MINOR COUNTIES Wiltshire pace chase to perfection

Defending Minor Counties champions Berkshire maintained their perfect start to the season by making it three wins out of three in the Western Division with a 148 runs success over Cheshire at Finchampstead.
Berkshire have now won 11 consecutive matches over three seasons and again look the side to beat as they attempt to become only the second county to win four successive titles outright.
Cheshire battled hard in the second innings and stretched the match into the afternoon session but the loss of Rob Sehmi and Simon Normanton in successive deliveries just before lunch proved decisive.
Sehmi faced 158 balls for his 76 and Berkshire were then held up by a stubborn last wicket stand of 67 between and David Wainwright, the former Yorkshire, Derbyshire and Hampshire spinner, and debutant Mike Finan. Wainwright finished unbeaten on 59 and Finan was last man out for 22.
But Berkshire chipped away at the other end with Nugent finishing with five for 41 and former Middlesex slow left-armer Chris Peploe taking three for 61 in 36.4 miserly overs.
Warrick Fynn steered Shropshire to their first championship win of the season against Cornwall at Bridgnorth.
What could have been a tense and testing opening session proved to be more comfortable than Shropshire anticipated as Fynn made an unbeaten half century to see them to a five wickets win and complete a fine all-round match.
Fynn took 11 wickets in the match with his left-arm spin and top-scored in both innings.
Wiltshire also paced their chase to perfection to beat Devon by four wickets at Sandford.
Tahir Afridi’s five wicket haul snuffed out Devon’s resistance early on and Jake Goodwin and Uzair Qureshi then laid the foundations for Wiltshire’s run chase with a second wicket partnership of 148.
Wiltshire still had work to do after Goodwin and Qureshi departed but Neil Clark and Brad Dawson played important cameos to secure a second successive win and pull level with Dorset in joint second place in the Western Division.
Oxfordshire made light work of Wales at Usk where Abingdon Vale seamer Joe Butcher took his maiden five wicket haul in the competition.
Wales captain Sam Pearce put up stout resistance but Oxfordshire required only 16 for victory which they knocked off for the loss of one wicket.
Meanwhile Oxfordshire’s next championship match against Herefordshire from August 4 to 6 has been moved from The Parks to Challow & Childrey.
The decision has been taken to allow Oxford University staff time to complete essential renovation work on the square in The Parks.

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