Dan's the man as Cornwall hold out for thrilling draw
CORNWALL's championship season ended both dramatically, and positively, at St Austell on Tuesday evening. In a match which gripped a healthy last day crowd to the final ball, Cornwall valiantly held out for a draw.
Berkshire had set the Duchy a record-breaking 351 to win, in a minimum of 85 overs (that became 93 in reality). They ended on 316 for nine with the last pair of Dan Davis and Shakil Ahmed surviving the last 40 minutes, adding 45.
Davis was the day's hero, hitting the only century of the campaign. He ended on 131 not out off 209 balls with two sixes and 18 fours.
He batted for three and a half hours. The innings had begun well with Matt Robins (45) and Scott Harvey (49) putting on 86 for the first wicket.
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Wickets tumbled after lunch however as the Duchy looked to be heading to defeat at 156 for six in mid afternoon. Davis got good support from Mike Bone (19) and Kelvin Snell (18) to get to the last hour with two wickets remaining.
Despite Saturday's rain play had got under way on time at Wheal Eliza with Alex Smeeth drafted into the team for the injured Antony Angove.
Neil Curnow (injured) and Christian Purchase (unavailable) were replaced by debutants; St Austell's Mike Bone and Newquay's Adam Cocking.
Berkshire won the toss and looked in good health at 102 for two, but Cornwall fought back well to bowl them out for 230. Kelvin Snell picked four for 31 to end the innings swiftly. Ahmed took three for 88 from 24 overs.
Cornwall's reply got off to a dramatic start, losing Matt Robins and Tom Hughes to the first two balls of the innings. In a recovery Dan Davis made 62 and Paul Smith 44 to see it to 161 for seven at the close.
Smeeth went on to make 44 on the second morning and with Taylor Williams hitting 28 the total got to 217 – a deficit of only 13 runs. Berkshire went on to bat out the rest of the day reaching 268 for seven at stumps.
Their skipper James Morris held the innings together ending the day on 107 not out.
Any thoughts of an early declaration on day three didn't materialise as Morris went on to make 144 not out with a further 69 runs added.
Ahmed sent down a 43 over spell to take three for 126. Snell took three for 81, to end with seven wickets in the match, while Robins took two for 37.
So Cornwall ended a transitional season with a creditable two wins, a draw and three defeats, which is enough to see them in seventh spot, with Oxfordshire's last gasp defeat at Sidmouth. Cheshire succeed Cornwall as champions after drawing with Shropshire.
Wales caused some last day anxiety by moving to the top of the table, with a two day win at Dorset. Cheshire could not afford to lose and made sure by batting out much of the final day at Nantwich.
Berkshire 230 (DE Barnes 56, JC Morris 41, SSE Gumbs 31; KJ Snell 4-31, S Ahmed 3-88) and 337 (JC Morris 144, SJ Macey 45, RJ Logan 35; S Ahmed 3-126)
Cornwall 217 (DF Davis 62, PS Smith 44, AG Smeeth 44; RJ Logan 4-73, G Singh 3-55) and 316-9 (DF Davis 131no, SA Harvey 49, ML Robins 45; G Singh 4-88, HC Stephens 3-53).
Result: Berkshire (10pts) drew with Cornwall (9pts).
HALSETOWN beat Paul by nine runs in the twice re-arranged second West Penwith Evening League play-off semi final at St Clare on Tuesday night.
Batting first Halsetown made 163 for eight from their 20 overs, with Andre Otto hitting an unbeaten 77 and Paul first teamer Charlie Goldsworthy 56.
Paul replied with 154 for seven with another first teamer Ben Brooks leading the way with 37 while youngster Kieran Bowden finished on 21 not out. Halestown, the overall West Penwith League winners, now meet Hayle in tonight's Play-Off final at Penzance (6pm start).
Hayle secured their place in the final by beating St Just by 67 runs in the first play-off at Penzance.
West Penwith Evening League play-off semi finals (at Penzance):
Hayle 188-7 (S Trathan 37, J Harvey 33, D Sawle 31; D Fillery 3-34). St Just 121 (T Williams 28, J McKenna 21; J Cameron 3-37, A Goldthorp 2-18). Hayle beat St Just by 67 runs.
Halsetown 163-8 (Andre Otto 77no, Charlie Goldsworthy 56) Paul 154-7 (Ben Brooks 37, Kieran Bowden 21no) Halsetown won by 9 runs.