WILTSHIRE booked their place in the NCCA Knock-out Trophy quarter-finals on Sunday thanks to a nail-biting six-run victory over Wales NC in Warminster.

Thanks to inclement weather in south Wiltshire, the hosts’ final Group Four game was reduced to 33 overs per side, but the English county held their nerve with the ball late on to top the group with a 100 per cent record.

Wales won the toss and put Wiltshire in to bat, and it appeared a decent decision when the hosts fell to 81-3 with none of the openers having seriously troubled the scorers.

But at three down, Ben Draper and Jack Mynott were brought to the crease, and they began causing carnage. Draper’s four boundaries and solitary six (58) – partnered with Mynott’s 64, which arrived through a quartet of fours and two sixes – helped Wiltshire generate a 100-run partnership and a platform from which to kick on.

Wiltshire debutant, Potterne’s Josh Kelly, struck an enterprising 34 off just 16 balls – an innings which included two perfectly-executed reverse scoops – before being run out off the final ball as the home team reached 236-7 from their 33 overs.

In reply, Wiltshire struggled to break through the openers and watched on as Cameron Hemp (14), Will Smale (43), and C R Nicholls (24) helped the visitors to a decent start at 97-3.

In a similar story to Wiltshire’s tally, Wales’ middle order piled on the runs. Brad Wadlan (74*) crunched 74 from 52 balls while CL Herring’s 30 from 15 balls left the visitors on 167 before the fifth wicket went down.

After Matthew Burton, Arthur Godsal, and Harry Broderick cleaned up the first half of Wales’ team, captain Ed Young and Broderick produced match-winning performances to deal with the lower order.

Man of the Match, Broderick removed Nicholls in his first spell before coming back in devastating fashion to take two more wickets with the first two deliveries of his second spell.

Amidst all the action, Wadlan stood firm as he worked towards a fine 74 not out and kept Wales in touch with the required run rate heading into the final over.

After five runs had been scored from the penultimate six balls, 14 were required off the last if Wales were to win the game.

But with tailender JC Harding at the non-strikers’ end and Wadlan reluctant to expose his teammate, three dot balls were quickly racked up off Broderick’s bowling.

The fourth ball was despatched for six to set nerves jangling, but the fifth was kept from crossing the rope to produce just a single.

With a six needed to tie, Broderick kept his nerve brilliantly and recorded a dot to help Wiltshire claim victory by six runs.