MINOR COUNTIES: Smith stars again in thrilling draw

Six wickets in the match for Cambs skipper Lewis Bruce in Cumberland.
Six wickets in the match for Cambs skipper Lewis Bruce in Cumberland.
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An exciting finish didn’t provide a positive result for Cambridgeshire or Cumberland in their Unicorns Championship game in Netherfield yesterday (July 19).

Cambs set Cumberland a challenging victory target of 258 in 35 overs and the hosts only just fell short, closing on 245-8 and settling for a draw.

James Williams scored 68 for Cambs in the first innings in Cumberland.

James Williams scored 68 for Cambs in the first innings in Cumberland.

Cambs were 113 behind after the first innings, but Smith smacked his second score over 150 in two matches to steer his side to 370-6. Smith was unbeaten on 169 (21 fours, three sixes) when captain Lewis Bruce declared.

Bruce, of Peterborough Town, whacked a quickfire undefeated 40 from 35 balls (four sixes, three fours) after Mino Mniszko had made 71 in a fifth-wicket stand of 147 with Smith.

It’s a quick scoring ground at Netherfield and Cumberland went on the attack from the start of their second innings with Bruce (2-90 from 11 overs) taking severe punishment.

Chris Pepper (3-40) slowed the run rate down before the players shook hands on the draw. Wisbech Town wicket-keeper Josh Bowers claimed four second innings victims, including two stumpings.

Cambs remain third in the Eastren Division table with two matches to play. They host Bedfordshire at March Town in their next outing, starting on Sunday, July 31.

Scores: Cambs 260 (J. Williams 68, P. Richer 51, M. Pepper 39, M. Mniscko 38, A. Butt 22) & 370-6 (B. Smith 168no, M. Mniszko 71, L. Bruce 40no, P. Richer 31, A. Butt 20). Cumberland 373 (M. McKiernan 75, S. Dutton 70, L. Bruce 4-146, S. Rippington 2-82, J. Arksey 2-100) & 245-8 (N. Longhurst 58, G. Weightman 50, C. Pepper 3-40, J. Arksey 2-78, L. Bruce 2-90).