BERKSHIRE will meet Suffolk in the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Trophy at Falkland CC on Sunday, June 11, writes Dave Wright.

They earned a home tie by winning all four of their Group One games, cementing top spot with a comfortable 131-run victory over Dorset at the stunning North Perrott CC ground last Sunday.

Put in to bat, Berkshire posted a formidable 307-8 in their 50 overs and then bowled out their hosts for 176.

The in-form Euan Woods, now batting at No.3, top scored with 70 off 96 balls, while skipper James Morris made 52 off 67. They put on 80 for the fourth wicket in 17 overs.

But the most entertaining innings of the game came from big-hitting Chris Peploe, who smashed 55 off just 23 deliveries with five sixes and three boundaries.

The club’s professional is setting his sights on reaching his first Minor Counties century this season.

Peploe and Morris added 60 for the sixth wicket in five overs and, with Stewart Davison needing just 11 balls to reach 21, Berkshire piled on 107 runs in the last 10 overs of their innings.

That put the game out of Dorset’s reach and, though opener Gordon Whorlow made 50, it came off 96 balls as the batsmen became bogged down. Berkshire used six bowlers and all took a wicket or two.

All in all, it was a straight-forward victory as Berkshire maintained their 100-per-cent record for the season.

Skipper James Morris commented: “Obviously, we are all very happy to win our group with four wins from four and reach the quarter-finals.

“I was very pleased with how we played. We did an excellent job with both bat and ball.

“It was great to see Ali Akbar bowl well with his left-arm spin on his return to the side. It shows the depth of talent we have in the squad.”

Berkshire: Wilkin 39, Davies 9, Woods 70, Richard Morris 29, James Morris 52, Rishton 0, Peploe 55, Davison 21, Rogers 5no, Nugent 9no, Extras 18. Total: 307-8 off 50 overs.

Bowling: Wolstenholme 2-59, Barber 1-61, Currie 1-20, Naik 0-54, Waller 2-48, Thompson 1-60.

Dorset: Whorlow 50, Ellis 8, Porter 16, Webb 10, Naik 17, Waller 22, Wolstenholme 19, Park 13, Thomson 1, Currie 5, Barber 1no, Extras 14. Total: 176 all out (47.5 overs).

Bowling: Nugent 7.5-2-22-2, Wilkin 7-1-22-1, Raja 10-1-42-1, Woods 10-0-39-2, Peploe 10-2-34-1, Rishton 3-0-12-2.

  • BERKSHIRE are involved in a 2nd XI game with Herefordshire at Wokingham CC on Sunday (11.30am):

Squad: James Bird, Max Stevenson (capt), Sam Burgess, Billy Rogers, Archie Carter, Dan Lincoln, Joe Thomas (wkt), Mungo Russell, Fahim Bahrami, Harry Jordan, Jarryd Wallace, Max Uttley.

  • BERKSHIRE Women, having lost their three opening games, have two ECB Championship fixtures at North Maidenhead CC this weekend, hosting Warwickshire on Sunday and Nottinghamshire on Monday, both starting at 11am.