Cheshire stun Berkshire with late win

Cheshire stun Berkshire with late win

16 Aug 2022

Cheshire 451-8 (90) & 220 beat Berkshire 334 & 84 by 253 runs

Scorecard & ball by ball videos

Day 3 last session highlights

Match highlights (truncated day 1)

It was some finale as Cheshire fought back on day three of their Western Division Championship match to beat Berkshire in dramatic fashion with spinners David Wainwright  (3-17) and Andrew Dufty (4-2) closing the game down in the last hour.

A morning fightback from 15-3 -with Berkshire probable favourites in a game that swung throughout - ended six minutes from the cut off to give Cheshire an incredible 253 run win and ease their relegation worries ahead of their final game at the weekend.

It had all looked so disappointing as a poor evening session on day two saw a potential winning lead severely reduced and then the top three back in the hutch.

Morning three needed a strong commitment and that's exactly what Jamie Crawley and Alex Money set about doing, slowly building the recovery. It was about occupying the crease and Crawley's 21 kept him there for just short of two hours from 81 balls.

Then enter Dave Wainwright, oozing experience and class. 63 not out in over three hours. Runs too for Andy Jackson (23) Chris Sanders (26) and Dufty (26). Cheshire had surely secured the draw by making 220 and the final session would be a formality - an hour and a half and 5.30 handshakes? 

And Luke Bevan had bowled superbly to take 7-87. All over.

Not so. And not a good time for supporters to leave Nantwich early! 

30-1 produced no great alarm bells nor 44-2 or 54-3 - Jackson again in the wickets. 55-4 suddenly made a few folks sit up and assume the game would go into it's last hour with a minimum 17 overs. Sehmi carried on. 

By now Dufty and Wainwright were bowling in tandem, quickly too to squeeze extra overs in.

What followed was memorable. One of those classic cat and mouse scenarios with fielders crowded round the bat, high tension around the ground. The shutters were up but the vultures were licking their lips.

Somehow Cheshire turned the game. Wainwright bowled 10-5-17-3 and Dufty 11.2-10-2-4 (I"Il need to check where those two runs were scored"). 

Time was running out. But at 6.24pm, it was joy and dispair with a final catch off Dufty.

A memorable game, a memorable win, great opposition, good cricket all round. 

Reflecting, a speecless Pete Babbage (Team Manager) paid tribute to his side's application. "Heroics all the way through, " he said. "We know what Wainers can do and boy did he put in a shift. Dufty came of age, Andy Jackson was on fire - but it's unfair to just highlight them - everybody played their part. We scrapped. Remember this Berkshire side is one of the strongest NC's in the country. A great performance."

The win catapults Cheshire to a far healthier positon meaning they need 9 points at Dorset next weekend to secure their Division 1 status for another year. They now sit third, ahead of both Herefordshire and Dorset.