NCCA Knockout Trophy: Staffordshire learn valuable lessons in Wiltshire defeat


Staffordshire failed in their bid to make it back-to-back wins in the NCCA Knockout Trophy after suffering an eye-opening 63-run defeat at Wiltshire.

Staffs ventured south confident of backing up their opening-round success against Wales at Himley, but it wasn’t to be as Wiltshire ran out worthy winners in the Group Four clash at Warminster.

Staffordshire were forced to make two changes to their original line-up with Zen Malik linking up to play for Gloucestershire seconds, while Michael Hill was an illness victim.

The experienced Peter Wilshaw was drafted in, while Checkley all-rounder Tom Moulton became the second Staffs debutant in the fixture, alongside Moddershall & Oulton seamer Sam Atkinson.

However, there was more than a touch of inexperience about Staffordshire, especially their bowling attack, and that became apparent as Wiltshire piled up 345-6 from their 50 overs – the highest total conceded by Staffs against a fellow minor county in one-day cricket – after winning the toss and electing to bat.

Staffs had spells where they had the Wiltshire’s innings under wraps, but Jake Goodwin and Josh Lawrence both hit half-centuries up front, before Ben Draper put his foot down in the closing stages as the home side took the game away from their rivals.

Staffordshire fought valiantly in reply, but the game had long since gone by the time they were bowled out for 282 with 13 balls remaining.