Cambridgeshire and Devon reach final
Cambridgeshire and Devon will meet in the Minor Counties Championship final after being crowned winners of their respective divisions.
Cambridgeshire defied the odds to see off nearest challengers Staffordshire and clinch the Eastern Division title, while Devon topped the Western Division following a more straightforward victory over eventual runners-up Berkshire.
March Town CC in Cambridgeshire will host the final, to be played over four days from September 4-7.
Cambridgeshire’s 29-run win at Wisbech Town CC was all the more memorable given that they were bowled out for 77 after winning the toss.
Greg Willott claimed 5-31 and Attiq Chishti 3-19 - Paul Summerskill’s 13 not out was the highest score for Cambridgeshire - before Staffordshire responded with 233 on the back of 71 from Nav Poonia and Peter Wilshaw’s 59.
However, Peter Richer hit 96, David Clarke 92 and Joe Barrs a crucial 72 from number 10 to help Cambridgeshire convert a first-innings deficit of 156 into a target of 227 for Staffordshire.
It proved beyond the visitors as they were bowled out for 197, former England Under-19 and Nottinghamshire off-spinner Paul McMahon claiming 4-73 to give him seven wickets in a pulsating match.
Devon’s 10-wicket triumph over Berkshire at Sidmouth CC was completed inside two days.
Having restricted Berkshire to 279 in the first innings despite Michael Roberts’ century, Devon posted 364 for eight thanks to half-centuries from Rob Holman, James Burke, Neil Hancock and Matt Thompson - the latter unbeaten.
A Berkshire side featuring former England off-spinner Shaun Udal collapsed to 107 all out in the second innings as Trevor Anning and Scott Barlow shared six cheap wickets. Devon were left chasing a facile 23 to win.