CRICKET: Wiltshire refocus on final match after Cheshire defeat

Wiltshire's Tahir Afridi took six wickets during the course of his side's clash with Cheshire but couldn't prevent the county slipping to defeat in their penultimate game of the season

Wiltshire's Tahir Afridi took six wickets during the course of his side's clash with Cheshire but couldn't prevent the county slipping to defeat in their penultimate game of the season

First published in Sport News by

MIKE Coles insists that Wiltshire need to focus all of their attentions on beating Shropshire and rising to the top of the pile on the Unicorns Championship judgement day after they slipped off the top of the Western Division table this week.

The county saw their lead at the summit extinguished as they suffered a 226-run defeat against Cheshire at South Wilts this week, setting up a three-way shoot out between the two sides and Herefordshire on the final week of the season.

Wiltshire find themselves just a point behind Cheshire and three ahead of Herefordshire ahead of their trip to Shropshire on August 17 and skipper Coles says that his team can’t afford to dwell on this week’s disappointing reverse.

“You could see that everyone was really disappointed on Tuesday and we spent 45 minutes having a chat after the game – we know that we’ve just got to think about going to Shropshire and making sure that we win the game and pick up as many bonus points as we can,” said the Wiltshire captain.

“We took four points from the game this week and Cheshire took 22, so that just shows how many permutations there can be. We’ve got to try and concentrate on ourselves and myself and Shards (Neil Shardlow, team manager) will worry about how the other teams get on.

“We can’t dwell on losing to Cheshire. Unfortunately, we’ve lost at the wrong time but we can still finish top if we do our job in ten days’ time.”

Richard Moore hit 119 to help Cheshire to 227 in their first innings before they were skittled, with Tahir Afridi taking four wickets, but Wiltshire’s crumbled with the bat in their own first outing as they were dismissed for 174.

Calum Rowe then fired the hosts further into the lead as he smacked an unbeaten 155, with Moore (76) and Lee Dixon (60) contributing as Cheshire declared on 381-4.

Ed Young got Wiltshire’s highest second-innings score as Coles’ men were then all out for 208.

MORE SPORTS NEWS, PICTURES AND REACTION IN THIS THURSDAY'S GAZETTE AND HERALD AND THIS FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES. FOLLOW US ON TWITTER @gazsport AND @WTSport

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