Woods takes four wickets to put Bedfordshire in a spin

Dave Wright and Michael Knox

Berkshire CCC

Spinner Euan Woods took four wickets as Berkshire began their defence of the NCCA Trophy against Bedfordshire at Dunstable last Sunday, but it needed some controlled bowling at the very end by his former Henley team-mate Andy Rishton to secure their four-run victory in a tense finish.

Opener Archie Carter, who made 83 runs from 121 balls after spending 168 minutes at the crease, and Dan Lincoln, with 84 not out from 73 deliveries, put on 85 for the fourth wicket to help Berkshire post 265-5 from their 50 overs

Bedfordshire had 103 runs on the board before losing their second wicket, but were some way behind the required run-rate and it was beginning to look as if Berkshire would go on to win comfortably.

However, the hosts then came alight with Matt Coles, the former Kent, Essex and Hampshire all-rounder, pummelling 42 from 17 balls, while Henry Warren crashed 20 off nine and Matt Taylor 34 from as many balls. The batsmen were particularly severe on spinner Max Uttley, smashing him for 21 runs (6,6,4,1,2,2) in one over.

Battling Bedfordshire, with their last pair at the crease, needed 10 runs off the final over and a six off the last ball to pull off an unlikely victory, but Rishton, now with Wokingham, bowled very tightly and conceded only five singles, leaving Beds on 261-9.

Woods was the pick of the bowlers with 4-40, while Luke Beaven claimed 2-59, Chris Peploe 1-39, Uttley 1-78 and Tom Nugent 1-23.

Berkshire's next group game in the Trophy, which they won in 2019, is against Oxfordshire at Falkland CC on Sunday, June 13th.

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Buckinghamshire CCC

Bucks suffered a narrow two-wicket defeat by Wales in their opening National Counties Trophy group match at High Wycombe on Sunday. After a poor start, the hosts fought back bravely before succumbing with one over to spare in this tense 50-overs contest.

Put in to bat, Bucks lost early wickets against a lively Welsh attack and slumped to 92-6 in the 28th over, with only Daniel Ogden and Charlie Macdonell - a late replacement for the injured Shelvin Gumbs - passing 20.

Luckily for Bucks, former skipper Michael Payne was still at the crease and he led a determined fightback. With judicious placement of shots and good running between the wickets, he lifted Bucks to a respectable total of 196. Payne, who made an unbeaten 70 from 84 balls with one six and seven fours, received valuable support from Cameron Parsons (23). Aneurin Norman was the picked of the Wales bowlers with 4-36 from his ten overs.

The visitors raced to 53-1 from seven overs at the start of their reply, thanks to a quickfire 43 from Tom Bevan, who was dismissed attempting a reverse sweep, giving Alexei Kervezee his second catch. after a spectacular first. Despite tidy spells from Cameron Parsons and Uzair Amjad, who did not concede a boundary in his ten overs, Bucks seemed to be heading for a heavy defeat with Wales in 170-4.

But they wobbled in sight of victory, losing four quick wickets, two of them to Bucks captain Tom Hampton, with Payne tying down the batsmen at the other end. And it needed a six off the final ball of the 49th over to get the relieved Welshmen over the line.

Bucks's next match in the competition is against Bedfordshire at Southill Park on Sunday, June 20.

Brief scores: Bucks 196 (50 overs, M Payne 70 no, A Norman 4-36), Wales NC 202-8 (49 overs, O Kolk 51,

T Bevan 43).

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