Big hitting Cheshire reach semi-finals
By Jim Law

100s for Tipper and Moore as Cheshire set up Devon clash

Unicorns KO Trophy Quarter Final: Herefordshire 302 (49.4 overs), Cheshire 303-3 (48.5 overs).
Cheshire won by 7 wickets.

Cheshire chased down 302 to snatch victory at Chester Boughton Hall in dramatic fashion and claim a Unicorns KO Trophy semi-final showdown with Devon.

In a match that saw three centurions, Cheshire rebuilt some pride having been outplayed against Herefordshire in a three day encounter earlier in the week.

Evergreen quickie Jason Whittaker took four wickets on his unexpected return to the side and whilst Liam Gwynne hit a fine 130 for the visitors, sparkling displays from Chris Tipper and Rick Moore were the backbone of the Cheshire reply.

With Adam Syddall withdrawing overnight with a recurrence of a hamstring problem, the match saw a return for Hyde veteran Jason Whittaker who last turned out in Cheshire colours in 2010. Whittaker has been in terrific form for his club this year and celebrated his return with 4-52 as he rolled back the years.

Winning the toss and batting first in cloudy conditions in front of a big Chester crowd, the visitors looked to be heading for a score in the region of 350 as the Cheshire bowlers toiled.

And although they didn't quite kick-on, 302 still seemed a challenging score with Brad Waldron hitting a fine 79 and Ben Stebbings 47. There were tidy bowling spells for Danny Woods (1-60) and Jack Williams (0-36) whilst Warren Goodwin limped out of the attack with a side strain.

The Cheshire reply saw Goodwin bat with a runner before injury withdrawing on 23, bringing Moore to the wicket to join Tipper.

The two started in cautious fashion, picking off the bad balls but eventually they took control and whilst behind the required rate for much of the game, they gradually upped the ante matching each other shot for shot. Eventually Tipper (Left) went caught and bowled off Wadlan for 116 after the pair had added a remarkable 228. Moore (Right) followed soon afterwards for 123 and although the home side took it to the wire, they eventually cantered home by seven wickets.

It was an excellent day's cricket with over 600 runs scored on a typical Chester pitch.

Skipper James Duffy was delighted with his side's performance, bouncing back from a poor display against the same side just a few days earlier. "Chris and Rick's partnership saw some outstanding batting," he acknowledged, "not just in the way they grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck but the understanding they showed between each other and the way they timed their innings. We felt confident we could chase the total down on a decent pitch but the manner we achieved the win was tremendous."

The semi-final with Devon will see Cheshire return to Sidmouth a week after they travel there for a three day game in July. A win on the coast will see them take on either Wiltshire or Oxfordshire in the final at Wormsley.

Before that though, Cheshire stay in the north west with a three day game against Cornwall at Alderley Edge, starting next Sunday, 22 June.

Cheshire v Herefordshire full scorecard