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Hall hails Cheshire triumph

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Andy Hall

Andy Hall described Cheshire's six-wicket MCCA Trophy victory over Cumberland at Neston as "the perfect start to the season"

Cheshire skipper Andy Hall saluted his on-song side after they started the new season with a welcome victory over Cumberland.

The hosts clinched an impressive six-wicket win at Neston Cricket Club to get their MCCA Trophy campaign off to a winning start.

"It was a good team performance, the perfect start to the season," beamed Hall.

"We could have rolled them easy at one stage, but we showed a lot of character to chase 283 for victory."

Cumberland batted first and posted an imposing 282 for nine from 50 overs.

However, at 110 for six the visitors were reeling and could have easily been dismissed for 150 or less were it not for some fine batting from James Lowe and all-rounder Chris Thompson.

Opener Lowe made a spirited 128 from 136 balls, while Thompson weighed in with an important 61 from 52 deliveries as the pair shared a battling seventh-wicket stand of 98 to get Cumberland out of all sorts of bother.

But having lost the toss and been forced to chase, Cheshire delivered a strong batting display to reach their target with five balls to spare.

Lee Dixon top-scored with an unbeaten 77 and skipper Hall contributed a useful 57 not out in an unbroken fifth-wicket partnership of 116.

Opener Warren Goodwin and new vice captain James Duffy also contributed 59 and 31 respectively as the hosts timed their chase to perfection.

Earlier left-arm spinner Danny Woods starred with 3-28 from 10 overs, while seamer Richard Wilkinson also claimed three wickets.

"It was a pretty flat deck, but 280 was probably a par score," added Hall.

"At one stage I thought there were going to get 320 or 330, but we took some wickets in a rush to peg them back.

"At 110 for six we could have rolled them over, but their opener batted well and there were some decent runs down the order.

"But Lee Dixon batted very well for us and everyone else contributed, which was great. It's good to have showed the character we needed to chase down a big score.

"One game, one win. We probably need two more wins from our next three games to make sure we qualify for the semi-finals."