Oxfordshire beaten by Cumbria in NCCA Trophy semi-final

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Oxfordshire lost to Cumbria in their NCCA Trophy semi-final Picture: Oxon CB
Oxfordshire lost to Cumbria in their NCCA Trophy semi-final Picture: Oxon CB

OXFORDSHIRE’S quest to hold all three National Counties titles fell at the penultimate hurdle as they lost to Cumbria in the semi-finals of the 50-over Trophy.

The visitors won by four wickets at Great & Little Tew CC to progress to the final, where they will meet reigning champions Berkshire.

Oxon made 212/9 from their 50 overs, but JJ Fielding’s 74 helped Cumbria reach the target with 17 balls remaining.

Rupert Evans’ side still hold the NCCA T20 Trophy they won in May, plus last season’s NCCA Championship title.

Oxon won the toss and chose to bat but their opponents kept the run rate down throughout the innings.

Openers Jamie Harrison (5) and Harry Smith (17) fell in the first ten overs, with Freddie Smith (12) and Zach Lion-Cachet (4) soon following them back to the pavilion.

It left Oxon 47/4 in the 15th over as Jonny Cater and Olly Clarke looked to rebuild the innings.

The pair stuck around and captain Cater went for 28 just past the halfway point, with George Tait going for one soon after.

At 105/6, Oxon needed to increase the run rate and Clarke (36) and Luke Charlesworth (34) helped the scoreboard move a little faster.

In the end, it took a 43-run burst from Max Mannering (32*) and Prav Chahal (18) in the final four overs to push them above 200.

Cumbria were always on track to hunt the hosts down, despite having Nathan Waterston caught behind by Cater off Charlesworth for 14.

It brought Fielding to the crease and he built solid partnerships with Sam Dutton (44) and Marcus Stables (15), with the latter going in the 22nd over to leave the visitors 106/3.

But it was a 77-run stand with Ben Walkden (37) that truly took the game away from Oxon, meaning Cumbria needed just 30 to win when Fielding was stumped by Cater off Mannering in the 37th over.

The visitors stuttered a little as Matthew Sempill and Walkden were removed, the latter when they were within a boundary of their target, before Liam Grey (16) sealed victory with a four.

Mannering claimed the best figures for Oxon with 2/28.