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CRICKET: County eyeing up semi place
WILTSHIRE skipper Joe Breet is quietly confident his side can continue their low-key assault on the Minor Counties Knockout Trophy by claiming a place in the last four this weekend.
Breet’s men host Devon in the quarter finals of the national competition at Corsham on Sunday (11am) with an away semi-final to Staffordshire or Suffolk on July 1 up for grabs.
The home side’s eight-wicket victory over Lincolnshire in their final group match last month was enough to send them into the knockout stages as group winners, with their other three matches all called off because of the weather.
But Breet is unconcerned by the manner of their progress and insists the team’s form so far this season gives grounds for optimism.
“A lot of sides have underestimated us because we don’t have a lot of experienced first-class players in our squad,’’ said the county captain.
“It’s played to our advantage a little bit because people don’t know a lot about us.
“With the continuity we have got from keeping a lot of the same players from last year, plus a few additions, the core of a good side is there.
“A lot of guys have come on this season and we’re a happy dressing room.’’ Batsman Jayden Levitt returns to the 13-man squad for the quarter final after missing the Championship draw at Dorset last week.
And Breet believes a substantial knock from the likes of Levitt or Goatacre’s Ed Kilbee could prove decisive.
“If somebody plays well like Jayden or Ed, or bowls well, it can take the game away from the opposition,’’ he said.
“Last year we didn’t make the knockout stages because we didn’t play consistent enough cricket.
“But a lot of work went in over the winter and that’s a tribute to our management and coach (Dale Bowler).
“A lot of the guys have gone away and worked hard.