Shropshire suffer Trophy defeat against Cheshire

Shropshire were on the receiving end of two Cheshire centuries as they were well beaten by 127 runs in their third Unicorns Knockout Trophy group game at Oswestry - but victory at Cumberland next weekend will see them qualify for the quarter finals.

Both Rick Moore and Warren Goodwin reached three figures in the Morda Road sunshine as Cheshire racked up an imposing 312-7 from their 50 overs.

Ed Foster and Omar Ali both cracked half centuries in the Shropshire reply but it was not enough to prevent the hosts from being dismissed for 185.

Captain Richard Oliver, fresh from playing twice for Worcestershire Rapids in their opening T20 Blast matches, will now be seeking a positive response from Shropshire ahead of the final group game against Cumberland at Cockermouth on Sunday.

Shropshire opened the group with a home win over Lincolnshire at Shrewsbury before last weekend's match with Northumberland at Newcastle was abandoned without a ball bowled owing to the wet weather in the north east.

"It's still in our own hands and if we win at Cumberland we will qualify," said Brian Foxall, Shropshire's chairman of selectors.

"It wasn't a great day against Cheshire and we were outplayed in all departments. After we took an early wicket, two of their batsmen really took the game away from us and we couldn't contain them.

"We then needed someone to play a spectacular innings to give us any chance so it was a disappointing day all round." 

Cheshire opted to bat first after skipper James Duffy won the toss and they recovered from losing an early wicket, when Shropshire debutant Sam Griffiths removed Will Evans for a duck in his first over, to score freely.

The key to their challenging total was a second-wicket partnership of 161 between Goodwin and Moore.

It was eventually broken when spinner Elliot Green had opener Goodwin caught by Joe Clarke for 106.

But Moore proved unbeatable and ended undefeated on 120 as Cheshire closed on 312-7. Green took 3-78 while former Yorkshire man Gurman Randhawa claimed 2-53.

Shropshire, in reply, needed to start brightly but instead they were soon in trouble at 23-3 with Oliver (17) along with Clarke and Tom Cox, both without scoring, quickly back in the pavilion with Nick Anderson (3-36) striking a trio of telling blows.

It then became 38-4 when Shrewsbury captain Rob Foster fell for just five.

Opener Ed Foster and Whitchurch's Omar Ali attempted to repair the damage by putting on 102 for the fifth wicket before Foster went for 68 off 86 balls, a knock featuring nine fours and a six.

Ali soon followed for 57 from 73 deliveries and Anthony Parker, who made 24, was the only other notable contributor as Shropshire were removed for 185 in the 40th over.

Shropshire have an attractive Twenty20 challenge match against the might of Birmingham Bears, the new name of Warwickshire's T20 Blast team, at Bridgnorth Cricket Club this coming Wednesday, May 21.

The match starts at 5.30pm and admission is just £5.

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