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Rain the only winner as Shropshire’s NCCA Showcase clash against Worcestershire is abandoned at halfway stage


Rain was ultimately the only winner as Shropshire’s much-anticipated NCCA Showcase match against first-class neighbours Worcestershire had to be abandoned at the halfway stage.

Shropshire had completed their innings and, having elected to bat, had been bowled out for 124 in the 41st over, but rain, which had been threatening to arrive all day, then curtailed hopes of any further play.

Despite the disappointing weather, the day, which was extremely well hosted by Shrewsbury Cricket Club, was still enjoyed by many former Shropshire cricketers, including a number of players from the club’s 1973 Minor Counties Championship winning side.

Shropshire chairman John Hulme said: “Shrewsbury staged the day very well and the ground was in wonderful condition, so thanks to them and everyone who came along. It was just a shame the match was ultimately spoilt by the rain.

“It was really threatening to rain from the first ball being bowled and rain had been forecast ahead of the day.

“It was nice to have Worcestershire visit and there was an encouraging crowd at London Road early on, but then the weather got worse before the match had to be abandoned.

“There was a good attendance of former players to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Shropshire’s Minor Counties Championship success.

“It was lovely to have some players from the 1973 side – Peter Bradley, Robert Burton, Steve Johnson, Dave York – with us, along with a number of other former Shropshire players and county captains, so it was a very enjoyable day in that respect.”

Chance to impress

Shropshire lost early wickets and were quickly reduced to 23-4.

Westbury, a former Worcestershire player batting at four, was in good touch as he top scored with 56 from 94 balls, which included six fours.

Wicketkeeper Ben Lees was the next highest scorer for the home side with 23.

Worcestershire Academy prospect Harry Darley, playing at his home club ground, made the most of his chance to impress against his home county by taking 3-17 from 6.5 overs.

It was a continuation of the fine form for the former Oswestry seamer which has seen him consistently among the wickets for both Shrewsbury in the Birmingham League and Worcestershire’s second team this season.

Ben Gibbon also impressed with the ball for the Pears by claiming 3-20 from eight lively overs, while Josh Baker bowled 10 tight overs for 1-22.

Six of the players on the Worcestershire team sheet at London Road – captain Jake Libby, Rob Jones, Kashif Ali, Ben Cox, Baker and Gibbon – played for the New Road club in their opening match in this season’s One Day Cup at Durham two days later, a match the Pears won by 42 runs.

Pictured: Preparations at London Road ahead of the NCCA Showcase match between Shropshire and Worcestershire.