Wayne White on his way to a 6 wicket haul
(Photograph courtesy of Stoke Sentinel)

Stunned Cheshire implode in shootout

By Jim Law

Unicorns KO Trophy Group 2
Sunday 21 May 2017, Knypersley CC
Staffordshire CCC 229-9 (50 overs), Cheshire CCC 174 (38.33 overs).
Staffordshire CCC won by 55 runs.

Cheshire let slip a great opportunity to secure a home quarter final tie in the Unicorns KO Trophy when they crumbled to a 55 run defeat against Group 2 Leaders, Staffordshire at Knypersley.

Having excelled in the field to restrict their hosts to 129-9, Staffs' last pair managed to add an unbeaten 100 in 21 overs.

With 229 seemingly below par, Cheshire then surrendered meekly and mustered only 174 to lose by 55 runs, thereby booking a trip to take on Hertfordshire.

A good sized crowd saw Kadeer Ali (23) and Aneesh Kapil (37) get Staffordshire off to a positive start before the impressive Wayne White turned things on their head, taking 6-37.

And when the mid-order misfired, Cheshire were moving in for the kill at 129-9.

But a stunning 100 run partnership between Karl High (50) and Greg Willot turned the game on its head.

Will Evans looked up for the fight as he struck two successive fours to start the reply rolling, only to be adjudged lbw next ball.

Callum Rowe (29) and Rick Moore moved things on to 62 before Warren Goodwin took over from Rowe. This was Cheshire's high point with Moore and Goodwin looking impressive and cantering home at 122-2.

However, once Goodwin became one of Tim Maxfield's six victims, the mid-order wheels came off. Moore held firm to be seventh out on 163 when Cheshire lost three wickets for eight runs.

Maxwell continued the torment to end with 5-25 as the tail folded and Cheshire were left scratching their collective heads.

"We've missed a great opportunity to gain home advantage in the quarter finals," commented skipper Lee Dixon.

"That said, we'd have taken a quarter final spot at the start of the season. It also feels like we've a score to settle with Staffordshire so we want to go all the way."

Staffordshire v Cheshire full scorecard