National Counties round-up: Thrilling tie, back-to-back wins and star performances

Danny Mohammed swept Cambridgeshire to an eight wickets win over Shropshire in their National Counties Trophy Group Three match at Exning. 

The Peterborough Town seamer took five for six in 5.3 overs to trigger a collapse that Shropshire surrender their last six wickets for 15 runs. 

It was Mohammed’s first bowl in the competition after rain washed out his debut against Norfolk last week at the halfway stage. 

Mohammed struck with his third delivery when he bowled Shropshire captain Graham Wagg, the former Warwickshire, Derbyshire and Glamorgan all-rounder and took all but one of the last six wickets as Shropshire went from 75 for four to 90 all out, their lowest total in the competition. 

Cambridgeshire lost two early wickets but coasted home with more 31 overs to spare with Ben Seabrook and Nikhil Gorantla adding 59 in an unbroken third wicket partnership. 

Northumberland, who had not won a Trophy match for six years until last week, made it two wins in a week by beating Herefordshire by three wickets in a tight Group One contest at Brockhampton. 

Herefordshire failed to build on a polished maiden Trophy century from Ben Chapman-Lilley as only one other batter topped 30 and they also failed to bat out their full 50 overs which meant that a total of 262 appeared at least 20 light. 

Contrasting half centuries from John Oswell (66 from 39 balls) and Jack Jessop (65 in 42 overs) got Northumberland almost halfway to their target but they then lost three wickets in four balls to the slow left-arm of Herefordshire captain Matt Pardoe. 

Oswell holed out in the deep, former Durham and Ireland batter Stuart Poynter was bowled first ball and Northumberland coach Dan Shurben, playing his first Trophy match in 11 years, survived the hat-trick ball before edging the next to wicketkeeper Luke Powell. 

From 130 for one Herefordshire were 130 for four but Ed Foreman (37) and Matt Scott (41 not out) helped Jessop to organise the chase which ended Herefordshire’s hopes of making the quarter-finals. 

Oxfordshire and Cumbria shared the spoils in the other Group One tie with a thrilling tie at Banbury. 

Gary Pratt, the former Durham batsman, made his second century in as many Trophy matches to take Cumbria to 255 for eight with Newcastle all-rounder Brodie Glendinning weighing with a violent 51 from 35 balls, which included five sixes. 

Oxfordshire captain Jonny Cater countered with a century of his own – 104 from 118 balls – but no-one else made 30. 

Glendinning impressed with the ball taking five for 31 including Prav Chahal from the first ball of the last over. Oxfordshire needed nine from it to win but Joe Thomas was run out trying to take a second run off the final ball. 

Former Northamptonshire captain Alex Wakely made 115 from 114 balls to help Bedfordshire to an 88 runs win over Cornwall at Southill Park. 

Wakely’s century was his first for Bedfordshire since he rejoined them this season having retired from first-class cricket and he shared a third wicket partnership of 213 with left-handed opener Fayaz Homyoon who made a century on his Trophy debut. 

Cornwall never got to grips with their run chase against an attack that again included Leicestershire seamer Alex Evans. Slow left-armer George Darlow, son of the ECB’s interim chairman Martin, took three for 44 on the ground where he started his career. 

Hertfordshire beat Devon by three wickets in a low-scoring contest at Hertford where former Essex batsman Kishen Velani played the decisive innings. 

Devon were dismissed for 149 having been rescued from 66 for seven by Ed Middleton and Adam Small in a seventh wicket partnership of 59. 

Seamer Jigar Mehta returned Trophy best figures of five for 30 before Velani steered Hertfordshire home with more than 18 overs to spare with 58 not out. 

Dan Goodey did his best to make Hertfordshire work hard for the win by taking four for 48, the last three when victory was in sight. 

Will Evans took Cheshire to a comfortable six wickets win over Norfolk at Chester Boughton Hall with the second Trophy century of his career. 

Evans made 103 not out from just 70 balls with 18 fours and five sixes which swept Cheshire to a target of 249 with seven-and-a-half overs to spare. 

Norfolk’s 248 for eight was based around Sam Arthurton’s 77 with former Cheshire captain Rick Moore marking his first appearance of the season with three wickets. 

There was drama at Dorchester where Dorset beat Buckinghamshire by three wickets in Group Four. 

Buckinghamshire’s innings was interrupted to allow the local air ambulance helicopter to land on the outfield so that a patient could be taken to a nearby hospital. 

Buckinghamshire struggled to 141 all out either side of the stoppage with Bournemouth seamer Ollie Breckon taking four wickets on his second appearance for Dorset. 

Buckinghamshire captain Tom Hampton, the former Gloucestershire responded with three wickets, but Dorset got home with almost five overs to spare thanks to cameos from Oli Soames (39) and Sam Young (30). 

It was more straightforward for Wiltshire who beat Staffordshire by 63 runs at Warminster. 

Wiltshire piled up 345 for six with Jake Goodwin (73) and Josh Lawrence (66) adding 137 for the second wicket and Ben Draper (73) and Michael Reynolds (41 not out) a further 104 for the sixth wicket. 

Player/coach Alex Mellor crashed 70 from 51 balls at the top of the order but Staffordshire were kept in check by Wiltshire’s slow bowlers despite useful contributions down the order. 

Left-armers Jake Lintott, back from playing for Warwickshire in the Vitality Blast, and captain Ed Young shared six wickets between them. 

National Counties Trophy 

Group One 

Brockhampton: Herefordshire 262 (Ben Chapman-Lilley 117), Northumberland 267-7 (John Oswell 66, Ed Foreman 65, Matt Pardoe 4-47). Northumberland won by three wickets. 

Banbury: Cumbria 255-8 (Gary Pratt 112, Brodie Glendinning 51 not out), Oxfordshire 255 (Jonny Cater 104, Brodie Glendinning 5-31). Match tied. 

Group Two 

Southill Park: Bedfordshire 274-4 (Alex Wakely 115, Fayaz Homyoon 114 not out ), Cornwall 186.Bedfordshire won by 88 runs. 

Hertford: Devon 149 (Jigar Mehta 5-30), Hertfordshire 151-7 (Kishen Velani 58 not out, Dan Goodey 4-48). Hertfordshire won by three wickets. 

Group Three 

Exning: Shropshire 90 (Danny Mohammed 5-6), Cambridgeshire 91-2. Cambridgeshire won by eight wickets. 

Chester Boughton Hall: Norfolk 248-8 (Sam Arthurton 77), Cheshire 249-4 (Will Evans 103 not out). Cheshire won by six wickets. 

Group Four 

Dorchester: Buckinghamshire 141 (Ollie Breckon 4-27), Dorset 142-7. Dorset won by three wickets. 

Warminster: Wiltshire 345-6 (Jake Goodwin 73, Ben Draper 73, Josh Lawrence 66), Staffordshire 282 (Alex Mellor). Wiltshire won by 63 runs. 

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