HEREFORDSHIRE slipped to an 18-run defeat in their second National Counties 50-over group match against Cumbria at Cockermouth.

But for the second successive week, the county side came close to victory after finding themselves in a seemingly hopeless position.

After Cumbria had racked up an impressive 288-6 from their allotted overs, Herefordshire’s hopes seemed in tatters when their score stood at 1-2 at the end of the first over.

But some excellent batting from Jujhar Johal, who hammered two sixes and six fours in his 86-ball 61, and Zain ul Hassan who stroked 78 from 108 balls, with nine fours and a six, laid the foundations for a recovery with a stand of 116 for the third wicket.

Jake Rowe then impressed with 51 at better than a run a ball, while James Rudge lashed five fours and a six as he raced to 42 from 27 balls.

All of this helped Herefordshire back into contention at 259-6 but the rest of the batting fell away as the county side were dismissed for 270.

Rudge bowled well to finish with 3-45 from his 10 overs and leg-spinner Zak Abbas conceded only 37 runs from his nine, but generally there was too much loose bowling which allowed the home side to build what turned out to be an unassailable score.

Herefordshire continue their group games by hosting Northumberland at Brockhampton on Sunday.