Staffs v Shropshire ReportStaffordshire bowed out of the Unicorns Knock-out Trophy when they were beaten by one wicket by visitors Shropshire in an enthralling second round encounter at Himley Cricket Club.
Having set the Shropshire a victory target of 266, Staffs looked in command as they reduced the visitors to 129 for 6. However an unbeaten 107 from Robbie Clarke swung the game back in favour of their opponent as he shared a seventh wicket partnership of 108 with Steve Whitney to put Shropshire in touching distance of victory. Staffs rekindled their hopes by reducing Shropshire to 251 for 9, still requiring 15 for victory, but last man Jack Twigger remained firm as in partnership with Clarke as the visitors reached their target with 13 balls to spare to earn Shropshire a trip to play Norfolk in the quarter finals.
Oswestry skipper Clarke, a late call up to the Shropshire team, took full advantage of a couple of slips in the field by Staffordshire to finish 107 not out in a match winning innings which contained eleven boundaries and six maximums. Opener Stephen Leach contributed 46 towards the Shropshire run chase but Staffs skipper Kadeer Ali was left to rue his teams missed opportunity to remain in the competition stating, “It’s hugely disappointing because the one day format is one we’ve done well in over recent seasons. We’ve got to recover now and look forward to the next round of Twenty/20.”
Leek pair of Mitchell Spencer with 3 for 38 and Dan Richardson 3 for 45 were the pick of the Staffs attack but they were unable to claim the crucial wicket of Clarke who ensured Shropshire’s progress in the competition.
Electing to bat first Staffs made a solid start with Kadeer Ali and Sam Kelsall compiling an opening stand of 53 before Ali was adjudged lbw for 25. Kelsall went on to make 73 before being run out with the score on 144. Two further wickets fell without addition to the total to see Staffs rocking after their promising start. A partnership of 62 between Michael Hill and Dan Richardson steadied the ship for Staffs with Richardson hitting six boundaries in his breezy 39 from just 27 balls. Hill’s 44 enabled Staffs to post a competitive total of 265 for 8 from their 50 overs, but this total was to prove insufficient down to the efforts of Clarke.
Staffs are in Twenty/20 action this coming Sunday when they make the trip to the North East to play Northumberland in two games at Jesmond.
Posted on Wednesday 23rd May 2018, in Latest News