BERKSHIRE made it two MCCA Championship wins out of a two by defeating Wiltshire by 75 runs at Corsham on Tuesday, writes Dave Wright.

After being dismissed for 163 in their second innings, the hosts were left needing 194 to beat the defending champions.

Even after losing three wickets for 44 in the final session on Monday, the game looked evenly balanced going into the final day.

But Alex ‘Mungo’ Russell continued a memorable debut by taking an early wicket and from then on Berkshire never looked in any serious trouble.

Russell went on to take 3-60 to finish with eight wickets for the match, but once again it was master spinner Chris Peploe, who created the most problems for Wiltshire, claiming 5-18 off 19.1 overs as the hosts were dismissed for 118.

Ealing paceman Russell was one of three players making their first appearances for the team, joining fellow University of Durham student Adam Dewes, the Finchampstead all-rounder, and Datchet’s teenage seamer Jarryd Wallace, a regular Berks 2nd XI player.

Considering they were missing so many regulars – among them Richard Morris, Euan Woods and Tom Nugent – this was an excellent performance by the team.

Electing to bat first on a greenish wicket, Berkshire recovered from 139-5 in their first innings to post a respectable 296, with Waqas Hussain making 53, Stewart Davison 63 and Russell 42.

They had Wiltshire reeling at 129-5 before Neil Clark (54), Henley paceman Tahir Afridi, with a hard-hitting 77 off 67 balls and Jack Mynott (24) helped them to reach 266, a deficit of just 30 runs. Russell captured 5-81 off 17 overs, Peploe 3-62 (19) and Andy Rishton 2-45 (10).

All Russell’s victims fell to catches behind the wicket by Davison, who claimed a total of six dismissals in the innings, taking him past 100 championship catches for Berkshire in the process.

After losing Dewes to a second-ball duck, the Berkshire batsmen were not seen at their best in the second innings, struggling against Wiltshire bowlers finding some movement off the seam. Five were trapped lbw and four others edged catches to keeper Tom Morton.

Hussain top scored on 44, with Dan Lincoln next highest on 27 after a very restrained innings by the Finchampstead skipper’s own standards, facing 67 balls during a 106-minute stay at the crease.

Berkshire were all out for 163 in 48 overs, a lead of 194 with Ryan Murray and Luke Evans each taking four wickets.

Many wondered if it would be sufficient – but James Morris’ men always looked confident they would complete the job and mission was accomplished shortly before lunch, securing the maximum 23 points.

It wasn’t a good match for Morris in the way of runs – just six in all – but he took four catches in Wiltshire’s second innings and captained the side in his usual intelligent, way even though he shared some of his player’s frustrations over a number of contentious decisions made by the umpires.

Davison’s match tally of eight dismissals is his highest for the county, beating the seven (five catches, two stumpings) he achieved against Oxfordshire in 2012.

Berkshire host Shropshire at Finchampstead on July 22-24.