Cheshire suffer shock exit
Cheshire’s hopes of qualifying for the quarter-finals of the MCCA Knockout Trophy were ended in the cruellest of circumstances.
The county were sweating on the result of the game between group winners' Shropshire and Cumberland to see if they would progress to the business end of this year's 50-over competition, which culminates in a showcase final at Lords.
Shropshire were favourites to win and anything less than a victory for Cumberland would have seen them eliminated from the competition.
But to their credit, Cumberland inflicted an upset on the previously unbeaten leaders, winning by 10 runs on the Duckworth/Lewis method in a rain-affected clash at Netherfield Cricket Club to secure their place in the last eight.
Shropshire posted an imposing 286-6 from 50 overs, but Cumberland reached their revised target of 120 with six wickets to spare in just 13.2 overs, having initially been set 130 to win in 15 overs.
Cheshire and Cumberland finished with the same record of two wins, one defeat and one tied match, but Cumberland went through with a stronger run-rate.
Cheshire finished on -0.1081 after their four qualifying matches, while Cumberland - thanks to their fine victory over Shropshire - progressed with a run rate of + 0.4436.
"It's sad to have got knocked out, but fair play to Cumberland for beating Shropshire," reflected Cheshire skipper Andy Hall.
"We had a close game with Shropshire and if we'd have won that match we'd have qualified, but unfortunately it's not meant to be this season.”