Wiltshire CCC 1st XI enjoy memorable day at the Cheltenham Cricket Festival

The iconic Cheltenham College played host to Wiltshire's NCCA Showcase game against Gloucestershire Cricket on Sunday 31st July, as Wiltshire Cricket formed part of the 2022 Visit Cayman Islands Cheltenham Festival.

The Showcase Games are an initiative launched by the ECB and NCCA that see every National County compete against a First Class team across a given weekend. The fixtures are a fantastic opportunity for the National Counties to test themselves against the best players in the country and to showcase the huge pool of talent within the National Counties, as well as the hundreds of people that put such huge amounts of effort into recreational cricket across the UK.

As well as the Cricket that took place during the day, Wiltshire Cricket joined forces with the Gloucestershire Cricket Foundation to host a number of our Lord's Taverners Super 1s participants, who formed a guard of honour at the start of the match and completed a lap of honour during the match interval.

We also used the opportunity to say a big thank you to the many talent pathway sponsors that we are so fortunate to work with and to say thank you to the clubs who have hosted the Wiltshire 1st XI during the 2022 season. Our thanks go to Gloucestershire Cricket who very hospitably catered for us in one the marquees within the ground.

Finally, we were delighted that Wiltshire coach, Alex Duffell, was able to form part of the commentary team for the day, as the entire match was streamed live via the Gloucestershire Cricket Youtube channel.

In terms of the Cricket, Gloucestershire won the toss and elected to bat in what formed a very valuable warm up match for their Royal London 50 campaign that starts this week. 

On a great pitch, Gloucestershire's innings was dominated by two fantastic hundreds from Ben Wells (124 from 107 balls) and James Bracey (125 not out

from 65 balls). This helped to take Gloucestershire to a total of 367-5 from 45.2 overs before a short rain break resulted in the innings being cut short and a DLS target calculated for the second innings. Despite the large total, Wiltshire can be proud of the fact that they remained disciplined with their bowling throughout; bowling only one wide and two no balls throughout the 45 overs. There was also a flurry of wickets before the rain interruption as Joe King led the way for Wiltshire, finishing with figures of 4-66 from his 9 overs.

The revised target was calculated at 390 from 45 overs. Wiltshire's innings got off to a steady start as Ollie Meadows (48) and Jack Mynott (24) put on 53 for the first wicket. Unfortunately though, regular wickets then fell throughout the innings but there was another highlight from debutant Toby Kershaw who scored an impressive 27 having been selected for the side on the back of a fantastic season so far in Wiltshire's pathway teams and for his club side, Goatacre.

In the end, Wiltshire's innings finished on 171 all out as Tom Smith led the way with 3-22 for Gloucestershire. However, it was a wonderful experience for Wiltshire Cricket and our thanks go to Gloucestershire Cricket for their hospitality and to the NCCA for driving the Showcase initiative.

Gloucestershire beat Wiltshire by 218 runs