Captain left frustrated after clocking up air miles

Shropshire captain Richard Oliver clocked up the air miles only to be left frustrated after the county's second group game in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy was washed out without a ball bowled.

Oliver hit a brilliant 148 from just 82 balls in the opening group game a week earlier as Shropshire beat Lincolnshire at Shrewsbury.

He had been hoping that Shropshire could build on that four-wicket victory when they came up against Northumberland at Newcastle, but a wet day in the north east meant the miserable weather was the only winner.

Oliver now plays his club cricket for Reigate Priory in the Surrey Premier League and found himself flying to a game for the first time in his career after helping them beat Leatherhead on Saturday, a match in which he struck 53 and took two wickets.

He said: "I left the game early and got a lift round the M25 to Heathrow to catch a flight to Newcastle. It was actually delayed for 90 minutes on Saturday night but I still managed to get to bed in the team hotel for midnight.

"I then flew back on Sunday night, leaving Newcastle at 9pm, so it was a new experience for me, but it made sense with all the travelling involved and it beat driving all the way there and back."  

Oliver now hopes Shropshire will have better luck with the elements ahead of Sunday's clash with Cheshire at Oswestry (11am).

"We gave it every chance but you can't beat the weather," he said. "We had been confident and I'm sure Northumberland were as well as they had a pretty good side out, but we'll just move on now and look forward to the Cheshire game."

The washout was particularly frustrating for young Shrewsbury paceman Sam Griffiths who had been looking forward to making his county debut after his first call up.

"It would have been disappointing for Sam, but I'm sure he will get his chance and when he does he'll take it," added the captain.

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