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Hall praises Cheshire

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Andy Hall

Skipper Andy Hall is anticipating an exciting end to the title race

Cheshire skipper Andy Hall paid a glowing tribute to his on-song side as they set up a mouth-watering finish to this season’s MCCA Western Division title race.

Nathan Dumelow and James Duffy starred for Cheshire as they hammered Wales Minor Counties by 356 runs in their penultimate group match at Abergavenny CC.

And with victory Hall’s team are second in the table and just five points behind leaders Cornwall with just one game left.

“We played some great cricket, we knew we needed to win the match to keep our title hopes alive - and that’s exactly what we did,” said Hall. “I’m really proud of all the lads, it was a good term performance.

“Nathan and Duffers were both excellent for us and then everyone else seemed to chip in along the way.

“That’s a good win for us because it keeps the pressure on Cornwall going into the last game.”

Third-placed Oxfordshire, who are five points behind Cheshire, and Shropshire (67pts) are still in the title-race, but Hall knows the advantage his firmly with the top three.

"It looks like the title’s going to go to either ourselves, Cornwall or Oxfordshire. It makes for an exciting finish to the season,” added Hall.

“We know we’ve got a tough game against Shropshire in our last match, but the pressure is on Corwnall and Oxfordshire as well.

“They’ve both got tough games, but it’s up to us to win and hopefully the other two results go our way.”

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Cheshire posted 356 for eight in 90 overs.

Opener Warren Goodwin (56) led from the front, while Duffy (99), Rick Moore (44) and Dan Berry (44 not out) were all in the runs.

In reply, Wales were bowled out for 246, 110 runs shorts after the first innings. Daniel Roberts hit an excellent 100 for the home county, but a fine 5-102 return from off-spinner Dumelow did the damage.

Batting for a second time Cheshire wanted quick runs and powered their way to 308 for six, a commanding lead of 418.

Dumelow on-fire with the willow this time, scoring 103 runs from just 53 balls. His innings included seven sixes and nine fours.

Spendlove (66), Hall (53), Goodwin (47) and Chris Tipper (46) were also in the runs as Cheshire left Wales with a mountain to climb on the final day if they were going to win the game.

And the pressure proved too much as the hosts were routed for just 105 on the final day. Dumelow weighed in with a 4-20 return to finish with impressive match figures of 9-122.