NCCA Championship day three report: Richardson and Gibbs guide Staffordshire to dramatic win

Staffordshire County Cricket Club all-rounder Dan Richardson

Staffordshire limped over the line to beat Bedfordshire in their NCCA Championship encounter after making life incredibly hard for themselves.

Some poorly executed shots littered Staffs’ run chase on the final day of the Division One East game at Dunstable before they managed to hold their nerve to scramble to a two-wicket win.

They pocketed the points thanks to an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 33 between Dan Richardson and Dan Gibbs, which prevented the visitors from suffering what would have been an embarrassing defeat.

There was even a change to Staffs’ target after they had initially been set 173 for victory after bowling out Bedfordshire in the first session of the final day.

Staffordshire were penalised five runs for a second Level One offence in the game – taking the required score up to 178 – after the umpires felt Tim Maxfield had shown dissent when he was given out.

That followed Sahal Malvernkar’s reaction to his lbw dismissal in the first innings, which earned Staffs their first strike.

That added to an enthralling couple of hours’ play in the afternoon – at the least for the neutral – as Bedfordshire came close to pulling off a remarkable win.

They had been 43-7 at one point in their second innings, still trailing by 20, before James Kettleborough marshalled the tail to set Staffordshire a tricky chase on the last afternoon.

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Pictured: Dan Richardson walks off after guiding Staffordshire to victory over Bedfordshire at Dunstable