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Report from Allan Smith - 110819

Cumberland beat Staffordshire 3-0 in a dramatic bowl off to reach the final of the Unicorns Trophy, which will be played at Sir Paul Getty’s Wormsley Cricket Club in Buckinghamshire on Wednesday August 28th against Berkshire, with a reserve day on the Thursday if required.

The bowl off came after heavy rain in the Lake District brought about the cancellation of the game, scheduled to have been played  at Carlisle Cricket Club on Sunday. With no alternative venue being available, a bowl off was arranged to take place at Penrith Cricket Club at Sunday lunch time.

Captain Kadeer Ali made the long journey north on Sunday morning accompanied by Tim Maxfield, Paul Byrne, Peter Wilshaw and Richard Williams as the five Staffs players nominated to take part in the bowl out which consisted of each player bowling two deliveries.

In the nets with rain falling at Penrith, Cumberland struck with the first two deliveries from Jaques Du Toit. Peter Wilshaw missed with his two deliveries and then Cumberland followed up with a hit from the second delivery bowled by Michael Slack. This opened up a 3-0 lead for Cumberland. Unfortunately for Staffs they failed to hit with any of the deliveries bowled by Paul Byrne, Kadeer Ali and Tim Maxfield meaning the home side had reached the final, without the necessity of the two last bowlers Toby Bulcock for

Cumberland and Staffordshire’s Richard Williams needing to bowl.

With both counties scheduled to play a championship match this coming weekend, and the final already arranged for the 28th August, there was little alternative to deciding which team progressed into the final by the bowl off method but a match of such significance should surely have a reserve day planned into the schedule and this is something that must be looked at for future seasons. 

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