CUMBRIA County Cricket Club fell short by 34 runs in their second 3-day match of the season against Cambridgeshire.

Cumbria won the toss and because the wicket looked tricky to bat on initially, elected to bowl.

Under ferocious Furness sunshine, Michael Slack and Penrithian Brodie Glendinning opened the bowling. With the 15th ball of the match, Slack clean bowled opener Pierson to put the visitors on 3/1.

 Three overs later Evan Williams took a superb low catch at backward point off Glendinning. Cambridgeshire had rallied to get to 49/2 off 15 when debutant 20-year-old Ben Walkden created an lbw. Have you ever invited visitors in for a quick cuppa and they massively outstay their welcome? Well the next pair, fittingly called Guest and Tetley, settled in for a frustrating 98-run partnership!

The visitors were 147/3 at lunch. With the first ball of his second over after lunch, Slacky sent Guest (52) packing thanks to a superb diving catch by keeper Drew Postlethwaite.

Four balls later a catch from Walkden sent Maynard back to the hutch. Uncharacteristically, left-arm spinner Matthew Siddall had been wicketless in his nine overs before lunch.

Cambridgeshire was all out for 176 in 47.1 overs. There were encouraging echoes of the previous week’s victory over Northumberland, who’d been 177 all out in their first innings. Unfortunately, the comparison ended there. Cumbria’s first innings was a hugely disappointing 98 all out in 49.5 overs.

The top scorer was Nico Watt on 28. When it came to left-arm orthodox spinners it was almost a case of ‘anything you can do, I can do better’ from 20-year-old Zain Latif who took 5 wickets for 41 runs in 18.5 overs. Cambridgeshire were able to bat for 85.4 overs in the second innings putting on 280 all out.

Skipper Slack took two wickets, including one of the high scorers from 1st innings Callum Guest. However, spinners again did most of the damage with Siddall bagging another 5-fer, Josh Stirling getting one and Matthew Sempill taking the last two.

Cumbria were faced with a seemingly impossible target of 360 to win in a session and a day. At the start of the last day, the hosts were on 83 for four.

With Stirling resolutely defending his wicket and Sempy in the flow, Cumbrian supporters began to send ‘Stokes and Leach, Headingley, 2019’ vibes to the stalwart pair. In the knowledge that opening bowler Danyal was returning for a spell, Sempill decided to press the accelerator with a six and four off successive sweeps.

He was bowled by Guest on 129 from 239 balls (10 X 4s, 2 X 6s), leaving the home side exactly 40 short. Seven balls later Siddall was out lbw to the Guest, who took 6 for 99 off his 35.4 overs.

Cumbria’s next fixture is a quarter-final of the one day competition: Sunday, July 17 versus Cambridgeshire CCC