Battle for top spot as Wales head to Dorset


Wales head into the final round of group games in the NCCA One Day Trophy, hoping to secure pole position for the second successive season - a feat only achieved once in their history during 2004-2005. That side included the likes of current Glamorgan Head of Operations Dan Cherry, Alun Evans, Gareth Rees, Anthony Smith, Huw Waters, Will Bragg and Ryan Watkins. 

For Sam Pearce's men, they will be looking to carry on the momentum from last week's 149 run hammering of Wiltshire at Llandysul as they head to Wimborne against challengers Dorset. Despite missing a number of key players (Steve Reingold, Andy Gorvin and Tom Bevan most notably), Pearce will have been delighted at the quality of depth on show, as white ball debutants Harry Friend and Callum Nicholls both looked assured in constructing 46 for the opening partnership. Nicholls ended up top scoring with a well made 44 before nicking one to Jake Goodwin off the wily left arm spin of Ed Young. 

CAPTION (courtesy of Roy Honeybone): Harry Friend pulls to the boundary on his way to 22 on his white ball debut for Wales last week.

Young proved the most difficult to score off, returning excellent figures of 4-28 off his 10 overs which included Connor Brown not long after Friend departed for 22. Morgan Bevans dropped the anchor and set about getting Wales to a competitive score but at 137-4 with 13 overs to go, Wales were in danger of posting an under par score. Bevans found support in the form of Cam Herring who's brisk 33 added impetus to the final ten overs as the pair added 59 for the 5 wicket. Herring peppered the extra cover boundary with precision and Bevans' array of sweeps continued to frustrate Wiltshire. When both departed there was still work to be done, but cameos from Kieran Bull (17), Sam Jardine (14*) and Richard Edwards (10*) saw Wales reach 234 - a score felt to be slightly above par. 

CAPTION (courtesy of Roy Honeybone): Morgan Bevans cuts during a hard earned 43. 

The Wiltshire recovery never got going when Ben Morris (2-15) and Richard Edwards (3-23) tore through the top order to leave them 34-5. Kieran Bull (3-26) and Sam Jardine (2-20) mopped up the middle and lower order with minimal fuss to provide an added boost to Wales' net run rate. 

That run rate could prove crucial this weekend as a loss to Dorset (who sit second), could still enable Wales to qualify for the Quarter Finals barring a heavy loss and a an equally heavy win for Buckinghamshire against Staffordshire. Coach Darren Thomas and Pearce however, will be wanting to cement a home tie - only guaranteed by a win on Sunday. 

In terms of squad news, out go the impressive Morris, and Tegid Phillips to Glamorgan 2nd XI duty - Wales are waiting to see which one of Harry Friend or Callum Nicholls will be available to them also with decisions to be made for the 2nd XI trip to Northamptonshire. Sam Jardine keeps his place in the side and there are returns to the team for North Walian Jason Foulkes (fresh from his 6 wicket haul against Nantwich in the ECB National Club KO), Steve Reingold and Tom Bevan who has been released from the Glamorgan Vitality Blast squad ahead of the trip to Wimborne. 

Dorset welcome back former Somerset staffer Sam Young, and left arm seamer Brad Currie from the win against Staffordshire.

The game starts from 11am on Sunday, with NV Play match highlights available through the live Play Cricket scorecard. 

Wales NC from: TR Bevan (St Fagans), SJ Reingold (Stanmore), CR Brown (Lansdown), CR Nicholls (St Fagans) OR HLR Friend (Newport), L Machado (Neath), MJ Bevans (Newport), CL Herring+ (Pontarddulais), SJ Pearce* (Bridgend/Warminster), KA Bull (Potterne), SJ Jardine (Neath), RD Edwards (Neath), JS Foulkes (St Asaph), 

Dorset CCC from: Luke Webb*, Ollie Breckon, Brad Currie, Alex Eckland, Joseph Eckland+, Jacob Gordon, Robert Pack, David Scott, Ollie Soames, Simon Woodruff, Sam Young


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