HEREFORDSHIRE’S double success over Devon at Instow secured them runners-up spot in Group 2 of the National Counties T20 competition.

And while it is winners Dorset who will represent the group in the finals day at Tring later this month, Herefordshire can take some satisfaction that they came off the better in the clash between the sides – and finished the campaign with a superior net run-rate.

Devon won the toss and chose to bat in the first game on Sunday, making a promising start as James Horler (49) and Adam Small (23) posted 67 for the first wicket.

But, despite a couple of dropped catches, Herefordshire were largely in control in the field as Zakariah Abbas (2-23), James Rudge (2-29) and Jake Rowe (1-18) chipped away at the middle-order.

Devon’s final tally of 140-6 looked a little short of par, and this was underlined by an excellent opening stand between skipper Matt Pardoe, whose 36 came at slightly better than a run a ball, and Phil Harris.

The pair added 83 and there was little respite for the home attack when Pardoe was dismissed as Ollie Walker came in to fire a quickfire 22.

Nick Hammond (nine not out) then joined Harris and the pair guided Herefordshire home with almost three overs to spare.

Harris finished on an excellent unbeaten 62, from 45 balls with six fours and two sixes.

The Barnards Green all-rounder was in good form again in the second match after Herefordshire won the toss and batted first, striking 25 in an opening stand of 39 with Pardoe.

But this time, the county’s skipper took centre stage, making light of a bruised knee as he scorched to 61 from 42 balls.

He was given able assistance by Walker (37) and, at 127-1, Herefordshire looked set for a very big score.

But the rate was pegged back and the final over produced some dramatic cricket as Matt Skeemer improved figures of 0-33 from three overs to 4-38 in four, securing the wickets of Hammond (22), Rudge, Luke Powell and Charlie Williams from successive balls.

Even so, Herefordshire’s 171-8 always looked as if it would be too much for the home side as Rudge (3-22), Chris Steele (1-14 and a rare maiden over), Abbas (1-18), Rowe (1-22), Harris (1-26) and Williams (1-28) combined to restrict them to 131-9 and give Herefordshire a 40-run win.