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Berkshire cruise into quarter-finals of the Unicorns Trophy with a seven-wicket victory over Dorset

Chris Peploe.

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Berkshire cruised into the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Trophy with a seven-wicket victory over Dorset at the Oratory School in Woodcote.

After restricting their visitors to 178-6 in 50 overs they won by seven wickets to earn a home date with Cornwall, who knocked out Buckinghamshire at Falkland CC, on Sunday, June 30.

It did not take long for Berkshire to take control of the game with their four-man spin attack of Chris Peploe (2-24), Euan Woods (2-45), Luke Beaven (1-34) and Ali Raja (1-24) making life difficult for the batsmen, who struggled to get the ball away, managing only two boundaries in the first 30 overs.

Dorset were in deep trouble at 84-6 in the 33rd over before Josh Digby (51no) and Max Waller (40no) resuscitated the innings with an unbroken seventh-wicket partnership of 94. Needing just 179 to win, Berkshire openers Andy Rishton and Jack Davis put on 44 in 10 overs before the former was caught at deep mid-wicket for 31. Their Henley team-mate Tom Scriven scored a run-a-ball 36 and Davis departed for 30, making it 108-3 in the 22nd over, all wickets falling to leg-spinner Waller (3-39).

It was left to Richard Morris, with 31, and Dan Lincoln, 38 from 32 balls, to seal victory in the 34th over, the latter finishing the match with a mighty

six- over long-on.

Berkshire skipper James Morris commented: “Looking at the scoreboard it did look easy, but all the boys had to work hard to achieve the result.

“Our spinners bowled exceptionally well, restricting Dorset to what was a below-par total and we then produced some sensible and destructive batting to see us home.

“We played a lot of Twenty20 games early season, so to get straight back to winning ways in this format was very pleasing. We are now looking forward to playing Cornwall.”

Berkshire return to Twenty20 action this coming Sunday with two games against Oxfordshire at Banbury Twenty CC’s Stroud Park ground and cannot afford any slip-ups if they are to overhaul Group 2 leaders Buckinghamshire.

The defending champions have won only two of their four games so far, while Oxon have three victories from six matches.

Berkshire: Jack Davies, Andy Rishton, Tom Scriven, Richard Morris, Euan Woods, Tom Nugent, Ali Raja (all Henley), James Morris, Chris Peploe (both Datchet), Dan Lincoln (Finchampstead), Luke Beaven (Reigate Priory).

W Berkshire Women were left heartbroken after losing their County Championship Division 2 title decider with Middlesex by 20 runs at Mill Hill School, but they still claim the second promotion spot. They did extremely well to bowl out their hosts for 166 with Phoebe Graham taking 3-30 and Lissy MacLeod 3-37.

Berkshire lost Sophie Day and Sherisa Gumbs cheaply, but Emily Cunningham, with 43, and skipper MacLeod, 42, lifted the total from 48-2 to 109 to put their side in a good position.

However, they were the only two batters to offer any real resistance to the home attack and the team slumped to 146 all out, the last six wickets falling in the space of 18 runs.

This coming Sunday, Berkshire meet Cornwall and Dorset in two Twenty20 games at North Maidenhead CC, starting at 10.30am.

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