

The other Division One match was close but less dramatic with Bedfordshire beating Northumberland by three wickets at Luton thanks to a captain’s innings of 56 not out from George Thurstance.

Former Durham batter Harry Crawshaw made 84 for Northumberland which, with supporting innings from John Oswell (34) and Ben Robinson (30) appeared to have laid the foundations for a substantial total.

But they slipped from 162 for two to 215 all out against the spin of George Darlow (three for 28, Archie Houghton (two for 46) and Oli Soames (two for 49).

Thurstance guided Bedfordshire home with 15 balls to spare with a diligent 103-ball innings that included just two boundaries.

He shared a crucial fifth wicket stand of 79 with Patrick Harrington (43) before former Kent, Essex and Hampshire all-rounder Matt Coles biffed a breezy 27.

Spinners were also Northumberland’s most effective bowlers with Jacques du Toit taking three for 45 and Alasdair Appleby two for 43.

Defending champions Berkshire made it two wins from two with a 25 runs success against Cornwall at St Austell.

Johnny Connell continued his excellent start to the season by making 79 from 100 balls which, with useful runs from Charlie Dunnett (49), Archie Carter (30) and Rhys Lewis, took Berkshire to 244 all out.

Graham Wagg, the former Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Glamorgan all-rounder, too three for 44 as Cornwall’s stand-in professional, his first National Counties appearance since 2022 when he was captain of Shropshire.

The match looked like being over very quickly when Cornwall slipped to 32 for five with Tommy Sturgess, who left them for Berkshire during the winter, enjoying his return to the Duchy by taking three for 28.

But Cornwall captain Paul Smith (68) and Jake Rowe (51) made Berkshire work hard for their victory with Ben Ellis weighing in with 34 not out at the end.

It was more straightforward in the other Group Three match at Sidmouth where Devon crushed Oxfordshire by 160 runs.

Half centuries from Ben Privett (69) and Charlie Sharland (63) took Devon to 277 for nine – the biggest total of the day - with leg-spinner Henry Welch (four for 52) the pick of Oxfordshire’s attack.

Spin featured heavily in Oxfordshire’s decline to 117 all out in 31.2 overs with slow left-armer Max Shepherd taking four for 42 and leg-spinner Will Christophers three for 44.

Luke Maslen (34) and Prav Chahal (24) were the only batters to reach 20 for Oxfordshire who slipped to their third heaviest defeat by runs margin in the competition.

Norfolk went top of Group Two by beating Staffordshire by five wickets at Smethwick to record their second successive victory.

Staffordshire’s innings comprised a series of cameos with six batters making double figures but only Callum Hawkins (32) and Reeve Evitts (30) reaching 30.

Sam Arthurton (22) and Alfie Cooper (59) launched Norfolk’s chase with an opening partnership of 79 before they stuttered against the left-arm spin of Tom Brett (three for 35) and lost three wickets for 15 runs.

But Ben Wilcox stabilised the innings and saw Norfolk home with more than ten overs to spare with a composed 39 not out.

Suffolk got their first win of the season with a 40 runs success over Shropshire at Shifnal in the other Group Two match.

Former Worcestershire and Leicestershire all-rounder George Rhodes marked his first appearance of the season following his return from injury with a half-century and two wickets.

There was solid batting down the order for Suffolk with Darren Ironside also making a half-century and valuable runs from Ben Parker (38), Alex Oxley (32) and Josh Cantrell (30 not out).

Andre Bradford led Shropshire’s response with 71 on his home ground but they were kept in check by Rhodes, Dan Shanks (three for 25) and Jack Beaumont (three for 38).

Dorset’s Jake Gordon made the day’s only century as Hertfordshire paced their chase to perfection to win by six wickets at Welwyn Garden City.

Gordon converted his maiden half-century in the competition to three figures with eight sixes and five fours in his 159-ball 130.

Gordon shared an opening partnership of 120 with Luke Webb (53) which laid the foundations for Dorset’s 267 for six.

Hertfordshire countered with a match-winning unbroken fifth wicket stand of 102 between Dominic Chatfield and Andrew Neal, who both finished on 80 not out which saw them home with 25 balls to spare.

Wiltshire made it two wins from two to go top of Group Four with a three wickets victory over Wales NC at Pontarddulais.

Wales captain Cameron Herring held his side together with 92 from 117s balls with his sixth wicket stand of 86 with Milo Ayres (42) getting them to 184.

Ben Draper (60) and Archie Fairfax-Ross (45 not out) put Wiltshire on course for victory with a fifth wicket partnership of 89 before they stumbled with victory in sight and lost three wickets for 15.

Draper was bowled by seamer Tim Moses (three for 41) and Harry Broderick and Will Naish went in quick succession to Adam Sylvester but Wiltshire got home with 28 balls to spare.

 National Counties Trophy

Group One

Luton: Northumberland 215 (Harry Crawshaw 84), Bedfordshire 218-7 (George Thurstance 56 not out). Bedfordshire won by three wickets.

Fenner’s: Cumbria 59 (Wayne White 4-11), Cambridgeshire 61-9 (Ed Moulton 6-20). Cambridgeshire won by one wicket

Group Two

Shifnal: Suffolk 264-6 (Darren Ironside 54 George Rhodes 52), Shropshire 224 (Andre Bradford 71). Suffolk won by 40 runs

Smethwick: Staffordshire 157, Norfolk 158-5 (Alfie Cooper 59). Norfolk won by five wickets.

Group Three

St Austell: Berkshire 244 (Johnny Connell 79), Cornwall 219 (Paul Smith 68, Jake Rowe 51). Berkshire won by 25 runs.

Sidmouth: Devon 277-9 (Ben Privett 69, Charlie Sharland 63, Henry Welch 4-52), Oxfordshire 117 (Max Shepherd 4-42). Devon won by 160 runs.

Group Four

Welwyn Garden City: Dorset 267-6 (Jacob Gordon 130, Luke Webb 53), Hertfordshire 273-4 (Dominic Chatfield 80 not out, Andrew Neal 80 not out). Hertfordshire won by six wickets.

Pontarddulais: Wales NC 184 (Cameron Herring 92), Wiltshire 185-7 (Ben Draper 60). Wiltshire won by three wickets.

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