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CRICKET: County ready for semi test
4:00pm Friday 29th June 2012 in Sport
WILTSHIRE team boss Neil Shardlow is urging his side to savour their MCCA Knockout Trophy semi-final clash with Staffordshire this weekend.
The county side are bidding to reach the final when they travel to Lee on Sunday, just a short while after playing out their second draw of the MCCA Championship season earlier this week against Berkshire.
Shardlow admits that this weekend’s clash is a major test for Wiltshire but has backed his side to give it their all.
“I’m sure that the boys are a little bit nervous because it probably is the biggest game most of them will have played in their careers so far,” he said.
“We just need to try and concentrate on playing our own game, though.
“We’ve had some big games in the past, like against Lincolnshire in the semi-finals a few years ago, and against Cornwall and Northumberland, but we should be looking forward to this one.
“We managed to pick up a few batting and bowling points against Berkshire and it was still a very positive game for us.
“We managed to get ourselves into a position where Berkshire had an incentive to go for it in their second innings and we were doing well so it was a shame that the rain stopped there being a result.”
Wiltshire secured a draw in their Championship Western Division clash at Corsham despite some late fireworks from the visitors’ Matt Jones.
Jones was unbeaten on 107, which included five sixes and 11 fours, as his side tried to chase down 370 following the home side’s second innings declaration before lunch on day three yesterday.
Rain hampered Berkshire’s chances and the sides agreed a draw in fading light with the visitors on 196-3.
Jones and skipper Bjorn Mordt had put on 122 for the second wicket before Mordt was bowled for 57.
Wiltshire had posted 234, featuring a century from skipper Joe Breet, in the first innings, to which Berkshire replied with 190, Shelvin Gumbs scoring 45.
Breet continued his good form in the second innings, hitting 85 in his side’s 325-8 declared.
Henry Langford (39no) and Tahir Afridi (44no) hammered 72 for the ninth wicket in the final eight overs of the innings, Afridi blasting former England spinner Shaun Udal for four sixes off one over.