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Bucks keep Cheshire down

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Andy Hall

Cheshire skipper Andy Hall is optimistic his side can take some crucial early wickets tomorrow

Cheshire trail Buckinghamshire by 161 runs after the second day of the Minor Counties Championship final ended prematurely because of bad light at Slough CC.

Having resumed on 77 without loss, Cheshire were eventually bowled out for 305 in 87.4 overs, 64 runs behind their hosts’ first-innings total.

In their second innings, Bucks reached a respectable 97 for two at the close of play to put themselves in a strong position.

Cheshire opening batsman Warren Goodwin was the first wicket to fall on the second day, run out for 44 with 12 runs having been added to the overnight score.

Fellow opener Rick Moore dug deep to top-score with 62 from 142 balls, while skipper Andy Hall (54 not out) and Ben Spendlove (41) were also in the runs.

But Cheshire lost their last six wickets for 96 runs having reached 198 for four from 57 overs.

Off-spinner Sam Cherry impressed for Bucks with 3-90 from 29 overs, while medium-pacer Simon Stanway was the pick of the bowlers with 4-74 from 32.4 overs.

However, despite their deficit, Hall knows quick wickets could quickly swing the match back in Cheshire's favour as they target their fourth Championship title in the last nine seasons.

Cheshire have removed first-innings centurions Fahim Quershi (30) and skipper Jason Harrison (20), although Ricky Hopwood - who scored 35 in the first innings - was unbeaten at the close on 32.

“There's still a long way to go, but it would have been nice to have got a little bit closer to their first-innings score,” reflected Hall.

“It’s a good batting track but I’m sure the spinners will come into the game more in the last two days.

“We need to get some early wickets tomorrow and not leave ourselves too many runs to chase.”