Wiltshire washout and Berks loss leaves title in the air

Wiltshire washout and Berks loss leaves title in the air

17 Aug 2021

Wiltshire 146, Cheshire 294. No play day 3 - match drawn

Cheshire 11 points, Wiltshire 8  points    Scorecard      Table

With day 3 of Cheshire's championship match at Alderley Edge against Wiltshire being washed out, the Western Division 1 title will go down to the wire with two games next weekend.

A Cheshire win - they led Wiltshire by 148 overnight - would have put Rob Sehmi's side in the driving seat but steady rain all day put paid to any chances of play with the game abandoned in mid afternoon.

And Oxfordshire's stunning 283 run win over reigning NCCA champions Berkshire means they hold the key to becoming 2021 Western Division champions.

The win puts them 8 points clear of Cheshire at the top of the table with Berkshire 5 points behind in third. A further two points behind are Dorset - who mathematically could still win it - while Wiltshire are relegated.

The crunch comes next weekend with Cheshire travelling to Berkshire and Dorset hosting Oxfordshire. An Oxfordshire win would see them take the title with a draw potentially being enough.

However... a win at Newbury for Cheshire or Berkshire could see either side become champions and go on to play either Suffolk, Norfolk or Staffordshire from the Eastern Division.

After a frustrating day, Team Manager Pete Babbage praised the efforts of his Cheshire side, again highlighting the strength in depth.

"Rob (Sehmi) has again had to change things round due to a combination of Covid and unavailibility but we put in a decent performance despite tthe weather.

"We fancied our chances on the final morning with a 148 lead but there was never a chance of playing.

"David Wainwright showed his class and expereince with a fine century, well managed and just what was needed. 

"Ben Gibbon continues to impress with the ball (5-43) and showed us too what he can do with a bat. Henry Dobson and Cole Turner both came in and certainly played their parts.

"This side is maturing well and I can only see exciting times ahead."

"We're go to Berkshire full of confidence," added Sehmi. "I don't think anybody expected Oxfordshire to turn over Berkshire in such a big way and all we can now do is look to win our game. Believe me, we'll give it our best shot."

Cheshire's game is at Falklands CC in Newbury starting at 11.00am each morning Sunday - Tuesday 22,23,24 August.