WILTSHIRE escaped from their Unicorns Championship fixture away at Cheshire with a draw after heavy rain ensured there would be no play on the final day at Chester Boughton Hall.

After two days of pleasant sunshine, Ed Young’s side were trailing by 153 runs despite reducing their hosts to 58-3 at close of play on Monday night.

Having won the toss and opting to bat first on Sunday, Cheshire set about posting 352 before being bowled out during the early stages of Monday’s play.

Opener Rick Moore struck 87 before Luke Evans had him caught by Tom Morton as Cheshire recovered from 29-2 towards 247-5.

Furqan Shafiq (59) and Calum Rowe (71) continued to frustrate Wiltshire as Cheshire moved past 300, only for the tail to collapse and give Tom Morton’s side a hope of claiming victory.

Evans took 4-62 from his 16 overs while Jacob Lintott also claimed four wickets, going for 44 runs in 17.4 overs.

Wiltshire’s response did not get off to the best of starts – their top four were all dismissed for between 20 and 32 as Morton’s team toiled their way to 109-4.

But like their hosts, Wiltshire’s middle order summoned the most substantial response – Lintott, who was influential with the ball, top-scored with the bat before being dismissed for 59.

Tahir Afridi almost made his half-century but nicked off on 49, leaving the tail to find the 150 runs that would see Wiltshire draw level.

Unfortunately, Cheshire’s David Wainwright (4-59) saw that Morton and co. would not stretch past 257 and the lead was 95 at the halfway stage.

With ball in hand once again during Monday’s evening session, Wiltshire made the ideal start as Luke Evans bowled Moore for 1 while Danny Leech (11) and Jamie Crawley (14) also went back to the pavilion before the end of the day thanks to Joseph King and another from Evans.

At the close of play on day two, Robert Sehmi (19*) and Furqan Shafiq (9*) were at the crease with Wiltshire still holding a slim chance of snatching victory on the final day.

Unfortunately for Cheshire, there would be no more action and both sides were forced to settle for a draw.