Shropshire narrowly denied
Shropshire fell just short of pulling off a remarkable win as they had to settle for a draw in a thrilling game against Herefordshire at Bridgnorth.
Set 370 to win from a minimum of 67 overs, Shropshire put themselves in with a chance of victory after a quickfire century from captain Ed Foster.
But despite smashing seventeen runs off the final over, Shropshire ended up six runs shy of victory as Herefordshire hung on for the draw.
The match started with Herefordshire making the most of winning the toss and batting first as Dave Exall and Ben Stebbings made an first-wicket stand of 166, a record opening partnership against Shropshire.
However, the only other batsman to make a real contribution was captain Chris Boroughs, hitting 68 in the middle order.
Shropshire’s bowling performance was dominated by Rob Foster whose figures of 7-105 saw Herefordshire fall from 266 for four to 319 all out.
Shropshire made a quick start to their reply, reaching 186 for three at the end of the first day. The runs came at a rate of four-and-a-half an over, with Jon Whitney on 74 and James Ralph on 50 overnight.
Whitney failed to add to his score on day two while Ralph was caught and bowled by Boroughs just three shy of his century. Rob Foster continued his impressive performance hitting 83 as Shropshire claimed a first innings lead of 77.
Exall and Stebbings gave Herefordshire another good platform before the former fell in the 24th over to bring wicketkeeper Steve Adshead to the crease. The 30-year-old hit 152 at nearly a run-a-ball as he and Stebbings, making his second half-century of the match, guided their side to 167 for two.
Boroughs also continued his good form on day three with another half-century of his own as Herefordshire declared on 446 for six.
Needing 370 to win, Shropshire raced to 34 off 19 balls before Whitney was bowled by youngster Callum Stewart for 16. Ed Foster put his side in a winning position with his 100, while brother Rob took them closer to victory along with a 55 from Richard Oliver.
Only some tight bowling by Bradley Wadlan held Shropshire back in their run chase as he finished with 2-74 off 21 overs.
But despite debutant Martin Delaney clubbing 23 off 16 balls, Shropshire finished on 364 for seven at close of play, six short of their target. Rob Foster finished on 81 not out to cap a man-of-the-match display, but ultimately it wasn’t quite enough to give his side victory.