Express & Star

Staffordshire to meet Berkshire again in semi-final rerun

Holders Staffordshire will meet Berkshire in a rerun of last season’s semi-final at National Counties T20 Finals Day at Chester Boughton Hall on Sunday, May 26.


Twelve months ago a spectacular 147 from just 66 balls from Nils Priestley swept Staffordshire to a 68-run victory over Berkshire at Tring Park before they beat Cornwall in the final.

Staffordshire’s title defence appeared to have ended at the group stage two weeks ago when their final double-header against Cumbria was washed out. But they were then handed a reprieve when Northumberland were found to have breached the competition regulations by playing two players – Jacques du Toit and Stuart Poynter – with more than 40 first-class or List A appearances each in their matches against Cheshire.

Staffordshire made the most of their second chance by beating Hertfordshire and hosts Norfolk in their Super 12s event at Horsford on Sunday while Berkshire, who won the competition in 2018, booked their return to Finals Day by beating both Shropshire and Cornwall at Slough.

The Staffordshire v Berkshire semi-final will be the second match of the day at Chester, starting at 1pm, with Cumbria facing Oxfordshire, T20 winners in 2015 and 2022, in the opening semi-final at 10am.

Cumbria beat Lincolnshire and Herefordshire in their Super 12s triangular tournament at Furness, while Oxfordshire also enjoyed themselves in familiar surroundings at Great & Little Tew where they defeated Cambridgeshire and Dorset.

Cumbria will be making their first appearance in National Counties T20 Finals Day, but have reached the last four finals of the National Counties Trophy 50-overs competition where they have been beaten by Berkshire on each occasion.

The National Counties T20 final is scheduled to start at 4.30pm at Chester Boughton Hall on Sunday.