Cool Cheshire too good for Berkshire

By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC press officer 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE cruised to an impressive seven-wicket victory away to Berkshire yesterday in the Minor Counties Championship Western Division.
The 2005 champions had spinners Nathan Dumelow and Danny Woods to thank for some fine bowling, before a third-wicket stand of 145 between Ben Spendlove and Chris Bassano saw the visitors ease home with eight overs to spare.

Heavy rain saw the first two days of this year's three-day clash at Finchampstead washed out.

But both captains wanted a result and so declared their first innings, effectively making it a one-day match.

Woods (4-26) and Dumelow (4-61) led the way as Berkshire slipped from 136-4 at lunch, to 175 all out - the home side's last six wickets tumbling for just 39 runs in the 56th over.

And although Cheshire briefly faltered at 28-2, losing two wickets for three runs, former Derbyshire duo Bassano (79 not out) and Spendlove (54), made sure their side extended their unbeaten start to the season.

“That’s a great win for us,” beamed Cheshire skipper Andy Hall, whose side had 46 overs to reach their target.

“Berkshire could have got a lot more runs, but I thought we bowled excellently.

“Danny and Nathan slowed them right down and just kept taking wickets after lunch.

“We stuttered a little bit when me and Danny (Leech) got out early on, but Ben and Chris batted superbly to make sure we won.”

Bassano hit one six and 10 fours in his 101-ball knock, while Spendlove hit 5 fours in his important 93-ball innings.

Having beaten Devon – the defending champions – in their opening fixture, Cheshire are now unbeaten twice in the three-day format of the game, as well as having yet to be beaten in the Knockout Trophy.

They play Devon on Sunday in the semi-finals of this year’s competition at Chester Boughton Hall, with the winner guaranteed a place in the showcase final at Lords on Bank Holiday Monday 27thAugust.

But Hall was happy to reflect on a job well done in the Championship before naming his team for the one-day format later this week.

“We’ve had a really good start to the season, we’ve beaten two of the best teams,” added Hall.

“But on Sunday we can look forward to playing Devon again and trying to beat them again.

“There’s quite a few players in the team who have not played at Lords – so there’s plenty of incentive to win again.”

Team manager Sandy Scrimgeour was equally impressed with his county’s efforts and added: “We were lucky to get a match, but although we only had a day left, I thought the players performed superbly.

“We bowled very well and then Ben and Chris’ partnership got us out of a little bit of trouble and won us the game.”


Cheshire team: Andy Hall, Matthew Dawson (Bramhall); Nathan Dumelow, Danny Leech, Chris Bassano, Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park); Danny Woods, James Duffy, Daniel Berry (Hyde); Chris Finegan (Neston); Adam Syddall (Bowdon). 12th man: Chris Davies (Oxton). Scorer: Janet Herbert.


Berkshire 1st innings: Forfeited

Cheshire 1st innings: Forfeited

Berkshire 2nd innings: 175 all out, 55.5 overs (D Woods 4-26, N Dumelow 4-26, B Spendlove 1-31, A Syddall 1-36, C Finegan 0-19, D Barnes 24, A Habib 25, S Naylor 29, B Mordt 31)

FOW: 41, 80, 80, 135, 136, 147, 160, 165, 172, 175.

Cheshire 2nd innings: 177-3, 38.4 overs (C Bassano 79 not out, B Spendlove 54

FOW: 26, 28, 173.

Result: Cheshire won by seven wickets (Cheshire 12pts, Berkshire 4pts)

Cheshire's 2007 fixtures:

MCCA Knockout Cup (Semi-finals) - July 1 v Devon (@ Chester Boughton Hall). Final to be played on Bank Holiday Monday 27th August @ Lords.

MCCA Three-day Championship - July 8-10 v Dorset @ Dean Park; July 22-24 v Wiltshire @ Alderley Edge; August 5-7 v Oxfordshire @ Banbury; August 19-21 v Shropshire @ Nantwich.

Resource Bank Inter-County 20/20 Knockout - July 12 v Lashings, Shropshire and Staffordshire @ Wellington, Shropshire.