RICHARD Morris scored a stylish century as Berkshire reached the semi-finals of the Unicorns Trophy, writes Dave Wright.

They hammered 309-9 off their 50 overs and bowled out Suffolk – the strongest side they have faced this season – for 244 to secure a 65-run victory at Falkland CC on Sunday.

Now only Staffordshire stand between them and a place in the final at Wormsley.

Having elected to bat first after winning the toss, Berkshire suffered a shock when Ollie Wilkin was trapped leg before wicket to the first ball of the day.

Fellow opener Jack Davies was bowled for 13 and, with Euan Woods falling the same way for 37 and skipper James Morris lbw for 31, this quarter-final tie was looking evenly-balanced with Berkshire 130-4 after 29 overs.

However, that all changed when Morris and Andy Rishton came together.

Morris, always on his toes and hungry to attack the bowling, increased the tempo throughout an impressive innings.

The Henley batsman reached his half-century in 64 balls, his next 50 from only 31.

He was dropped on 94, but deserved that slice of luck, eventually making 125 off 105 balls with three sixes and 11 fours.

Morris and Rishton, who raced to 67 off 52 balls with a six and eight boundaries, put on 126 for the fifth wicket in 16 overs. It was to prove a match-winning partnership.

In going for quick runs, Berkshire lost late wickets but their total of 309 left them in a very strong position.

It put the pressure on Suffolk to get off to solid start, but openers Jaik Mickleburgh, the former Essex batsman, and Martyn Cull were dismissed for 11 and 15 respectively.

The visitors began to improve their position and three useful stands saw them reach a promising 230-5 with nine overs remaining. However, Berkshire didn’t flap, kept their cool and took wickets to put the break on Suffolk.

And they ripped through the rest of the order, with the last five wickets falling for just 14 runs in less three overs. Nugent took 4-38 off nine overs, but spinner Ali Raja was the most economical, finishing with excellent figures of 1-34 off 10 overs, bowling at a time when the visitors were looking to push the score along.

There were some excellent catches by Berkshire on a day when they batted, bowled and fielded better than their opponents.

The tie away to Staffordshire will be on Sunday, July 9.

Berkshire are also on the road this weekend, travelling to Abergavenny to play Wales Minor Counties in the Unicorns Championship, starting on Sunday.


Berkshire: Wilkin 0, Davies 13, Woods 37, R Morris 125, J Morris 31, Rishton 67, Lincoln 9, Peploe 7, Davison 1, Nugent 3no. Extras (1b, 3lb, 12w) 16. Total: 309-9 (50 ov).

Bowling: Comber 10-1-64-4, Douglas 8-1-50-0, Wakelin 9-0-51-2, Rash 6-0-42-0, Beaumont 7-0-35-0, Young 10-0-63-2.

Suffolk: Cull 15, Mickleburgh 11, Young 23, Shepperson 53, Batch 37, Comber 63, Rash 11, Wakelin 1, Mansfield 0, Beaumont 4no, Douglas 0. Extras (7lb, 19w) 26. Total:244 (43.5ov).

Bowling: Nugent 9-1-38-4, Wilkin 5-0-30-0, Woods 6.5-0-38-2, Peploe 10-0-64-1, Raja 10-1-34-1, Rishton 3-0-33-1.