HEREFORDSHIRE remain in contention to progress from their NCCA T20 group, although still with work to do, after sharing the honours in Sunday’s double-header with Shropshire at Oswestry.

Dropped catches proved costly as Herefordshire went down by 43 runs in the first of the day’s two matches.

But fine innings from the experienced duo of Nick Hammond (43 not out) and Matt Pardoe (40), with strong support from Ben Chapman-Lilley (17 not out), Ollie Walker (16) and Luke Powell (15), ensured the visitors edged home by four wickets in the second match.

After Herefordshire won the toss and elected to field first in the opening match, Shropshire’s upper order scored consistently with the former Worcestershire duo of Tom Fell (72) and Jacques Banton (47), well supported by George Hargrave (33), leading the way as they posted a commanding 165-6 from their 20 overs.

Roshan Venkataraman (3-27) and Adam Hines (2-35) shared the wickets for Herefordshire.

In reply, none of the Herefordshire batsmen were able to make a substantial contribution, although Daniyal Khan (27) and Hammond (23) batted well.

Banton (4-23) completed a fine all-round performance as Herefordshire were restricted to 122-9.

In the second match, Herefordshire again won the toss and elected to field with Hargrave (35) and Oliver Westbury (44) giving the hosts a solid start as they posted 61 for the first wicket.

But, after that, Hines (2-35), Chapman-Lilley (1-3), James Rudge (1-23) and Jujhar Johal (1-25), backed up by an improved fielding display, ensured a slightly lower target to chase as the home side were held to 154-5.

When three wickets went down for 45, things did not look promising for the visitors.

But skipper Pardoe, with two sixes and four fours in his 23-ball 40, set the tone as Herefordshire upped the pace.

Powell (15 from 11 balls) then joined Hammond and the Ombersley skipper, with an unbeaten 43 from 37 balls, subsequently well supported by Chapman-Lilley (17 not out from 13) in the latter stages, guided Herefordshire to victory with an over to spare.

Oxfordshire, who will come to Brockhampton to take on Herefordshire tomorrow (Monday), gained a twin success against Wales to join Herefordshire on six points at the top of the table.