WILTSHIRE made it through to the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy on Sunday in bizarre circumstances after a bowl-out was needed to decide the winner of their match against Devon.

Captain Ed Young won the toss and opted to bat first, but his side made a tricky start to their innings, losing wickets at a consistent rate through the first 20 overs as Wiltshire struggled to 86-5.

With a mini-revival underway, the inclement weather brought a stop to proceedings and the game was forced to be abandoned.

However, due to Wiltshire’s home ground of Warminster having an indoor cricket school, umpires decided a bowl out between the two teams would be the only way to fairly settle the tie.

Devon took an early 2-0 lead, but Wiltshire roared back to take the tie 4-3 and set up a quarter-final tie against neighbours Oxfordshire on June 30.

Discussing the unique way the second-round match was settled, Young admitted he could not help but feel sorry for Devon, but remained proud of his players for handling the pressure admirably.

He said: “It was such a strange way to go through. We were really up for it and Devon came with quite a good team, and we were really behind the eight-ball being 118-5 off 26 overs.

“But then we watched the rain and it just didn’t stop, so it suddenly became apparent that this was the situation and we were going to have to have a bowl out in the indoor school.

“Luckily, Warminster had that option, so it was a good place to practice and hold this event as well.

“When the inevitable came, we won 4-3. It was like a penalty shoot-out in football.

“It was an amazing environment and highly pressured. Guys who were hitting the stumps easily before then suddenly missed during the actual bowl out.

“Mixed feelings on going through, but I feel sorry for Devon because they were in such a strong position in the game.

“But we could only play the cards that were in front of us and we did that.”

Young’s side make a return to action this weekend when they host Wales in the penultimate round of Twenty20 fixtures.

Wiltshire are currently third in the group – one spot below their weekend opponents – and will likely need to win at least three of their final four fixtures if they are to stand a chance of topping the group.

Despite the uphill task ahead, Young is confident and has backed his boys to continue the momentum from the previous batch of games against Devon and Cornwall.

He said: “Because we’ve had two pairs of fixtures down in Cornwall and Devon, we’ve had a couple of weeks off from Twenty20, so it would be really nice to take that momentum that we had from the previous round of T20s into the Wales games.

“We’re in quite a nice position in the group, so if we can get two wins on Sunday then it will put us in good stead to finish top of the group.

“We’ve had some fascinating games – we’ve had a couple of last-over finishes, but hopefully we’ll be able to come out with an easier win this time around.”