HEREFORDSHIRE’s hopes of qualifying for this season’s National Counties T20 finals day suffered a setback with twin defeats in their double-header with Wiltshire at Salisbury.

The county side failed to build on a promising opening in the first of the two encounters and eventually suffered a six-wicket defeat, writes Richard Prime

In the second game, they never seemed to have enough runs on the board and went down to a seven-wicket reverse with more than four overs remaining.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat in the first game, Hereford got away to a flying start with skipper Matt Pardoe (14) and Zain ul Hassan, who battered 47 off 27 balls with three sixes and five fours, posting a rapid half-century stand.

But Pardoe was caught in the deep off Jacob Lintott, who has secured a contract in The Hundred with Southern Braves for a second successive year.

And Lintott then trapped Zain leg before to put the brakes on.

Nick Hammond (25), Olly Cox (21) and James Rudge (17 not out) all batted usefully but the total of 153-6 was disappointing after the rapid start.

Lintott (38) and Jake Goodwin (28) posted 76 for the home side’s first wicket, aided by some wayward early bowling, and although spinners Alex Russell (2-23) and Pardoe (1-23) succeeded in slowing things down, the home side eased home with 16 balls to spare.

Zain (16) again looked in good touch when Herefordshire won the toss and batted first in the second of the two games.

But wickets fell steadily with Hammond (17), Cox (10), Phil Harris (19) and Rudge (12) getting a start without being able to push on to a big score.

The final total of 131-8 never looked like seriously troubling the home line-up and despite Rudge, with 1-18 from his four overs, and Pardoe

(2-21) causing a slight wobble, Wiltshire were over the line with 25 balls and seven wickets in hand.

Herefordshire will hope for better fortune when they entertain Dorset at Colwall on Sunday starting at 11am.