Northumberland v Staffs ReportStaffordshire’s second round of games in the Unicorns T20 competition followed the same pattern as in their first encounters with Cheshire, as Staffs won the first game against Northumberland before succumbing to their opponents in the second match.
Batting first in the opening match a partnership of 62 for the second wicket between Peter Wilshaw and Tim Maxfield put Staffs into a strong position. Wilshaw struck 60 from 31 balls including three maximums and Maxfield also cleared the ropes three times in his 43. A quick fire late order 25 from debutant Rob Hemmings enabled Staffs to post a challenging total of 189-8 from their 20 overs on the compact Jesmond ground.
Northumberland’s hopes of chasing down this target were quickly in tatters as they slumped to 16 for 3 as Elworth’s Adnan Ghaus, the second debutant, made a dream start to, his Staffs career with all three wickets. Ghaus went on to finish with 4/19 and two wickets for Hemmings and one each for Aniz Raza, Dan Gibbs and Kadeer Ali ensured Northumberland were bowled out for 167 in the final over despite a late flurry from Tom Cant who finished unbeaten on 38.
The second game was a total reverse as the Northumberland opening pair of Alasdair Appleby and Phil Mustard put the Staffs attack to the sword with a partnership of 147 for the first wicket. Mustard struck 65 from just 37 balls while Appleby hit eight boundaries and four sixes in his 49 ball 83. Usman Arshad added an unbeaten 37 to enable Northumberland reach 211-2 from their 20 overs with Dan Richardson and Kadeer Ali the only Staffs bowlers to take a wicket.
Staffs suffered a major blow with the loss of Wilshaw without scoring as they began their daunting run chase and, despite useful contributions from Kadeer Ali 38, Rob Hemmings 28, Michael Hill 20 and Dan Richardson 23, a steady fall of wickets meant Staffs were always behind the required run rate and they tumbled to 161 all out in 18.4 overs, Spinner Oliver McGee finished with figures of 3 for 36 for the home side with two wickets each for Usman Arshad, Tom Cant and Michael Allen.
With all five counties in Group 1 of the competition now having played 4 games it is still all to play for with Cheshire on top with 6 points followed by Cumberland, Northumberland and Staffs on 4 points with two wins and two defeats from their four matches to leave Lincolnshire at the foot of the table with 2 points.
Staffs are next in action this coming Sunday 3rd June when they host Lincolnshire at Rolleston Cricket Club in the east of the county with the games scheduled for an 11am and 2.30pm start with admission free.
Posted on Tuesday 29th May 2018, in Latest News