Cheshire gunning for Oxford win

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have named a provisional 12-man squad for their penultimate three-day Minor Counties Championship match away to Oxfordshire at Banbury Cricket Club (5-7 August).

But team manager Sandy Scrimgeour is waiting on the availability of both former Yorkshire batsman Ismail Dawood and Neston's Chris Finegan as cover for the injured Andy Hall.

Captain Hall has missed both of Cheshire's recent victories over Wiltshire and Devon because of a wrist injury.

But the Bramhall batsman is included in the squad and faces a late fitness test prior to the match.

Also given the chance is Chester Boughton Hall all-rounder Warren Goodwin and Nantwich opening batsman Oliver Sadler.

Cheshire are 21 points clear of second-placed Shropshire in the Western Division - and victory for the unbeaten county side would almost certainly guarantee themselves a place in this year's three-day Minor Counties final from 9-11 September (venue tbc).

"There's still a lot of hard work left to do, but we're in the driving seat," said Hall. "I'd rather be top of the table and ahead by 21 points than second place playing catch-up.

"We've had a great season, but we've got keep going and make sure we get another win down at Oxfordshire. If we win we'll be in an even better position to win the Western Division."

Cheshire last won the Western Division in 2005 before going on to share the Minor Counties Championship title with Eastern Division winners Suffolk after a drawn match in at Ransomes Cricket Club in Ipswich.

And it is Suffolk who Cheshire play in this year's MCCA Knockout Trophy final at Lords on Monday 27th August.

"All the players are looking forward to playing at Lords. Hopefully we can make it an even better day by beating Suffolk," added Hall.

Cheshire 12-man squad: Andy Hall, Matthew Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Danny Leech, Chris Bassano, Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park); James Duffy, Danny Woods (Hyde); Jason Whittaker (Walshaw); Adam Syddall (Bowdon); Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall); Oliver Sadler (Nantwich). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton).

Cheshire's remaining 2007 MCCA three-day Championship fixtures: August 5-7 v Oxfordshire @ Banbury; August 19-21 v Shropshire @ Nantwich.

MCCA 50-over Knockout Trophy - final (August 27 @ Lords): v Suffolk