HEREFORDSHIRE maintained their hopes of qualifying for the National Counties T20 finals day after coming through their double header with Dorset at Colwall unbeaten.

The weather forced the abandonment of the first of the two matches with persistent drizzle continuing throughout the morning.

But, with things drying up in the afternoon, Herefordshire produced an excellent all-round performance to win by 46 runs in the second clash.

Herefordshire were invited to bar and despite the setback of losing Olly Cox in the first over, skipper Matt Pardoe led the way in a second wicket stand of 88 with Ollie Walker.

Their dismissals within a few balls of each other sparked something of a collapse as 88-1 quickly became 100-6.

But Roshan Venkataraman (31 not out), in partnership with Jujhar Johal (12), helped to repair matters although the final tally of 141-8 seemed slightly under par.

Herefordshire’s bowlers, however, quickly made inroads as Chris Steele, who impressed with 2-19 from his four overs, and Venkataraman (2-12) which had Dorset struggling at 41-4.

Eighteen-year-old debutant leg-spinner Zak Shah, with the help of two fine catches on the boundary by James Rudge, one by Cox and another by Venkataraman, then picked off the middle order on his way to 4-30.

Twelfth man Rob Horn, on for the injured Walker, made an impact with a spectacular direct hit from the boundary edge to run out Simon Woodruff before Pardoe (1-21) secured the final wicket with four and a half overs still remaining.

The other four teams in the group face off on Bank Holiday Monday before Herefordshire travel to Instow to take on Devon in their final two group games on Sunday.