HEREFORDSHIRE got their first win on the board in the NCCA T20 group stages with a thrilling four-run victory over Cornwall at Werrington.

The win evened things up on the day after the hosts edged home by four wickets with eight balls to spare in the first of two matches. Herefordshire’s success came in a thrilling clash where all results were possible when the final ball was bowled by James Rudge.

After losing the toss and being invited to bat first, Herefordshire made a flying start with Ollie Walker (44) in particularly good form in an opening stand of 71 with skipper Matt Pardoe.

Walker smashed four fours and three sixes from 30 balls before being dismissed by the first ball of the ninth over.

After that, the innings lost its way a little, although Pardoe (13), debutant Ollie Hallion (12) and Rudge (15) all reached double figures.

All of the lower order found the seam bowling of Dan Lello problematic as he took a hat-trick on his way to a return of 5-17.

Romesh Venkataraman made an early breakthrough in the Cornwall response on his way to excellent figures of 2-8 from four overs – his second fine stint of the double-header after taking 3-8 in his four-over stint the first time around.
But skipper Paul Smith (40) and Will McVicar (24) kept Cornwall in with a chance as they progressed to 91-2.

Rudge (2-27), Zak Abbas (2-28) and Adam Hines (1-17) held their collective nerve, however, to guide Herefordshire home.

In the first game, Herefordshire struggled to force the pace on a challenging pitch.

Callum Bennett (28), Hallion (20) and Pardoe (13) all got starts but it was clear that Herefordshire would have to bowl exceptionally well if they were to defend their total of 84-8.

And that seemed to be a possibility after Rudge (1-19) and Venkataraman (3-8) reduced the home side to 17-4.

But MacVicar (37) then batted particularly well as Cornwall reached their target with eight balls to spare and four wickets in hand.

The previous day, in an ironic twist of fate considering that Devon had declared a hosepipe ban earlier in the week, both clashes at Sandford against the south-west county were called off due to a wet pitch.

Herefordshire now meet Wiltshire in their final group games at Eastnor next Sunday
But neither side have a chance of qualifying with either Devon or Cornwall, who meet next week, joining Dorset in the knock-out stages.