August 22, 2000

Minor Counties Championship Round Up

Dorset, beaten by Cumberland in last year's Minor Counties Championship final, will have the chance to take their revenge when they host a repeat of the 1999 play-off at Bournemouth Sports CC between September 10 and 12.

They will also be bidding to make it third time lucky after losing out to Staffordshire in the 1998 Championship final at Dean Park.

Dorset claimed their third successive Western Division pennant with a two-wicket win over Wiltshire at Corsham. Roger Sillence hit 150 as Wiltshire rallied from 84 for four to 333 for six declared, leaving Dorset a target of 304 in 58 overs. They achieved that on 307 for eight with four balls to spare.

Oxfordshire, who led the Western Division going into the final round of games, slipped to 43 for five in pursuit of a 251 target against Berkshire at Reading, and finished frustrated on 115 for six.

Cumberland's 155-run victory over Northumberland secured their second successive Eastern Division pennant. Marcus Sharp (four for 51) and David Pennett (three for 33) demolished Northumberland for 128, but their captain, Phil Nicholson, defended Sunday's tactics that turned the game into what was basically a one-innings match.

He said: "The weather forecast wasn't good for Monday and having over a day to chase 284 was our best chance of winning the game. I can sympathise a little with Lincolnshire, but we wanted to win and would have done the same whoever we were playing. We backed ourselves to win and we are disappointed to have lost."

Also finishing on a winning note were Shropshire, who beat Cheshire by eight runs with two balls to spare at Bowdon, and Suffolk, who routed East Anglian rivals Norfolk for just 75 in a rain-affected fixture at Bury St. Edmunds. Andy Poole produced debut figures of six for 19.

Minor Counties Championship

Jesmond: Cumberland 293-2 & 2nd inns forfeited Northumberland 10-2 & 128 (MA Sharp 4-51) Cumberland (18) beat Northumberland (0) by 155 runs

Corsham: Wilts 222 & 333-6 (RJ Sillence 150, RJ Bates 67, VJ Pike 6-117) Dorset 252-9 & 307-8 (G Treagus 85, SWD Rintoul 55) Dorset (24) beat Wilts (7) by 2 wickets

Reading: Berks 225-6 & 241-9 (JR Wood 100, SD Myles 59 not, TD Fray 53, KA Arnold 5-86, IJ Curtis 4-94) Oxon 216-3 & 115-6. Drawn. Berks 5 Oxon 5

St. Austell: Devon 183 & 123-4 (NA Folland 66 not) Cornwall 191-9. Abandoned as a draw. Cornwall 6 Devon 5

Bury St Edmunds: Suffolk 252-7 & 57-1 Norfolk 9-0 & 75 (A Poole 6-19, RW Pineo 4-45) Suffolk (18) beat Norfolk (3) by 225 runs

High Wycombe: Lincs 225-4 & 195-3 (J Trower 66 not, RWJ Howitt 51 not) Bucks 139 & 179-3 (PD Atkins 63) Drawn. Bucks 1 Lincs 8

Walsall: Beds 246-7 & 264-8 (AR Roberts 140, DJM Mercer 66) Staffs 225-4 & 269-8 (RP Harvey 96, AJ Trott 4-61) Drawn. Staffs 5 Beds 4

Bowdon: Shrops 225-8 & 179-9 (C Brown 4-64) Cheshire 144 & 252 (Asif Din 5-64) Shrops (23) beat Cheshire (3) by 8 runs

Brockhampton: Hereford 98 & 259-6 (PS Lazenbury 103, I Dawood 66) Wales 107 & 193-8 (JPJ Sylvester 72, JW Shaw 4-51) Drawn. Hereford 4 Wales 4

Stevenage: Herts 197 & 293-6 (M Smith 62, MA Everett 58 not, MH James 50 not) Cambs 262-8 & 198-9 (S Mohammed 66, DG Wilson 57, M Smith 4-33) Drawn. Herts 4 Cambs 8