Shropshire Star

Ben Roberts brilliance all in vain for Shropshire

The performance of bowler Ben Roberts has been hailed by Shropshire’s head of cricket, Ed Home.

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Shifnal seamer Roberts claimed an impressive five-wicket haul as Shropshire were beaten by 69 runs at Suffolk in their NCCA Trophy group opener on Sunday.

“Ben did well,” said Home. “He bowled good lengths interspersed with the odd bouncer to keep them guessing and he richly deserved a five-wicket haul. It’s not easy for a bowler to do that when they’re only allowed to bowl 10 overs.

Roberts’ efforts helped dismiss Suffolk, held together by 90 from former Worcestershire and Leicestershire all-rounder George Rhodes, for 251 at Sudbury Cricket Club. But then Shropshire fell short in their chase, bowled out for 182, despite a fine half-century from Shrewsbury opener George Hargrave.

Home said: “We bowled and fielded very well. We fought hard to restrict Suffolk to 250, so at half-time we were all pretty happy with that.

“It was a small ground with a quick outfield, but then in the second half we didn’t build any partnerships. To win a game chasing 250, somebody in the top four must bat deep and make a telling contribution. George Hargrave did very well, but if you look down the card the big blow for our run chase was losing two key wickets in consecutive deliveries.”

Shropshire now look forward to their second NCCA Trophy group match against Norfolk – 84-run winners over Cheshire in their opening fixture – at Whitchurch Cricket Club on Sunday, June 11.