HEREFORDSHIRE were given a lesson in powerful hitting by an impressive Staffordshire side who progressed to the quarter-finals of the MCCA Knockout Trophy after a 61-run win at Eastnor.

Staffordshire surprised some in the crowd by electing to bat

after winning the toss.

And their decision looked especially doubtful after a prolonged spell of rain, just 12 balls into their innings, reduced the match to 42 overs a side.

But the visitors, led by former Worcestershire and Gloucestershire star Kadeer Ali, showed that they knew their tactics well by pounding the Herefordshire attack all around the picturesque Clenchers Mill ground.

Ali himself led the way by smashing three sixes and seven

fours in his 69 as he shared an opening stand of 80 with Alex Mellor (25).

And the runs continued to flow after his departure with some

massive blows from Tim Maxfield (61), Peter Willshaw (41) and Michael Hill (51 no) as Staffordshire rattled up 306-7.

Barney Morgan (3-55) returned some creditable figures while

Pete Burgoyne did his best to stem the tide by conceding just 34 runs from eight overs.

Herefordshire made a good start in reply but the loss of skipper of Matt Pardoe (14) with 49 on the board looked a crucial setback.

Jamie Harrison, who hit nine fours and a six in his 79, kept

the runs flowing with good support from Chris Whittock (33) and Dave Ball (42).

But once they departed, and potentially fast-scoring Burgoyne (11) and Tom Hage (nine) also followed, the writing was on the wall for Herefordshire who finished with 245-9 from their 42 overs.

This Sunday, Herefordshire continue their T20 campaign when

they welcome Buckinghamshire to Colwall for the third of their four double-header group clashes with the first game starting at 11am.