Berkshire set their sights on the title ahead of new Championship season

Euan Woods in action for Berkshire.

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Berkshire get their NCCA Championship campaign underway when they take on Dorset at The Leaze in Wimborne in a three-day game starting this Sunday (July 10), writes Dave Wright.

They have their sights firmly fixed on regaining the Western Division 1, having narrowly missed out to Oxfordshire last year.

Last season, Berkshire easily overcame Dorset, winning by 253 runs at Finchampstead after bowling out their visitors for 86 in the first innings and 169 in the second with Euan Woods finishing with match figures of 8-60.

The allrounder, now playing for Wargrave, ended 2021 as Berkshire's top player in the Championship with 24 wickets and 321 runs, leaving him third in the national batting averages and fourth in the bowling.

He was the only Berkshire player to make the top 10 in both lists.

Berkshire have an excellent record against Dorset, winning their last six encounters, five of them by more than 200 runs. Their last defeat came in 2009 when they lost by eight wickets at Dean Park in Bournemouth.

Like Berkshire, Dorset have reached the quarter-finals of the NCCA Trophy after winning their respective group with three victories in four games. They will host Devon at North Perrott on Sunday, July 17, while holders Berkshire face Wales NC at the Falkland club in Newbury.

The Dorset squad could include Hampshire’s Aussie allrounder Felix Organ and former Hants batsman Oli Soames, who played for Finchampstead in 2019 and 2020. He is now skippering Gedling and Sherwood in the Nottinghamshire Premier League.

BUCKS CCC

Having failed to reach the later stages of the National Counties T20 and Trophy competitions, Bucks now turn their attention to the Championship.

They begin their four-match campaign in Eastern Division 2, with a three-day match against Hertfordshire at Bishops Stortford, starting this Sunday.

Buckingham batsman Michael Wells, who shone in the T20 campaign, returns to the squad along with Tring Park seamer Tom Weymes as Bucks seek to secure the one promotion spot back to Division 1.

Bucks squad: T Hampton (High Wycombe) capt, M Wells (Buckingham), AJ Woodland (High Wycombe), C Marrow (Gerrards Cross), A Kervezee (Halesowen), M Payne (Amersham), R Richrdson (Whitburn), E Bragg (Halesowen), J Rodnight (Great Brickhill), C Parsons (High Wycombe), C Haddow (High Wycombe), T Weymes (Tring Park).

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