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Swashbuckling Sawas helps Cheshire to victory

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Debutant Khalid Sawas smashed an unbeaten 119 as Cheshire narrowly defeated Cumberland by one run in a high-scoring Minor Counties Knockout Trophy clash.

Cheshire reached 312 for four with Sawas and fellow centurion James Duffy putting on a fourth-wicket partnership of 110. Cumberland captain Gary Pratt, who famously ran out Australia’s Ricky Ponting in the 2005 Ashes, made 104 not out in reply, but the Group Three leaders fell agonisingly short.

Spinner Tom Sharp took 4-9 from nine overs to move Cornwall top of Group One courtesy of a six-wicket triumph over Bedfordshire.

Sharp claimed the final four scalps as the visitors were skittled out for 114 and Cornwall opener Matthew Robins, 39 not out, steered his side home.

Also in Group One, Hertfordshire held on to defeat Oxfordshire by just three runs.

Eddie Ballard top-scored with 84 not out in Hertfordshire’s total of 216 but Oxfordshire looked to be well on their way with Richard Kaufman, Craig Haupt and Nathan Hawkes all scoring freely.

However, Hertfordshire fought back and Jamie Southgate tore through the tail, finishing with figures of 4-40, to clinch victory.

Daniel Roberts claimed 5-31 to ensure Wales Minor Counties secured a 69-run win over fellow strugglers Buckinghamshire in Group Four.

All-rounder Andrew Salter blasted five sixes on his way to an unbeaten 51 to set Buckinghamshire 224 for victory and they fell way short despite David Cranfield-Thompson’s eye-catching 83.

The wet weather meant Sunday’s clashes between Lincolnshire and Norfolk, Suffolk and Wiltshire and Berkshire and Staffordshire were cancelled.

Norfolk and Wiltshire were also due to be in action yesterday, but their match, together with Devon's game against Bedfordshire fell victim to the weather.