TWO 19-year-olds took centre-stage as Herefordshire gained a twin success in their NCCA T20 double-header with Wales at Llandysul.

Luke Powell showed some brilliant improvisation as his unbeaten 43 took Herefordshire to a five-wicket win in the first of the day’s encounters.

And then Ollie Walker powered his way to 71 to underpin a 74-run victory in the second match.

Herefordshire seemed up against it in the first match when Wales scorched to 89-1 in rapid time.

But after Steffan Roberts was dismissed for 65, the remainder of the batting was well contained as Wales ended on 152-9.

The Herefordshire men shared the wickets as Matt Pardoe (2-18), Adam Hines (2-28) and Roshan Venkataraman (2-33) led the way with the ball.

In response Walker (30) and Pardoe (24) both scored at a run a ball as the visitors made their mark, but the game was very much in the balance when Herefordshire slipped to 85-5.

But Powell was then joined by Ben Chapman Lilley (16 not out) and the pair guided the county home without further alarm, with Powell striking five fours and two sixes in his 23-ball innings.

Herefordshire chose to bat first in the second of the two matches and Walker dominated the first part of the innings, blasting six sixes and two fours off just 49 balls.

Pardoe (18) once again gave solid support but the remainder of the batting fell away badly to the extent that Herefordshire were dismissed for 132 with 11 balls of their allotted 20 overs remaining.

But any fears that the visitors’ total might have been inadequate were soon dispelled as Venkataraman (2-3), James Rudge (1-20) and particularly Hines, whose figures of 4-13 were Herefordshire’s best in the competition, had Wales reeling at 28-8.

A few lusty tail-end blows reduced the deficit but Chapman-Lilley who returned the strange figures of 2-12 in four balls, ended the match in Herefordshire’s favour.

Herefordshire: Matt Pardoe (capt), Jujhar Johal, Nick Hammond, Ollie
Walker, Daniyal Khan, Luke Powell, Roshan Venkataraman, Ben Chapman
Lilley, Luke Tulacz, Adam Hines, Charlie Williams and James Rudge.

This Sunday, Herefordshire travel to Oswestry to take on Shropshire before entertaining Oxfordshire at Brockhampton on Bank Holiday Monday.

No play was possible in the either of the scheduled matches between Shropshire and Oxfordshire on Sunday.

Last year, half of the county side’s games in the T20 competition fell victim either to rain or wet pitches, a foretaste of the remainder of the season which featured regular bad weather interruptions.

So an early double victory will put them in a good position for the games to come, although they will be hoping for a drier spell of weather.