HEREFORDSHIRE’S bid for a place at the NCCA T20 finals day foundered at the final hurdle when they went down by six wickets to Cumbria in the deciding game of the triangular Super 12s tournament at Barrow.

After both teams had beaten Lincolnshire in their opening matches, the winners of the final game would be the ones who progressed and Herefordshire failed to post a total sufficiently challenging to their hosts as they were dismissed for just 89.

Herefordshire won the toss and batted against Cumbria but rarely found much fluency on a pitch of variable pace and bounce, especially after the early loss of the usually free-scoring openers Ollie Walker and Jujhar Johal.

Matt Pardoe (18) and Ben Chapman-Lilley (29) kept the total ticking over but a lack of boundaries – only four fours and one six in their 19.4-over innings – proved costly for Herefordshire.

By way of contrast, the Cumbria openers found, or cleared, the ropes six times inside the first three overs of their innings as they mad a rapid start to their run chase.

Josh Holling (1-8) and Pardoe (1-16), with a wicket apiece, shifted the pendulum briefly back towards Herefordshire.

Sam Keeling-Wright (1-24) claimed another victim and a run-out kept the interest going, but with little scoreboard pressure, the home side were able to press on and reach their target with more than three overs to spare.

Herefordshire had set up their final-game showdown with a conclusive eight-wicket success against Lincolnshire, who had previously lost by 22 runs to the host county.

Herefordshire had bowled consistently to restrict Lincolnshire to 114-8 from their 20 overs.

James Rudge (2-22), who also pouched two fine boundary catches and completed a run-out, was well supported by Holling (2-23), Keeling-Wright (1-2), Johal (1-19) and Pardoe (1-19).

Herefordshire’s openers Walker (56) and Johal (27) posted an opening partnership of 65 before skipper Pardoe (17 not out) and Nick Hammond (eight not out) steered the county side home with 10 balls to spare.