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Chris Murtagh

Former Surrey batsman Chris Murtagh led by example as captain of Shropshire with a battling century to help his side draw with Wiltshire in a high-scoring encounter

Wiltshire moved off the bottom of the Western Division following a high-scoring draw in their final Minor Counties Championship match of 2011 against Shropshire at Oswestry.

Batsmen were on top for large spells of the contest, with 1,543 runs scored over the course of three days.

However, Wiltshire left-arm seamer Tahir Afridi took match figures of 11-228 and his influence nearly sparked a Shropshire collapse, but the visitors held on for a share of the spoils.

Winning the toss in near perfect batting conditions, Henry Langford underpinned the hosts’ 406 for eight from 90 overs with a career-best 165.

He was ably supported by Ed Kilbee and captain Joe Breet, who made 63 and 70 respectively, as Shropshire toiled for large spells, although they were indebted to Neil Saker’s 5-91.

The runs continued to flow when it was Shropshire’s turn to bat and captain Chris Murtagh led the way by striking nine fours and a six in his 100, while knocks of 89 and 77 from Jonathan Whitney and Richard Oliver helped them to 418 all out.

Wiltshire had little to cheer, despite Afridi’s 6-108, although Kilbee soon put the fielders’ woes behind as he added his second hundred of the season to his first-innings half-century.

The opener’s 136 plus further fifties from Langford, Breet and Sam Mount helped Wiltshire to a formidable 398 for three - setting Shropshire a victory target of 387 from a minimum of 55 overs.

Afridi took three wickets as Shropshire slipped to 74 for four in reply but Richard Oliver registered his second half-century of the match, while further fifties from Anthony Parker and Andy Gray saw them close on an ultimately comfortable 321 for seven.