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Kettle runs hot for Cheshire

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Jonny Kettle's 75 helped Cheshire to a second successive MCCA Trophy win over Staffordshire - and lifted them top of Group A

Jonny Kettle starred with the bat as Cheshire maintained their unbeaten start to the season with victory over Staffordshire in their second MCCA Trophy match.

The opening batsman top-scored with a fine 75 as the visitors clinched a second successive win - by 19 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis method at Knypersley CC - which took them top of Group One.

Having won the toss and elected bat, Cheshire were wobbling at 31 for three, but Kettle and vice-captain James Duffy shared an important fourth-wicket partnership of 94 to steady the ship.

Duffy impressed with a run-a-ball 59, which included six fours and two sixes, and Hall and all-rounder Richard Logan, with 45 from 35 deliveries, both weighed in with important runs as Cheshire were bowled out 255 off the last ball of the innings.

Greg Willott was the most potent member of the Staffordshire attack, returning figures of 4-46.

Staffordshire were left needing a revised target of 251 from 48 overs after rain briefly disrupted their reply.

However, excellent bowling from Adam Syddall and left-arm spinner Danny Woods, who took 3-55 and 3-28 respectively, limited them to 232 for nine.

“It was another solid team performance,” said captain Andy Hall. “There were some important contributions with the bat and then we kept taking wickets at good intervals which put Staffordshire under pressure.

“Jonny Kettle's innings held everything together and that allowed others to bat around him and get us over the 250 mark.”

Next up for Cheshire is a home clash with Northumberland at Marple CC on Sunday.

“It's going to be another tough game for us, but one which we're really looking forward too,” added Hall.

“Three wins should take us through. We got to the quarter-finals last season and just came up short, so hopefully we can get there again this season and do a little bit better.”