CHESHIRE, last year’s winners, crashed out of the Unicorns Knockout Trophy at the second-round stage on Sunday after they were humbled for 88 by Lincolnshire.

The visitors to Bracebridge Heath batted for little more than half of their allotted overs on a difficult pitch that saw only three men – Will Evans (19), Jamie Crawley (13) and Andrew Jackson (18) - make it into double figures.

Cuckney paceman Alex Willerton’s generated bounce that proved too much to handle, a return of 6-20 setting a record in the competition for his side.

A series of interruptions because of rain saw Lincolnshire’s target adjusted to 80 off 34 overs and an early breakthrough from Oulton Park all-rounder Ben Gibbon (2-22) left them 12-2.

Another pause was followed by a change of approach, the hosts cantering to a six-wicket victory led by Bilal Shafayat (39no) on his first county appearance of the campaign.

“The conditions were pretty awful and we didn’t really have the firepower to match Willerton,” rued Cheshire captain Rick Moore afterwards.

“However there is still plenty of learnings we can take from the game.”

Cheshire must win both meetings of a double-header with Northumberland at Jesmond on Sunday to keep alive faint hopes of progressing from the Unicorns T20 group-stage.


Unicorns Knockout Trophy

Sunday, June 2

Second Round: Berkshire 179-3 Dorset 178-6 (at Oratory School); Cambridgeshire 276 Norfolk 268-7 (at Exning); Cornwall 189-8 Buckinghamshire 154 (at Truro); Herefordshire 245-9 Staffordshire 306-7 (at Eastnor); Lincolnshire 80-4 Cheshire 88 (Lincolnshire win by six wickets) (at Bracebridge Heath); Shropshire 280 Cumberland 307-8 (at Oswestry); Wales 159 Oxfordshire 195-6 (at Lisvane); Wiltshire 118-5 Devon (Wiltshire win 4-3 after bowl out) (at Warminster)