An outstanding display from Warrick Fynn inspired Shropshire’s cricketers to their first Unicorns Championship victory of the season.
The Oswestry all-rounder played a starring role as Shropshire beat Cornwall – who had led by 54 runs at the halfway stage – by five wickets early on day three at Bridgnorth.
Having helped himself to excellent overall match figures of 11-124 from 48.2 overs, Fynn followed up top scoring in Shropshire’s first innings by fittingly being in the middle at the end, unbeaten on 56, as the hosts progressed to 233-5 to achieve their target.
Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors, said: “We wanted a positive reaction after losing the last match at Oxfordshire and we are delighted we got one.
“There were lots of good contributions, with Warrick really coming to the party on his return to the side after being unavailable for the last match by producing an absolutely magnificent all round performance.
“We were behind by 54 runs at the halfway stage, but the third innings can often be so important and we managed to take early wickets on a competitive wicket.”
Shropshire resumed on 175-5, still requiring 55 runs to seal victory, with Fynn and Shifnal’s Jack Edwards at the crease, and they teamed up well to guide the home side past the winning post.
Fynn struck five fours in compiling an unbeaten 56 from 97 balls while Edwards was also in good touch, closing undefeated on 38, hitting five boundaries and a six as he faced 80 deliveries.
The win means Shropshire have now won one, drawn one and lost one under Joe Carrasco since he was appointed skipper at the start of the Championship season – and it sets the county up nicely for their next match against Western Division leaders Berkshire, which starts at Shifnal on August 4.
Jones added: “We were delighted to chase down 230 with Warrick and Jack both playing very well to put on 70 and see us home.
“It’s a really pleasing result and now sets us up beautifully for the Berkshire match.”
Having opted to bat first on the opening morning, Cornwall’s recovery from 59-3 owed much to a fourth-wicket partnership of 98 between Charlie Kent and Tom Wells.
That was ended when Fynn trapped Kent lbw for 52, but Wells, the former Leicestershire all-rounder, went on to top score with 87 before being seventh man out, caught and bowled by debutant Tyler Ibbotson.
James Turpin added 45 down the order to lift the Cornwall total up to 249, with left-arm spinner Fynn claiming eye-catching figures of 6-64, as seamer Ben Roberts took 2-49.
Shropshire, in reply, were going well at 110-2 before the departure of Xavie Clarke, another debutant, for 34, the first of four wickets to fall for the addition of 40 runs.
Fynn, who hit 41, quickly followed his Oswestry team mate back to the pavilion as Shropshire closed the day on 179-6.
The hosts added just a further 16 runs at the start of an eventful second day, with wicketkeeper Simon Gregory, a late call up to replace Alex Phillips, ruled out through illness, falling for 33, as former Essex and Derbyshire all-rounder Greg Smith took 5-52 and Wells grabbed 3-45.
Cornwall’s hopes of building significantly on their 54 run advantage at the halfway stage were quickly dashed as they soon found themselves in all sorts of trouble at the hands of Shropshire’s spinners.
They were quickly reduced to 31-6, with Fynn, who snared 5-60, inflicting much of the early damage
Matt Robins tried to inspire a revival by making 94 from 97 balls, a fine knock which featured three sixes and 11 fours, but he fell just short of a century when Roberts struck in his first over of the day.
Turpin (35) was the only other visiting batsman to trouble the scorers, with Alexei Kervezee (3-75) also among the wickets.
Chasing 230 for victory, Shropshire’s openers made an assured start before Will Parton went for 29 just after tea after putting on 65 with Carrasco.
Carrasco had just reached 50 when he was second man out, but Clarke (22) and Gregory (21) both chipped in as Fynn ended day two in good touch with Shropshire well placed on 175-5 – on course for a victory they were delighted to complete the following morning.