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Staffordshire finish on a high

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Staffordshire ended a disappointing MCCA Knockout Trophy campaign on a high note by recording a comprehensive seven-wicket victory over Northumberland at Leek in their final group game.

Unicorns batsman James Campbell thumped 57 off 33 balls on his Staffordshire debut to ease the hosts to a target of 178 with more than 20 overs to spare.

Will Purser had earlier taken 4-25 from 8.5 overs as Northumberland were dismissed in the 47th over, with Dan Young’s 48 the most significant contribution.

Campbell struck two sixes and seven fours in his stylish knock and shared an opening partnership of 72 with Aaron Jeavons.

Playing the anchor role, Jeavons made a solid 36 before becoming the second wicket to fall on 130.

Atiq Chishti also cleared the ropes and struck three boundaries in his cameo innings of 22 before being stumped, as Staffs looked to push on to victory as the rain began to fall.

Another Staffs debutant Nav Poonia opened his run account for the county with a delightful cover boundary before ending the day unbeaten on 34 while Jimmy Dawson struck the winning boundary as Staffs romped home in just 28.1 overs.

Northumberland had earlier slumped to 24 for two, but a third-wicket stand of 69 between Young - also on debut - and Jonathan Craigs, who struck 37, steadied the ship.

However, the innings gradually subsided following the duo’s departure and Staffs wasted little time in overhauling a modest total.

Captain Paul Goodwin said: "It was just what we wanted. We needed a good performance to set us up for next week (when they begin their championship programme) and all credit to the lads - they did exactly what we asked of them.

"This will give us confidence. We haven't played really bad cricket in our other games but it is nice to get a win under our belt.”