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CRICKET: Shardlow's delight as county reach final
6:00pm Friday 20th July 2012 in Wiltshire Sport
WILTSHIRE team manager Neil Shardlow says that the county side have transcended all expectations after they sensationally reached the final of the Minor Counties Cricket Association Knockout Trophy last Sunday.
After posting 280-6 against Staffordshire, Wiltshire withstood a spirited fightback from their hosts in Leek before dramatically clinching victory with the penultimate ball, with the hosts only needing three more runs to win.
Wiltshire, who have lost their two previous trophy finals to Norfolk and Staffordshire, will now take on Cumberland at the prestigious Wormsley Cricket ground in Buckinghamshire on August 29 and Shardlow admits that victory looked very unlikely at one stage.
“We had them at a stage where they were 72-5 and we’d gotten rid of their best batsman – I turned to Dale Bowler (coach) and said that it was game over,” he said.
“But then after they had a guy come in and hit 100 and another one get 66, and they needed 22 from 30 balls to win, it really looked a different story.
“The team have surpassed all expectations and from the messages I’ve seen from the lads this week, they’re all still pinching themselves about getting to the final of the Trophy – they can’t believe it.
“It’s an absolutely tremendous achievement and they deserve every accolade.”