MINOR COUNTIES CHAMPIONSHIP teams to beat...

Ecb LogoBerkshire and Lincolnshire made early statements of intent by completing emphatic two-day victories in the opening round of this season’s Minor Counties Championship.

The pair have contested the last three finals of the three-day competition and suggested that they will again be the teams to beat as Lincolnshire trounced Cumberland by ten wickets at Sleaford in the Eastern Division and defending champions Berkshire defeated Herefordshire by an innings and seven runs at Colwall in the Western Division.

Seamer Alex Willerton demolished Cumberland’s second innings with a six wicket haul that gave him match figures of ten for 87 – his first ten wicket match return in the championship.

Cumberland managed to avoid an innings defeat but Lincolnshire needed only 24 to become the first side to win a championship match this season.

Cumberland left-arm seamer Adam Syddall emerged with credit from the wreckage as he claimed his first five wicket haul for the county and his first in the championship for six years.

Two England Under-19 batsman impressed at Colwall where Savin Perera made 100 on his championship debut for Berkshire who declared as soon as they had secured maximum batting points.

Worcestershire batsman Jack Haynes then made a patient 69 on his Herefordshire debut which, with useful contributions from Jujhar Johal and Worcestershire Academy batsman Mahaaz Ahmed (39) delayed the inevitable.

Johal, another debutant,  made an unbeaten 59 debut but seamer Andy Rishton and slow left-armer Luke Beaven worked away at the other end.

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