CORNWALL won a sensational match after being forced to follow-on in the Unicorns Counties Championship.
The Duchy defeated Berkshire by 33 runs in the game at Henley-on-Thames with Alex Smeeth’s 140 couple with half centuries from Christian Purchase and Matt Rowe proving to be crucial runs for the visitors in their second innings.
The victory came after the hosts enforced the follow on as Cornwall fell 177 short of Berkshire’s first innings total of 388.
They were able to set a total of 195 for Berkshire to chase down, but the bowling exploits of Shakil Ahmed and Kelvin Snell who claimed four wickets each blew the home side away as they were bowled out for 161.
During the first day’s play, tons from Waqas Hussain, 113, and Richard Morris, 124, saw Berkshire reach 388 with their last wicket falling on the final ball of their allotted 90 overs.
Cornwall made it to 74 for two by the close of play, but then early wickets going down the next day saw them collapse to 130 for eight.
Smeeth’s 64 runs off 57 balls helped the team go past 200 but could not help his side get past the follow-on point.
In the next innings though, Smeeth came out firing again piling on 140 runs off 235 balls with 18 fours and one six He was ably backed up by Purchase who scored an explosive 79 with six fours and five sixes as the duo put on a third wicket partnership of 121.
Berkshire suffered a shaky start to their chase losing three wickets for 30 runs before Richard Morris and David Barnes steadied the ship with a partnership of 53.
Wickets started to tumble again though at regular intervals for the hosts as they went from 83 for three to 134 for nine.
A last wicket stand of 27 gave Cornwall a nervy few moments towards the end, but the celebrations started when number 11 batsman Gurveer Singh was caught and bowled by Ahmed for 11.
The victory was Cornwall’s first in Berkshire since 1996 and their next match is away at Cheshire starting on Sunday, June 22.