Shropshire’s cricketers will be hoping the weather starts to take a turn for the better ahead of the county’s final two group games in the National Counties Cricket Association’s T20 competition this weekend.
Shropshire make the long trip to the north east to face Northumberland at South Northumberland CC on Sunday.
It follows a frustrating bank holiday weekend which saw Shropshire’s two scheduled matches against Cumbria at Wem Cricket Club yesterday abandoned without a ball bowled.
The fixture was called off early on Monday morning following heavy overnight rain in north Shropshire.
It means both of Shropshire’s scheduled home fixtures in the T20 competition this season have not been played after both matches against Cheshire at Shifnal Cricket Club on April 23 were also washed out.
The county did see some action on a rain-interrupted day against Staffordshire at Leek CC on Sunday, with the hosts winning the second match by 68 runs after the day’s opening fixture was abandoned owing to the weather before the halfway stage.
Looking ahead to this weekend, Shropshire’s head of cricket Ed Home said: “We are just keen to get on the pitch and actually play two full games of T20 cricket.
“We would have had a very strong side out again for the two matches against Cumbria, with Mitchell Stanley playing after being made available by Worcestershire and Andy Sutton making his debut.
“It’s very frustrating, but what can you do about the weather?”
Shropshire’s opening match against Staffordshire on Sunday, having been reduced following a delayed start to 13 overs per side, was abandoned after 11.1 overs with Staffordshire, having been invited to bat, 99-4.
Captain James Kettleborough, the former Northamptonshire and Glamorgan batter, top scored with an unbeaten 34 and Michael Hill added 30.
Sam Ellis claimed 2-12 while there was a wicket apiece for Charlie Home and Lewis Evans.
Game two – a 10 overs per side contest – eventually started at around 4.40pm, with the home side electing to bat first.
Opener Nils Priestley hit five sixes and four boundaries in making 58 from 20 balls before falling to a catch from skipper Home off the bowling of Lewis Evans.
Off-spinner Home (2-11) then struck twice in the same over, bowling both Liam Banks and Hill, as Staffordshire ended their 10 overs on 116-3.
Shropshire, in reply, were quickly reduced to 9-3. Evans (13) and Home (12) top scored as the visitors closed their 10 overs on 48-7, with Liam Hurt (2-0), Sam Atkinson (2-8), Tom Brett (2-14) among the wickets.
Shropshire gave a debut to seamer Alex Ollerenshaw, who recently joined Shrewsbury from Wem. He came into the side to replace the unavailable Harry Darley.
“It was a long frustrating day spoilt by the rain again,” added Home. “We persevered, hung around, and we did well to get a 10-over game completed with the Leek ground staff trying their hardest and doing a great job.
“Staffordshire did very well and got a very competitive score, so it was always going to be hard work after that.
“Everybody wanted to get a game on and we managed to. It was the first or maybe the second time a lot of the players have played cricket this season, so it was nice to at least get out there.”