GROUP leaders Buckinghamshire inflicted a twin defeat on Herefordshire in their latest MCCA T20 double-header at Colwall.

But the visitors’ task was made easier in both matches by rain interruptions which reduced their targets under the Duckworth Lewis Stern system.

In the first match, an inexperienced Herefordshire side made the worst possible start after winning the toss and electing to bat, losing skipper and key batsman Matt Pardoe to the first ball of the day.

But with Jamie Harrison (13) and then Mahaaz Ahmed (19 not out) and Tom Hage (11 no) moving the score on, Herefordshire had reached 43-3 after nine overs when rain interrupted play.

The prolonged shower meant that Herefordshire’s then closed and Buckinghamshire were set an easy target of 33 in five overs.

The home side made them battle all the way for their runs but the visitors achieved their target from the fourth ball of the final over.

Hage, who conceded just nine runs from his two overs was the pick of the bowlers used.

Herefordshire again elected to bat upon winning the toss in the second game and reached 19 before Pardoe (13) was again the first to go.

Harrison (23), Barney Morgan (21) and Hage pushed the scoring along and a reasonable score looked possible at 76-3.

But the latter order fell away and Herefordshire were dismissed for 104 from the final ball of their 20 overs.

Buckinghamshire had made a solid start in pursuit of the home side’s total when rain again fell to interrupt proceedings.

This left the visitors needing just 78 to win from 14 overs and, with all their wickets in hand, they again cruised to victory from the penultimate ball of the ninth over, largely thanks to Conrad Louth, whose unbeaten 69, with seven fours and four sixes, came from just 36 balls.

Hage, who conceded 11 runs from his two overs, and Rico Parker-Cole, 12 from two, did their best to prevent a swift conclusion, as did 16-year-old debutant Charlie Williams, with the young Brockhampton seamer conceding only 14 runs from two overs.

Herefordshire cannot now qualify from their group, but wind up their preliminary games by taking on Berkshire at Falkland CC on Sunday.