Batters crumble in disappointing loss to Staffs
Wales opened up their NCCA One Day Trophy in disappointing fashion with a 55 run loss to Staffordshire at Port Talbot.
Put in by Sam Pearce on a wicket that offered an event contest between bat and ball, Staffs started positively through Pete Wilshaw and debutant kepper batter Callum Hawkins putting on 40 for the first wicket, before Wilshaw picked out Brad Wadlan at mid on off Richard Edwards. It was the persistent Andy Gorvin that kept Staffs in check claiming former Glamorgan batter James Kettleborough and Michael Hill in quick succession before Wadlan broke through the defences of Hawkins on 50 to leave Staffs reeling at 91-4. Edwards then claimed the dangerous Nils Priestley caught behind off the dependable Alex Horton and Staffs were left having to rebuild again with the regular loss of wickets. Richard Edwards was the standout bowler with figures of 4-33, with Gorvin returning 2-25 and Sam Pearce, Ben Morris and Wadlan each picking up a wicket.
CAPTION: Richard Edwards returned figures of 4-33 against Staffordshire on Sunday, and requires three more wickets to become Wales' highest ever one day trophy wicket taker. He currently sits on 37 behind Aneurin Norman (40) - CIAC Images.
They were indebted to final pair Tom Brett (28) and Rory Haydon (18*) who put on 49 to take Staffs to a below par 188. That score looked onimous when Cameron Hemp and Callum Nicholls fell in quick succession to leave Wales 4-2. Alex Horton got into his stride quickly with a flurry of impressive drives off former Lancashire seamer Liam Hurt but found mid off off the bowling of Haydon on 31. When Brad Wadlan picked out deep square leg the Welsh jitters were beginning to emerge. Steff Roberts, playing his first game for Wales since 2017 looked serene and put on another 40 with Cameron Herring (22) but when the latter was stumped, and Will Smale departed cheaply the game was largely up, especially when Dan Richardson yorked Robets on 33.
Whilst there was plenty to be positive about from a bowling perspective, Head of Talent Pathway Matt Thompson acknowledged there was much to improve on. He said, "both teams didn't really apply themselves with the bat throughout the game with the excpetion of Staffs' last pair and Steff on our end. It certainly wasn't a 188 plays 133 deck and we have to ask ourselves as a batting group why we couldn't battle through a tough period to come out the other side. We have a deep batting line up, but that isn't worth much if no one pops their hand up to see us home. That said, we aren't going to panic - we will dust ourselves down and go again in two weeks time at Wiltshire. There's plenty of cricket left in the group and we need to get back on track as soon as possible."
CAPTION: Steff Roberts looked at home back in Welsh colours, top scoring with 33 (CIAC Images).
Wales head of Warminster on June 11th to take on Wiltshire who defeated Buckinghamshire on bank holiday Monday. Defeat for Wales will make progression into the quarter finals extremely tough with two games to go.