Wiltshire CCC Men start NCCA 50 Over Trophy with victory over Hertfordshire

NCCA Trophy @ Marlborough College

12th May 2024

Wiltshire CCC v Hertfordshire CCC

Saturday’s fine weather overlapped into Sunday and held firm despite the threat of a possible thunderstorm. Wiltshire and their faithful followers were keen to put the disappointment of their T20 campaign behind them. What followed was an example of all that is good about the game. It was keenly contested from start to finish with the spectators on the edge of their seats. Any number of players from either side faced up to the challenge and provided superb examples of batting, bowling and fielding as the game took many twists and turns of fortune throughout the day.

Hertfordshire won the toss and had no hesitation in batting first. Will Naish surprised them with a wicket in his very first over bowling the unfortunate James Latham who left a straight delivery, It wasn’t until the 17th over that Joe King took centre stage and bowled opener Dominic Chatfield who had just celebrated his 50 – Hertfordshire 93 for 2. Hertfordshire continued in the ascendancy taking the score on to 150 for 2 until Wiltshire skipper Ed Young dismissed the second Hertfordshire player to score 50 when David Burnell was splendidly caught on the boundary by Jack Mynott. At this stage a score of 300 or more looked very much a possibility. Enter a new hero – Archie Fairfax-Ross first bowled Archie Harrison for 8 and then tempted Hertfordshire’s third player to make a half century when he had Callum Taylor stumped by Ben Draper for 53. Joe King then took a second wicket as James Southgate was caught by Jake Goodwin as the score moved on to 224 for 6 in the 39th over. Will Naish then re-entered the fray and took three more wickets to finish with 4 for 56 and Hertfordshire 241 for 9 with 5 overs remaining. The unbroken 10th wicket pair of Benjamin Cowell 22 not out and Chinmay Mullapudi 16 not out frustrated Wiltshire as they moved the score on to a challenging 279 for 9 from their 50 overs.

So what could Wiltshire do in response? Openers Jack Mynott 24 and Dylan Church 80 pushed the score on at some pace until Jack was finally caught in the eighth over and the score on 52 for 1. After 18 overs the score had moved on to 102 for 3 with experienced batters Jake Goodwin and Ed Young dismissed cheaply, This brought Potterne CC and Durham University youngster Josh Kelly to the crease alongside the prolific Dylan Church. They stayed together and moved the score on to 184 for 4 in the 35th over – 15 overs remaining and 96 still required.  The asking rate crept upwards as wickets fell despite Wadworth Man of the Match Josh Kelly hitting a fine 83 from 80 balls ( with 5 x 4 and 4 x 6). The task of finishing the game fell to batters 8 and 9, Archie Fairfax-Ross and Will Naish.  If anyone had any worries they were soon dismissed by these two who are both capable of batting much higher in the order. Will  hit 20 not out from 20 balls and Archie hit 19 not out from just 11 balls including a 6 from the second delivery he faced and a 6 to seal the Wiltshire victory.

The Wadworth Man of the Match decision was far from easy as Dylan Church had also patrolled the  boundary saving countless 4s with his energetic fielding and Will Naish was the pick of the bowlers with his 4 wickets as well as his run a ball 20 at the close. However the accolade eventually went to young Josh Kelly and was thoroughly deserved.  This really was an excellent team performance with everyone playing a part and celebrating one another’s successes.  A hard fought victory and a game showing much potential – bring on the next opponents! It must be said that Marlborough College were excellent hosts and their facilities much appreciated by both teams – we will be back!

Wiltshire beat Hertfordshire by 3 wickets