HEREFORDSHIRE are through to the Super 12s stage of the NCCA T20 competition despite a mixed performance in the double-header against Oxfordshire at Brockhampton on Bank Holiday Monday.

The county side produced an excellent bowling and fielding display to overcome the visitors by 10 runs in the first of the day’s clashes.

But Oxfordshire bounced back to take the second contest in convincing style as they chased down 125 to win for the loss of just one wicket with more than seven overs in hand.

The two points collected from the first match were enough to ensure that Herefordshire finished level on points with Oxfordshire and Shropshire at the top of the table.

But the other two sides’ superior net run rate pushed Herefordshire down
to third place.

Their points tally was, however, sufficient for them to progress as one of the two best third-placed sides from the five groups and they will now wait to hear details of their opponents and venue for the Super 12 stage on Sunday, May 19.
After wet conditions underfoot delayed the start of the first game and reduced the contest to 18 overs a side, Herefordshire were invited to bat first.

Although none of the lineup were able to contribute a major innings, Ben Chapman-Lilley (19), Luke Tulacz (17), James Rudge (15 not out), Nick Hammond (14) and Jujhar Johal (13) all batted usefully to take Herefordshire to 105-8 from their allotted overs.

Oxfordshire rapidly slipped to 35-6 in reply and although Jonathan Cater battled well for 39, Herefordshire kept their nerve to win by 10 runs with excellent bowling by Rudge, whose four overs produced 2-13 and a maiden, Roshan Venkataraman (2-23), Josh Holling (1-18) and Matt Pardoe (1-23).

When Herefordshire won the toss and chose to bat in the second match, their innings was dominated by Johal (41) and Chapman-Lilley (39).

But their total of 122, never looked like being enough when Danial Ibrahim (23) and, especially, Harrison Ward started to open their shoulders.

Pardoe (1-7) eventually broke the opening stand at 81, but Ward, who smashed eight sixes and three fours in his unbeaten 43-ball 79, steered the visitors home in partnership with Jamie Harrison (12 not out).

Herefordshire visit Norfolk in their first 50-over match this Sunday.

George Hargrave wrote another chapter in Shropshire’s record books with a spectacular century that clinched their place in the new Super 12 stage of the National Counties T20 competition.

Hargrave made 129 from just 44 balls to take Shropshire to an eight wickets victory over Wales NC in the second match of their double-header at St Asaph.

The former Oxford University batter became the first Shropshire player to score a century in the competition having made the first double century for the county in the three-day National Counties Championship against Dorset last summer.

Despite Hargrave’s efforts, Shropshire missed out on top spot in the group as they were overtaken by Oxfordshire on superior net run rate.