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Shropshire keen to maintain momentum ahead of Twenty20 home date against Buckinghamshire


Shropshire, the Unicorns Trophy semi-finalists, are keen to maintain momentum when they wrap up their group matches in the Unicorns Twenty20 competition by playing Buckinghamshire twice at Whitchurch on Sunday.

Having both scheduled T20 matches against Herefordshire at Colwall last month abandoned owing to rain means Shropshire are no longer able to qualify from their five-team group for finals day at Wormsley later in the season.

That’s frustrating for Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors, and the players, but they are now determined to end their T20 campaign on a positive note.

“We’ll be going out to win,” said Jones. “The fact that it’s a dead rubber doesn’t make any difference. It’s all about winning as many cricket matches as we can and that’s what we’ll aim to do.

“It’s disappointing that we can no longer get through given we’re playing well in white ball cricket and just didn’t have the opportunity to play at Herefordshire.

“Other teams have been a bit fortunate to have played when we haven’t, but there’s nothing we can do about it as that’s the nature of the game.”

Shropshire, three-wicket winners at Norfolk in the quarter finals of the 50-over Unicorns Trophy last Sunday, opened their T20 campaign, a new competition launched this season, with two defeats at Berkshire.

They then beat Oxfordshire twice at Shrewsbury 24 hours later, but last month’s abandonment at Herefordshire ended their hopes of further progress in the shorter format.

“We’ve been able to play some young players in this competition already, which has worked out well, so that’s been the big advantage of it,” said Jones.

“This a good opportunity for us to continue our momentum in one-day cricket and there’s no reason why we can’t do well against Bucks.

“It’s a different format and it will be a different team from last weekend against Norfolk, but spirit is good in the camp and everybody’s looking forward to Sunday.”

Shropshire have already enjoyed victory at Whitchurch’s Heath Road ground this season, beating Herefordshire in the first round of the Unicorns Trophy in an exciting game in April.

“We enjoy going there,” added Jones. “Whitchurch look after us very well. The wicket is generally good, so if we’re lucky with the weather then it will be a good entertaining day out for people.”

The first of Sunday’s two T20 matches at Whitchurch starts at 11.30am, with a second match to follow in the afternoon. Admission is free for spectators, with a £2 charge for car parking at the ground.

Pictured: Whitchurch’s Heath Road ground hosts Shropshire’s final Twenty20 group matches of the season against Buckinghamshire on Sunday.