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Stead stands tall for Staffordshire

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Alex Stead returned to haunt former county Cumberland with a splendid all-round display as Staffordshire continued their impressive start to the MCCA Trophy campaign.

Staffordshire followed up their opening Group One victory over Northumberland with another comprehensive success, winning by 114 runs at Leek after bowling Cumberland out for a meagre 147.

Stead’s unbeaten 104 off as many balls was the cornerstone of Staffordshire’s 261 for seven, and came on the back of his half-century against Northumberland.

Former Durham batsman Gary Pratt - most famous for his run-out of Ricky Ponting in the 2005 Ashes - made 41, but Cumberland’s reply never got going.

They lost their last six wickets for just 31 runs as they subsided with almost eight overs unused. Dave Edwards and Greg Willott claimed three wickets apiece, and Gareth Morris and Stead two each.

Staffordshire captain Paul Goodwin said: “It was another very good all-round performance. I asked the lads for another performance as at Northumberland and they delivered.

“Alex was tremendous. It was a high-quality innings and set us up brilliantly. The bowlers then followed it up well. It is now set up well for Cheshire next week.”

Staffordshire meet Cheshire, who were crushed by 219 runs by Northumberland at the weekend, at Grappenhall CC on Sunday.