Wales have been forced to make three changes to the side that swept Buckinghamshire aside for the third time this season last Sunday at Port Talbot.
Ever-present keeper batter Cameron Herring, Kieran Bull and North Walian Jason Foulkes are all unavailable for the trip to Himley to take on Staffordshire, which paves the way for assistant player-coach Greg Smith to make a one day trophy debut for Wales. Glamorgan all-rounder Andrew Gorvin and academy seamer Ben Morris - fresh from taking 4-24 for the 2nd XI against Northants this week - return to the squad also.
CAPTION: Kieran Bull (pictured), tore through the Bucks batting line up with help from Richard Edwards and Jason Foulkes.
Veteran spinner Bull, alongside Steve Reingold were the main contributors to an opening round win for Wales with Bull running through the Bucks middle order to finish with figures of 4-51, which included the key wicket of Conrad Louth for a well constructed 79. This was after the opening seam attack of Richard Edwards and Jason Foulkes (also making his one day trophy debut) set the tone for the day, giving the Bucks top order little room for manoeuvre and asking plenty of challenging questions. It was Edwards who ended up with 3-27, which included former Worcestershire and Netherlands batter Alexei Kervezeee but Foulkes was deservedly rewarded for a tight spell when Ross Richardson nicked behind to safe hands of Herring.
A total of 179 all out, after Reingold bagged a quick 2-14 at the end of the innings, always seemed too few on a good batting wicket but Tom Bevan's departure leg before in the first over gave Bucks some hope. Connor Brown (16), Lorenzo Machado (29) and Morgan Bevans (16) all got starts but it was Reingold (88*) who played with composure, skill and the assuredness that saw him part of Glamorgan's Royal London One Day Cup success last season. Cam Herring (19*) was there at the end as Wales, for the second year in a row opened up their one day trophy campaign with a win.
CAPTION: Steve Reingold (right) starred with the bat in Wales' win against Buckinghamshire ending up on 88 not out.
Next up this Sunday are Staffordshire who did not play last week, and start in earnest at Himley. Wales will be keen to improve upon their last two encounters - a 6 wicket defeat in 2016 at Newport, and a 2 wicket defeat back at Himley in 2017. Sam Pearce, Connor Brown and Richard Edwards are still in the side from those games as is Staffs skipper Pete Wilshaw. Staffs can count themselves highly unlucky not to have qualified for the NCCA T20 Finals Day after a strong group stage winning 6 out of their 8 games, but they could not displace Cheshire at the top to progress. They will however, be buoyed by the likes of former Warwickshire pair of Alex Mellor and Grant Thornton in addition to the hard hitting Riki Wessels. The 36 year old (son of Kepler Wessels) amassed over 22,000 runs in professional cricket with spells with Nottinghamshire and Worcestershire including 29 hundreds. The promising Zen Malik is also sure to feature - the 24 year old smashed 171 for Hampshire 2nd XI against Somerset last season.
For skipper Pearce, it is surely a case of repeating last week's strong performance with a few improvements. Doing so would put Wales in the box seat for qualification to the latter stages with two games to go.
Play at Himley starts from 11am on Sunday.
Wales NC squad from: TR Bevan (St Fagans), SJ Reingold (Neath/Stanmore), CR Brown (Lansdown), GM Smith (Penzance), MJ Bevans (Newport), L Machado+ (Neath), SJ Pearce (Bridgend/Warminster), AW Gorvin (St Fagans), TD Phillips (Cardiff), RD Edwards (Neath), BJ Morris (Abergavenny), SJ Jardine (Neath).