Berkshire looking to put first points on the board in NCCA T20 competition

Euan Woods is hoping to return for Berkshire following injury.

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Berkshire will be looking to put their first points on the board in the NCCA T20 competition over May Bank Holiday, writes Dave Wright.

They travel down the M4 to Newport to face Wales National Counties on Sunday and then take on Buckinghamshire at Wargrave next Monday. The first game is at 11am with the second at 2.30pm.

Berks lost both of their opening Group 4 matches to Oxfordshire, but were a shade unfortunate in the second, finishing strongly and losing by just three runs as they chased 213.

Oxfordshire made it three straight wins when they beat Wales by 34 runs in the first match at Wormsley last weekend, but surrendered their unbeaten record when they were beaten by eight wickets in the second with Tom Bevan hitting 64 off 45 balls to take Wales to 120-2 in the 16th over.

Wales’ squad included their new player and assistant coach Greg Smith, the former Derbyshire and Essex all-rounder.

Like Berks, Buckinghamshire lost both of their first two games, going down to Bedfordshire at Dunstable by eight wickets and then seven wickets.

In the second game, Ed Bragg, hit 56 not out from 25 balls while Alexei Kervezee, the former Worcestershire and Netherlands batsman, made 43 in the Bucks total of 171-6.

Berkshire will not confirm their side until later this week, but Euan Woods is hoping to play after missing the Oxon games due to a hamstring problem.

The all-rounder, who was voted the county’s player of the season last year, has switched clubs from Henley to Wargrave, the ground where his family live

A week after completing a double over Shropshire, Berkshire Women lost twice to Worcestershire in the ECB County T20 competition at Bromsgrove last Sunday. Set a target of 150, they lost the first game by 47 runs with Mia Rogers being run out for 49, while. In the second game, they needed

166 to win, but were restricted to 124-6 with skipper Ashleigh Muttitt top-scoring on 42.

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Little Marlow's Adam Ali raced to a majestic century as the club claimed a convincing 141-run win over Wendover on Saturday.

Having been inserted on a batsman friendly pitch, the hosts raced out of the blocks, with Ali dominating a series of partnerships before departing for 111 from just 70 deliveries. Skipper Uzair Hassan’s 44 maintained the hosts' momentum and there were useful contributions from the lower order as Little Marlow finished their 40 overs on 258-8.

Wendover were never in the hunt during their reply, Saj Kiran and Rahim Dad taking three wickets each as the visitors subsided to 117 all out.

Sunday's match against Great Missenden Pelicans was a closer, and more enjoyable affair.

Initially following a similar path, with Saj Pavan Kumar (55 from 28 deliveries) providing the fireworks as the hosts finished up on 197 all out. Anwar Mahmood pressed on as partners came and went at close intervals, departing for an attractive 75.

The Pelicans also made a flying start at the crease and took advantage of some wayward bowling and poor fielding. However, the match swung Little Marlow's way when Pavan Kumar was introduced the first of his many spinners.

Faisal Ahmed Khan removed three of the Pelicans' top order, a setback from which they never recovered, and spin continued to be the hosts best weapon as Sandeep Bellamkonda (3-13) and Kumar kept the visitors behind the run-rate and their innings closed on 174 all out.

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The first group matches in the Home Counties T20 competition get underway this Saturday, with newly promoted Slough set to host Harefield from 10.30am. Datchet face a tougher opening encounter, away to Henley

Slough warmed up for their first competitive game of the season with a tie against Finchley on Saturday.

Aashir Zaib top scored with 69 as Slough set their hosts a target of 259-8, however, set a revised target of 260 for victory from 45 overs, Finchley finished on 259-9.

The Thames Valley Cricket League is set to get underway on Saturday, May 7, with Stoke Green - unable to take up last season's promotion to the Home Counties - at home to Beaconsfield in Division 1, and Burnham hosting Gerrards Cross. In the same division Boyne Hill host Ickenham and Cookham Dean at home to Henley 2nds.

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