MINOR COUNTIES Wiltshire beaten in Trophy semi finals

Cumberland will face favourites Berkshire in the Minor Counties Trophy final at Wormsley on August 28 after they enjoyed very different passages through yesterday's semi-finals.

Berkshire progressed to the final with a four wickets win over Wiltshire at Finchampstead.

Spin twins Euan Woods, an off-spinner, and former Middlesex slow left-armer Chris Peploe shared seven wickets and checked Wiltshire’s progress after they won the toss and started well.

Former Somerset batsman/wicketkeeper James Regan made 37 on his Minor Counties debut in an opening partnership of 61 with Jake Goodwin.

Both openers fell in quick succession to Woods and Wiltshire struggled to regain momentum despite 48 from 65 balls from captain Ed Young and a perky 35 from Tahir Afridi.

Wiltshire were dismissed for 199 with five balls of their 50 overs unused and had no need to hurry in pursuit of victory.

A polished half century from teenage opener Archie Carter set them on their way.

Dan Lincoln, back with Berkshire after playing for Middlesex in three Vitality Blast T20 matches, went cheaply but Tom Scriven, an all-rounder on Hampshire’s books, took Berkshire to within touching distance of victory with 52 from 56 balls.

Berkshire - winners in 2004, 2011, 2013 and 2017 - reached their sixth Trophy final with four-and-a-half overs to spare.

Cumberland reached their first final since 2012 by beating Staffordshire 3-0 in a bowl-out at Penrith.

The match was originally due to be played at Carlisle but after several days of heavy rain in the North West that venue was waterlogged and an alternative venue that was playable could not be found.

After Penrith offered their artificial net facilities a bowl-out was organised and only five Staffordshire players were required to make the long trip North.

It proved to be a fruitless journey as former Leicestershire all-rounder Jacques du Toit hit the unguarded stumps with his first two deliveries and Michael Slack followed up with another strike to help Cumberland win in cricket’s equivalent of the penalty shoot-out.

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