Cornwall relying on Smeeth to wrestle back advantage
BERKSHIRE hold the aces after the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship game with Cornwall at St Austell yesterday.
The match is well advanced with 17 wickets having already fallen, in an uninterrupted day's play.
After being bowled out for a modest 230, the visitors fought back well as the Duchy were reduced to 161 for seven at the close, trail by 69 runs.
The hopes of the home side will be pinned on Alex Smeeth taking them closer to parity this morning. He is 30 not out overnight and will be looking for support from the capable Taylor Williams, Kelvin Snell and Shakil Ahmed, when play resumes at Wheal Eliza at 11am.
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Cornwall made three late changes to their original XI. Antony Angove was due to replace Neil Ivamy but, with an injury preventing him from being able to bowl, he was in turn replaced by Smeeth.
With Christian Purchase and Neil Curnow also both dropping out, debuts were given to St Austell's Michael Bone and Newquay's Adam Cocking.
Bone is the third-highest run scorer in the Cornwall Premier League with 478 at an average of 43 and Cocking has led the way in Newquay's County Division One promotion push, hitting 728 runs at an average of 56.
The debuts mean Cornwall have used 20 players in their six Championship games this year.
Berkshire elected to bat, on a sunny morning, and got to 102 for two in the 30th over. Smeeth trapped Harry Stephens in front for eight and Dan Davis removed the other opener, Simon Macey, for 14.
Either side of lunch Shakil Ahmed struck to get rid of David Barnes for 56 and Richard Morris for 26. James Morris made 41, in more than two hours at the crease.
Shelvin Gumbs hit two sixes in his 31, at a run a ball, but from 220 for six the last four wickets fell for the addition of just ten runs in four overs.
Kelvin Snell took them all to end with four for 31 from 7.3 overs.
The bulk of the overs were sent down by Smeeth (whose figures were 25-5-69-2) and Ahmed (24-4-88-3), while Davis took one for 23.
Cornwall's reply got off to the most sensational of starts. Just as against Dorset in the last game, skipper Matt Robins went first ball, bowled by Richard Logan.
Tom Hughes followed next ball, caught behind by Stewart Davidson. Then Scott Harvey caught off Matthew Carter for one at 12 for three in the eighth over.
Davis (62) and Paul Smith (44) put on 95 for the fourth wicket before Monty Singh's slow left arm accounted for them both within the space of seven runs.
Bone, on his home ground, lasted half an hour in making 15 out of a stand of 42 with Smeeth. Logan (three for 44) had the final say as Cocking (4) was bowled off the last ball of the day while Singh has taken three for 46.