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Berkshire CCC domainate Wales in 220-run victory

Michael Williams and Archie Carter.

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Berkshire made it two Championship wins out of two by crushing Wales by 220 runs at Falkland CC in Newbury this week.

Only nine runs separated the sides in the first innings - Berkshire 209, Wales 200 - but it was a completely different story the second time around with the defending champions posting 345-5dec before shooting out their visitors for just 114.

Left-arm spinner Chris Peploe took 7-14 to finish with remarkable match figures of 13-80, the best haul of his career.

Batting honours went to 18-year-old Archie Carter who recorded scores of 44 and 126. In both innings the Wokingham batsman was partnered at the top of the order by debutant Michael Williams, also 18, making them the youngest opening pair in Berkshire's history. Williams failed to get off the mark on his first visit to the crease, but made an excellent 57 on the second day, helping to put on 97 for the first wicket and lay the foundation of their side's big total.

Williams, who last Saturday played for Henley 2nds, has just left The Oratory School, where Peploe is on the coaching staff.

Michael's Henley club colleague, Richard Morris, had top-scored for Berkshire on the opening day with 64, but generally, it was a below-par batting performance from the hosts.

Wales looked set to take a first-innings lead when reaching 148-3, but Peploe (6-66) triggered off a batting collapse and Berkshire were left with a nine-run advantage which they quickly built on in the second innings.

In addition to Carter and Williams, skipper James Morris contributed 86 and Euan Woods 43.

Wales were set an improbable 355 to win in approximately 98 overs and made a promising start with 45 runs in the opening six overs. However, Peploe, in particular, and Woods (2-29) started to make inroads in devastating fashion, sending them crashing from 90-4 to 90-8, with four wickets falling in seven balls.

The ninth wicket went down at 100 before 34 runs came for the last wicket with Majied IIyas remaining unbeaten on 29  when the innings ended in the 50th over.

Having won all six Western Division fixtures last season, the title-holders stay top of the table with 45 points, 11 more than Wiltshire in second place. Their next game is against Cheshire at Finchampstead CC on July 21-23.

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