Wadlan looking for Wales to get back on track


With Wales only one of two locations (out of a possible ten) that saw a full day’s play in the opening round of the NCCA T20 group stage last Sunday, they would have hoped to have capitalised on an opportunity to steel a march on the rest of their group down in Llandysul. Instead they were left contemplating what could have been after losing out 0-2 to visitors Herefordshire.

After losing the toss, Sam Pearce will have been delighted to set Hereford 153 to win after a 2nd wicket partnership of 77 between Steffan Roberts (66 from 52 balls) and Henry Hurle (38 off 26 balls) provided the bedrock of the innings. When Nick Hammond was bowled by Jude Wright at 85-5 you would be forgiven for thinking Wales had Game 1 secure, but keeper Luke Powell (43 off 23 balls), quietly supported by Ben Chapman-Lilley had other ideas with the former deciding the 19th over was the moment to press the accelerator which included back to back reverse sweep maximums off the left arm pace of Jack Harding. Wales, to their credit, appeared to have not let that dampen their spirits in Game 2 – despite a well constructed 71 off 49 balls from Ollie Walker – skittling the visitors for 132, largely thanks to the pace and skill of debutant Adam Sylvester (4-20) who was ably supported by skipper Pearce (2-19) and youngster Ollie Rayner (2-22). Milo Ayres’ departure in the first over of the chase sparked a monumental collapse that no one in the top or middle order could halt. Only Prem Sisodiya and Adam Sylvester make double figures with some late hitting at the end which still wasn’t enough to spare Wales’ blushes as they recorded their lowest score (58) in the competition since its emergence 6 years ago, narrowly avoiding Wiltshire’s 53 which remains the current record.

CAPTION: Steff Roberts looked in fine form on his first T20 appearance for Wales with a fluent 66 in Game 1 (Photo: Harry Bryant).

After a lengthy winter indoors it wasn’t the start coach Brad Wadlan was looking for as he commented afterwards:

“I thought we let ourselves down on Sunday and didn’t show anything near to what we are capable of as a collective group. But I back the group we have gone with and it’s up to them to make amends moving forwards, despite us not being able to have put into practice some of the plans during our washed out pre-season games. There were some positives though – Steff (Roberts) played very well at the top of the order and Henry Hurle looked comfortable for his 38. Adam Sylvester bowled really well in both games and got his rewards in the second game with 4-20. Ollie Rayner (2-23) and Jude Wright (2-17) also bowled nicely. We’ve got a great chance to put a few things right this weekend with four games in two days.”

The games do come think and fast indeed as Wales head to Sir John Paul Getty’s Wormsley Estate for a double header against Oxfordshire, before heading to North Wales to take on Shropshire On Bank Holiday Monday in St Asaph. It was only last season that Wales exacted a 2-0 sweep of them that included former England international Samit Patel down in Pontarddulais so they’ll be hoping to draw on some of that. Whilst Patel isn’t on the scene this season, Oxfordshire have firepower in a multitude of areas with Sussex duo Harrison Ward and Zach Lion-Cachet at the top of the order ably supported by NCCA European champion Tom Hinley and the experienced Johnny Cater. Former Somerset and Yorkshire seamer Jack Brooks is expected to make a long awaited return to his home county after being washed out last week.

Shropshire are expected to name a similar squad to their rained off affair with Oxford last week, which features the former Worcester quartet of Jacques Banton (brother of Tom), Tom Fell, Ollie Westbury and Alexei Kervezee. True to form, Wales have largely stuck to the same side from last week, but have been forced into a few changes across the two days with Adam Sylvester only available on Sunday having been pulled into Kent 2nd XI duty on the Monday. Asim Hameed (Glamorgan 2nd XI) is also unavailable so in come Pentyrch’s Todd Wilcox and Joseph Davies. Davies – son of former Glamorgan seamer Andrew – will make a first national counties appearance despite already representing the NCCA Representative XI last month and taking 5-18 at Wormsley’s ground. Off spinning all rounder Tegid Phillips is added to the squad in place of Morgan Bevans.

 CAPTION: Adam Sylvester impressed with 4-20 on his national counties debut - Kent 2nd XI have opted to observe the pacer next week ruling him out of Monday's encounter with Shropshire in North Wales.

Wales NC from: SH Roberts (Swansea), M Ayres (Bedminster), HE Hurle+ (Cardiff), WL Ryan (St Asaph), BL Wadlan (Swansea), JA Wright (St Fagans), OB Rayner (Usk), SJ Pearce* (Lansdown), P Sissodiya (Cardiff), AR Sylvester (Swansea), JA Davies (Bridgend), JC Harding (Taunton St Andrews), TD Phillips (Cardiff), T. Wilcox (Pentrych).

Oxfordshire CCC (expected squad) from: Jamie Harrison, Zach Lion-Cachet, Harrison Ward, Tom Hinley, Jonny Cater+, Hayden Rossouw, Bertie Foreman, Thomas Davies, Prav Chahal, Dan Ibrahim, Henry Welch, Jack Brooks, Seb Stuart-Reckling.

Shropshire CCC (expected squad) from: George Hargrave, Jacques Banton, Tom Fell, Peter Clark, Ollie Currill, Ollie Westbury, Charlie Hone, Ben Roberts, Ben Lees+, Joe Stanley, Sam Ellis, Lewis Evans.

Play on both Sunday and Monday commences from 11am with the second game scheduled for 2.30pm. Live streaming should be available via https://walesnc.play-cricket.com/Matches.


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