WILTSHIRE kept their hopes of qualifying for Unicorns T20 Finals Day alive with a four-wicket win over Wales on Sunday before their scheduled second game of the day was declared a washout, writes JONATHAN LEIGHFIELD.

After being sent out to field first, Tom Morton’s side were staring down the barrel of an immensely difficult chase with Wales at 140 without loss in the 10th over and opening batsman Tom Bevan operating on a strike rate of nearly 300.

But once Bevan had fallen for 89 off just 35 balls, his partner Joseph Voke followed him back to the pavilion one ball later, leading to a significant turn in momentum.

Only 36 more runs were scored in the remaining overs as Wiltshire bowled Wales out for 177 in 19.5 overs – Ed Young, Tom Grant and Joseph King claiming three wickets each.

Coach Morton tipped his cap to Wales’ opening batsmen for a superb innings, and felt his wicket was the key point in the tide turning back towards Wiltshire.

He said: “It was a very good innings, and Tom Bevan was a pretty destructive player.

“It felt like wherever we bowled, he had an answer to it.

“But once we’d got him out, two balls later, we got the other set batter out.

“With them having made batting look so easy, everyone else came in expecting to score at 10 an over and they weren’t able to.

“We cashed in while taking some good catches and building some pressure.”

In response, Jacob Lintott anchored the Wiltshire innings with a superb 75 off 44 balls, and once the opener had departed at 149-4, his fellow batsmen ably struck the winning runs with nine balls remaining.

In the second scheduled game of the day, Wiltshire had their opponents at 61-8 in the 13th over before the rain arrived and saved Wales from a likely heavy defeat.

But despite the disappointment of being unable to heap pressure on group leaders Dorset with another win, Morton opted to see the bright side of a glum day, weather-wise.

He said: “The initial response was that we were a little bit disappointed given that we were in such a good position in the second game, but on reflection, it was a positive days cricket for us, just because we played so well.

“It was frustrating that we didn’t finish the job off in the second game, having been in such a good position, but after nine overs of the first game when they were 138-0 and going at close to 15 an over, to bowl them out for 177 was a great effort.

“Overall, it was fairly positive.”

Morton’s side must now beat Dorset twice this weekend and overtake their superior run-rate to turn last year’s nightmare in the short form into a distant memory.

But the captain is not looking past the first match of the double-header, saying his side must simply look to win before turning their attention to the finer details.

He said: “If we beat Dorset twice on Sunday then there’s a good chance that we’ll progress, but it comes down to run-rate.

“We would be level on points, but if we do beat them twice then that would mean they’ve lost two games and we’ve only lost one.

“It’s not really worth thinking about until we see the result of the first game.

“We do need to beat them twice regardless, so it does make last weekend’s result even more frustrating, but actually, we would have had to have beaten Dorset twice anyway.”