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Shropshire end T20 campaign on a positive note with victory over Northumberland


Shropshire’s National Counties Cricket Association T20 campaign ended on a positive note with victory in their final group match at Northumberland.

The county’s Group One fixtures were severely affected by the wet early season weather.

Only three of Shropshire’s eight scheduled T20 games were completed, with one of those a match reduced to 10 overs per side at Staffordshire.

But the weather was much kinder in the north east on Sunday as Shropshire, having lost the day’s opening match, responded well to win the second game at South Northumberland Cricket Club by 13 runs.

“It was a really enjoyable day,” said Shropshire captain Charlie Home. “It’s always nice to get the first win under your belt.

“We played 80 overs of cricket in the day, leading up to the longer formats, which I think will hopefully suit us better.

“A lot of people got some overs in their shoulders by getting to bowl and a few of the batters got to spend some time in the middle.

“Everyone left the ground feeling very positive about things. We competed well in both games and it was nice to finish the T20 competition with a win.”

Tom Fell, the former Worcestershire batter, led the way by making 47 as Shropshire totalled 119-9 from their 20 overs in the second match, with Sean Tindale (3-27), Oliver Gibson (3-29) and Jude Roberts (2-10) among the wickets for the hosts.

Shropshire’s bowlers then kept it tight with the ball as Northumberland, despite 33 from Haydon Mustard, ended short of their target on 106-9.

Andy Sutton took 3-13, Shrewsbury left-arm spinner Peter Clark, who came into the side for the second game, claimed 2-14, and Sam Ellis took 2-29.

Shropshire also opted to bat first in the day’s opening match, which resulted in a seven-wicket victory for Northumberland.

Opener Theo Wylie, 17, top scored with 36 from 16 balls, which included three sixes and three fours, on his Shropshire debut, while Andre Bradford (26) and Jack Home (21) also kept the scoreboard ticking over.

Gibson (4-37) and Oliver McGee (2-19) were the pick of the home attack.

Northumberland then chased well to progress to 154-3 with nine balls to spare. Home captain Stuart Poynter, the former Durham and Ireland wicketkeeper, struck four sixes in his unbeaten 51, with Mustard (46no) and John Oswell (34) also playing their part.

Reflecting on the day’s two matches, skipper Home added: “Both games were positive. We got 151 in the first game with Theo Wylie having a very good debut.

“Theo’s at Shrewsbury School, he’s only 17, plays for Shifnal and some of the ball striking he showed was pretty spectacular. Most people chipped in after that to get us up to just over 150, which was probably a reasonable score.

“We were on top of the game until Stuart Poynter went through the gears and paced the innings really well for Northumberland.

“We came away from the game thinking that we had definitely competed and played well.

“In the second game the pitch got a bit slower and lower. We got up to 119 with Tom Fell showing his class to make 47.

“To see Tom batting like that was really encouraging and he’s a fantastic cricketer.

“It was nice for him to spend some time in the middle before the 50-over competition starts. His innings was probably the difference between the two sides in the end.

“We thought our total might be a bit light, but our bowlers bowled really well.

“Andy Sutton took three wickets for not very many. He bowled his four overs at the start from one end and that obviously put a lot of pressure on Northumberland.

“He bowled brilliantly and he was well backed up by all of our other bowlers, with Pete Clark coming in and bowling well after being given his opportunity.”

Shropshire finished fourth, above Cumbria, with seven points in Group One, ending a point behind third-placed Northumberland.

Staffordshire, the group winners with 10 points, progress to finals day later this month, after finishing a point above runners-up Cheshire.

Shropshire will return to action when they begin their NCCA Trophy campaign against Suffolk at Sudbury Cricket Club on Sunday, May 28.

Pictured: Tom Fell top scored for Shropshire with 47 as the county ended their NCCA T20 campaign with victory by 13 runs against Northumberland.