Skipper Exall delighted as Herefordshire win again

First published in Sport by

SKIPPER Dave Exall was delighted after Herefordshire swept aside Cornwall at Truro to register a 266-run Unicorns Championship win.

"We dominated the game from start to finish," said the skipper after the victory which cements the county's top-four place in the Western Division.

"It's been a very good season and we've done well apart from one bad day against Dorset.

"We deserve to be right up there going into the last round of matches."

Exall reserved special praise for all-rounder Brad Wadlan whose 10-wicket match haul took his tally for the season to 30 for the season.

"Brad is a match-winner for us and, because he is such a good bowler, people tend to overlook his batting," said Exall.

"But he got a 50 for us in this match as well.

"When he plays well, we play well, too."

Herefordshire won the toss and elected to bat with their decision quickly justified as Liam Gwynne (70) and newcomer Alex Phillips (55) posted 132 for the first wicket.

And the run spree continued down the order with nine of the 11 reaching double-figures, including the consistent Nitesh Patel (43), skipper Exall (32), Wadlan (29) and Will Barrett whose 44, from 38 balls, included four sixes.

Seamer Dan Conway made early inroads as Cornwall replied to Herefordshire's 363-9, ripping out the first three home batsmen on the way to the excellent figures of 3-19 from 14 overs.

"Conway bowled very accurately," said Herefordshire's chairman of selectors Ernie Morgan. "He gives very little away."

After Conway's early burst, it was spinners Wadlan and Aqsab Ali who dominated proceedings.

The accurate Ali returned 2-24 from 16 overs and Wadlan's 5-53, which also came at a rate of under two runs an over, saw the home side dismissed for only 159.

"It was a 50/50 decision over whether we enforced the follow-on," admitted Morgan. "There were some concerns about the weather but, although it did rain overnight on the second day, the ground is very sandy and dried out quickly.

"Of course, the locals were trying to tell us that the weather was going to close in and that we had missed our chance by not enforcing the follow-on."

More good batting by Gwynne, who caned 69, with nine fours and a six from 70 balls, and 53 from Wadlan helped Hereford pile on the runs at more than five and over in their second innings as they reached 195-6 from 35 overs before applying the declaration.

The closure left the home side a target of 400 to win or, more accurately, to bat for more than a day to save the match.

And with Conway and Wadlan taking two wickets apiece in the evening session, the home side were placed precariously at 56-4 overnight.

"Jamie McIlroy made the breakthrough for us in the morning but it was the spinners who did the bulk of the work," said Morgan.

"The pitch at Truro was a slow turner and it was hard to get chances but we took all our catches and there were some good ones among them.

"We had them nine wickets down at the lunch interval and it took a couple of overs to get the final wicket afterwards."

Wadlan finished with 5-48 from 30.5 overs with Ali chipping in with 2-26 from 19.

Herefordshire now entertain Wales in their final game at Brockhampton on Sunday week.

"Wales will come with a good young side and they will be no mugs," said Exall.

"But we should have some of the players who missed this game available so we should potentially have a good selection problem.

"The Bulls are on the charge."

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