CUMBRIA lose to Bedfordshire by seven wickets in a 'David vs Goliath' 3-day match.

Cumbria County Cricket had won a tense one-day match against Cheshire the previous weekend to progress through to the National Counties One Day Trophy semi-finals.

However, they were unable to prevail in their first 3-day NCCA Durant National Cricket Championship match of the season.

Having been relegated from Division One last year Bedfordshire’s determination to bounce back was indicated by their selection of a squad that included seven players with first-class cricket experience. Cumbria’s squad contained just one player with limited experience at first-class level and four others who had played 2nd XI cricket for first-class counties.

However, Gary Pratt, was absent on Richmondshire CC duties and Matthew Siddall of Cockermouth CC withdrew from the squad following his first call-up for Derbyshire 2nds.

Sunday, July 9  was Cumbria’s Past Players Day when ex-Cumberland/Cumbria players met up to reminisce. Among them was Simon Dutton, who presented new caps to the players.

These caps were sourced by Darren Waterston, on behalf of the CCCC Committee, the caps are numbered to indicate the order in which players have debuted in the National Minor Counties Championship since 1955.

On day one, Bedfordshire won the toss and elected to field. Torrential rain the previous evening had left the outfield damp and slow.

Heavy showers were forecast for the first two days.

The match started in sunshine, but overhead conditions and the green top caused challenging lateral movement.

On the 'Goliath' side of the contest, their Pro Matt Coles demonstrated the experience gained in 116 first class and 81 List A games.

He bowled 13.4 overs unchanged and took 6/24.

Northamptonshire's Gus Miller took 2/23 from 10 overs and Alex Evans 2/28 from his 10 overs.

On the 'David' side of the contest, only three Cumbria players reached double figures.

Opener Freddie Fallows scored 11 off 11 balls then holed out to mid-wicket.

Ben Walkden posted a dogged 42 off 81 balls before being bowled.

Drew Postlethwaite scored 23 before being caught at mid-off.

He also built the highest partnership of the innings, 32 with Ed Moulton who contributed a steadying 5 from 32 balls.

Batting appeared almost as difficult for Bedfordshire.

Slippers Walkden and Matthew Sempill dispatched openers Sam Bates and Ollie Soames.

This led to a full slip cordon being deployed before rain stopped play just before tea.

After the rain break, Sam Sharp came out in fine from taking 4 wickets in 17 overs, with three minutes finishing the day on 4/69.

The close-of-play score was 223/9, with a wicket for Walkden, a second for Moulton, and one for spinner Nico Watt.

The next morning Watt took the final wicket in the third over leaving Beds on 230 all out.

Top scorers for the visitors were Harry Gouldstone (48), Danyaal Khalid (46), and Coles (32).

Cumbria lost their first wicket in the 3rd over with Fallows being removed after making 12 runs from nine balls.

Shortly followed by the second at the end of the 6th over as Watt walked on seven.

Walkden and JJ Fielding rallied briefly but both were out in the 14th over to Coles who ended the day with 3/31 having bowled throughout the innings.

There were only about 90 minutes of play that second day and Cumbria was 66/4  when the rain came.

The next day Cumbria’s top scorer, skipper Slack forged middle-order partnerships of 42 with Sam Dutton and 66 with Sempill.

A 10th-wicket partnership of 24 between Sam Sharp and Ben Davidson, who batted at 11 due to an arm injury brought Cumbria to 190 all out from 58.3 overs at lunch.

Coles picked up his second 5-fer, 5/59, ending with match figures of 11/87.

Facing a target of only 68 in 72 overs Bedfordshire secured victory just after 2.30 pm for the loss of just 3 wickets.

Moulton took two and Sharp one, Gouldstone 44 not out.

Having beaten Cumbria by 7 wickets, Bedfordshire took 22 points, and Cumbria took 4 points.

Report submitted by Roxine A. Beaumont-Sempill. 

Next up, Cumbria CCC are in the semi-final of the One Day Trophy for the fourth consecutive occasion on Sunday, July 15 at 11 am against Suffolk at Sudbury CC.

Their next 3-day game is Sunday 23rd to Tuesday, July 25 v Hertfordshire at Bishop’s Stortford.