We’re going to NCCA Twenty20 Cup finals day!

Staffordshire County Cricket Club have switched their NCCA Knockout Trophy game against Buckinghamshire.

Staffordshire have booked their place at finals day of the National Counties Cricket Association Twenty20 competition for the first time.

Staffs finished their Group One campaign last week, but had to wait until today’s final round of matches to be certain of finishing top of the standings.

Cumbria and Northumberland could have overhauled Staffs. But the pair needed to win both of their respective games – and also achieve a big run-rate swing.

Cumbria were the first to fall in the race as they suffered a dramatic batting collapse to lose their first encounter against Cheshire at Netherfield.

They were well set on 93-1 in response to Cheshire’s 135-8 – needing 43 for victory off the final seven overs.

However, an injury to Gary Pratt dented their momentum and they were restricted to 131-5. Cumbria then went on to lose the second match as well.

‘Northumberland’s tough ask’

Northumberland stayed in contention by beating Shropshire in their first meeting at South Northumberland.

In match two, Shropshire posted 119-9 from their allocation. That left their hosts with an uphill task to knock Staffordshire off their perch.

Northumberland had to achieve victory in 5.4 overs or quicker to bolster their run-rate – and that was a near-impossible task.

As it turned out, they couldn’t even pocket a win as Shropshire prevailed by 13 runs.

‘The final four’

That meant Staffordshire were left celebrating a first-ever appearance at finals day.

They will be joined at Tring Park on Sunday, May 21 by Cornwall, Hertfordshire and Berkshire.

Hertfordshire and Berkshire had already won Groups Three and Four respectively. That left all eyes on Group Two.

Cornwall needed to defeat fierce rivals Devon in both matches to leapfrog Dorset at the summit.

And the Duchy managed to achieve that to win their group by a point.

The draw for the semi-finals will be made tomorrow.

Main image: Staffordshire have qualified for NCCA Twenty20 Cup finals day. Pic: Alfie Shenton