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Shropshire pull up short with the bat as they are beaten at Cheshire


Shropshire suffered a second defeat in the Unicorns Knockout Trophy as they were beaten by 46 runs by Cheshire at Oxton.

Having dismissed Cheshire for 214, Shropshire recovered from a poor start with the bat, which saw them struggling on 81-6, to put themselves back in contention thanks to a useful partnership of 78 between David Wainwright and Omar Ali.

But Cheshire leg spinner Jack Williams then removed Ali with the score on 159 and the visitors pulled up short of their target, dismissed for 168, with Wainwright left stranded, unbeaten on 49.

Shropshire’s director of cricket Karl Krikken, whose side were beaten by Staffordshire in their opening group game at Shrewsbury a week earlier, said: “We were obviously disappointed again. It’s a hard one to take really as we bowled and fielded very well again. At times they got away from us, so to get them out for 214 was a good total for us.

“We should have got the runs we needed really. It’s just disappointing. We’re not showing application in our batting. A couple of the overs up the top we were scoring eight runs in the over, yet still lost a wicket, caught, not from a good ball, but trying to hit out.”

Cheshire, asked to bat first, lost their way from 202-5 to be bowled out for 214 in the 47th over as Shropshire off-spinners Jack McIver and Charlie Home claimed seven wickets between them.

Rick Moore, at No 3, led the way with 59 before being trapped lbw by Home, who also removed home skipper Lee Dixon, caught behind by Ryan Lockley for 36.

Opener Will Evans, who made 38, was the other main contributor for Cheshire, with McIver taking 4-37 from his 10 overs while his Shifnal team mate Home helped himself to 3-28 from nine.

Shrewsbury all-rounder Dillon Pennington, another of Shropshire’s promising youngsters, also played his part with the ball by picking up three of the final four wickets to fall on his way to figures of 3-29.

Shropshire, in reply, quickly lost England under-19 opener Ollie Westbury in just the second over, an early blow given how well he had played in hitting a half century against Staffordshire a week earlier.

Home (28) and skipper Steve Leach (23) attempted to steady the ship, but their departures prompted a flurry of wickets to leave the visitors 81-6.

Shropshire needed a partnership to rekindle their hopes and Wainwright and Ali obliged by putting on 78 for the seventh wicket before Ali was bowled by Williams (3-32) for 44 to reduce the county to 159-7.

It proved the key breakthrough for Cheshire as Lockley, Pennington and last man Alex Wyatt all quickly came and went to leave Wainwright stranded on 49 not out, from 61 balls, and Shropshire all out for 168 in the 39th over.

Shropshire’s next group game is against Wales at Oswestry on Sunday, May 14.

Pictured: Jack McIver claimed four Cheshire wickets.