HEREFORDSHIRE batters Daniyal Khan and Ollie Walker took the opportunity to showcase their talent against a strong Gloucestershire attack at Eastnor.

Gloucestershire won both matches in the T20 double-header – the first of this season’s Showcase fixtures between the 20 National Counties and 18 first-class counties – but Khan and Walker ensured that a young Herefordshire side emerged with plenty of credit.

Khan, a former Warwickshire Academy player, made a swashbuckling 49-ball 72 in the first match, which Gloucestershire won by 48 runs, with Walker, once on Worcestershire’s books, following up with 77 from 62 balls in the second which Gloucestershire won by 52 runs.

In contrast, Gloucestershire travelled to Clenchers Mill Lane with their most of their first team squad and used 17 players over the two matches which meant they had mostly fresh bowlers for the second match.

“To get two scores against Gloucestershire who put out pretty much a first team in both games was very pleasing,” said Herefordshire coach Richard Skyrme.

“Daniyal Khan’s innings was exceptional. He batted very maturely for someone who is still only 18. I thought was a really, really good innings and Ollie Walker, as we know, has done it a lot for us in the last three years. He’s still only 19 and he again showed what a fine player he is.”

In the first match of the day Gloucestershire made 221 for five with former England batter James Bracey (55) and Ollie Price (61) putting on 123 for the second wicket.

Tasmanian Beau Webster (46 not out) and Ed Middleton shared an unbroken sixth wicket partnership of 55 at the end of an innings that contained 15 sixes.

Khan and Jughar Johal led Herefordshire’s spirited response with a second wicket stand of 84 with Johal striking 36 from 22 balls and Khan eight fours and three sixes in his impressive innings.

After Khan departed, Imaad Mahmood sustained the resistance before rookie seamer Archie Bailey – watched by his father and top racehorse trainer Kim – ended the match with three wickets in the last over.

For the second match Gloucestershire included Australia Test batter Cameron Bancroft who played a supporting role to Tommy Boorman in an opening stand of 92.

Bancroft was bowled by Mahmood but Boorman struck the ball cleanly and took four successive sixes off Josh Holling on his way to 72 from 48 balls before he was bowled by 16-year-old seamer Toby.

A flurry of boundaries from Jack Taylor and Middleton lifted Gloucestershire to 200 for four but Herefordshire again made them work hard for their victory.

Johal (26) and Walker opened with a partnership of 44 before Khan joined Walker in an attacking third wicket stand of 52 with Khan completing an excellent day’s work by finishing unbeaten on 30 from 20 balls.