A DISASTROUS first innings batting display cost Herefordshire dear as they slumped to an innings defeat against reigning

champions Berkshire in their opening MCCA Championship clash at Colwall.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat on the first morning, Herefordshire were rushed out for just 49 before lunch, their lowest total since the club was formed in 1992.

And even though they bowled and fielded creditably before

following up with a promising second innings, the damage was already done.

In the face of decent bowling by, especially, Andy Rishton

(4-15) and Mungo Russell (2-20) on the first morning, none of the Herefordshire batsman was able to remain for long with extras, on 12, being the top scorer.

In reply, visiting debutant opener Savin Perera showed how

to hang around with some stylish and effective batting.

The England under-19 player showed good concentration either side of an extended weather interruption on the first afternoon before progressing to a century on the second morning.

The Herefordshire attack, well organised by skipper Matt

Pardoe, was never completely dominated with Tom Hage (3-93) and debutant Jake Hill (3-63) the pick of the seamers.

For the visitors, the powerful Dan Lincoln contributed a good 75 before becoming one of Hill’s victims, caught behind by Charlie Scott, before Berkshire declared on 326-7.

For Herefordshire to even make the champions bat again would have been a minor triumph and they at least came close to that objective.

Although Pardoe again went early, fellow opener Jamie

Harrison (37) and former Eastnor batsmen Mahaaz Ahmed (39) gave the innings a good start.

The platform they set was built upon by a fine innings from

Jack Haynes, an ex-pupil of Malvern College and the son of

former Worcestershire star Gavin Haynes.

The younger Haynes played some impressive strokes as he hit seven fours and a six in his 67.

Until his departure, at 187-4, Herefordshire looked well

capable of making Berkshire bat again.

But, despite another excellent debut half-century, this time

from Jujhar Johal, who hit nine fluent boundaries in an unbeaten 59, wickets began to fall regularly.

There was a late flurry from Dan Conway (18) but Herefordshire were finally dismissed for 270 to go down by an innings and seven runs.