Wiltshire CCC Men fall to defeat in Marlborough Cup

Wiltshire CCC – Marlborough Cup v Berkshire CCC

T20 x 2

Venue: Leighton Sports Ground, Westbury

Date: Sunday 21st April 2024

Game 1

Wiltshire CCC opened their season with the annual Marlborough Cup contest with Berkshire. Westbury had prepared a fine looking pitch for the encounter.  Although the sun was shining there was a bitterly cold wind.

Berkshire won the toss and elected to field first in the opening game. Each of the batsmen made a start, but the strike rate was restricted for the first three batters and it was looking bleak for Wiltshire until skipper Ed Young started a comeback with 38 not out from 32 balls. Ben Draper pushed on with 20 from 19, but it was Jake Lintott who really accelerated and hit 43 not out from just 18 balls to enable Wiltshire to finish with a respectable 155 for 4. Sturgess 2 for 23 and Lahkani 2  for 16 took the wickets.

The Berkshire reply was relentless with wicket-keeper captain Dan Lincoln in exceptionally fine form hitting a belligerent 99 from just 52 balls.  His opening partner Johnny Connell was run out to a superb piece of fielding from bowler Will Naish who raced down the wicket, picked up, turned and threw down the stumps at the bowler’s end. The only other bowler to achieve any success was Keron Bennett-Thomas who bowled Dan Lincoln when he was agonisingly short of his century!

Wiltshire lost to Berkshire by 8 wickets

Game 2

Berkshire came out to bat again straight after lunch with Dan Lincoln 63 from just 29 balls continuing his onslaught.  His opening partner Johnny Connell hit 54 from 23 in a partnership of 124 with his skipper.  Berkshire were on 80 for 0 after just 4 overs and things were looking bleak for Wiltshire, but they enjoyed a brilliant fightback when Ed Young had a remarkable maiden over taking 3 wickets in 4 balls. Bennett-Thomas, Godsal, Johnson, Lintott and Cheater took a wicket each as Wiltshire recovered to bowl Berkshire out for 177 with 5 balls to spare.  There were catches for Feltham, Lintott, Naish, Bennett-Thomas and Draper with Tom Cheater showing safe hands with 3 catches.

The Wiltshire reply never quite gained enough momentum with opener Jake Goodwin 35 from 37 and Archie Fairfax-Ross 36 from 28 being the most successful.  Alfie Johnson showed some spirit coming in at number 11 when all looked lost.  He hit a defiant 14 from just 7 balls including two big sixes. Tommy Sturgess did most damage with a splendid 5 for 26. This was backed up by Sully Akhtar with 3 for 21 and Josh Lincoln with 2 for 32 as Wiltshire were eventually bowled out for 155.

A good day’s cricket with the winter’s cobwebs blown away.  Plenty of encouraging signs to build upon.

Wiltshire lost to Berkshire by 26 runs