Dixon ton gets Cheshire off the mark
By Jim Law

Wickets for Syddall and Moore in reduced overs game
Sunday 11 May 2014: Cheshire 256-7 (33 overs), Cumberland 218-9 (33 overs)
Cheshire won by 38 runs

James Duffy's Cheshire side got off the mark at the second attempt as the Neston weather relented to allow a reduced overs game.

After their washout at Jesmond, Cheshire were eager to get their campaign underway in the Unicorns KO Trophy but had to wait to late afternoon before the umpires deemed the pitch playable, reducing the match to 33 overs a side.

The game saw Cheshire debuts for Didsbury's Nick Anderson and Chester Boughton Hall's Harry Killoran.

After winning the toss, Cumberland unsurprisingly put Cheshire into bat and the top three all looked settled before losing out - Warren Goodwin falling for 22, Khalid Sawas 27 and Rick Moore 22. Left-hander, Lee Dixon (Left) then took control, plundering a fine 103 from just 62 balls. A typical Dixon attacking approach included 11 fours and 5 sixes and was well supported by Duffy (33), the pair adding 96 for the fourth wicket. A breezy strike from Danny Berry (27) pushed things on in the latter stages and Cheshire finished on an impressive 256-7. Dixon's ton was his first in the tournament, surpassing the 77 not out against the same opposition at the same ground in 2011. Pick of the Cumberland bowlers was Scott Lees, returning 3-28.

Chasing nearly eight an over, the visitor's reply got off to the worst possible start with Adam Syddall (Right) steaming in to remove James Lowe with his first ball. Paul Hindmarch and Ryan Carruthers soon followed with just 17 on the board. The Urmston skipper finished with 3-12.

Cheshire introduced Killoran's spin into the attack early on, the youngster performing well on his debut and with the innings drifting, it needed Cumberland to up the ante. Up stepped Logan Weston to blast 84 as he and Alex Atkinson added 104 and suddenly Cumberland had an outside chance. But with Anderson getting into his rhythm in his second spell and an impressive 4-37 from Rick Moore, the response fell away, Atkinson, one of several to fall to some excellent catching.

Cheshire travel to Oswestry next Sunday (18 May) to face Shropshire, needing to win their two remaining games to secure a place in the quarter finals.

Remaining K.O. trophy fixtures (Unicorns Counties K.O. Trophy, Group 3):

Shropshire (A), Oswestry, Sunday 18 May
Lincolnshire (H), Bramhall, Sunday 25 May

Unicorns Counties Trophy Tables