By PAUL BOLTON
BERKSHIRE claimed their fourth Minor Counties trophy in three seasons, winning the new T20 competition with their second emphatic win of the delayed finals day at Wormsley.
They had only 30 minutes to prepare for the final after their spinners had throttled Devon in the semi-final but spending another 20 overs in the field did not take the edge off their cricket.
Once again their spin-dominated attack - three slow left-armers and an off-spinner - proved miserly.
Wayne White, the former Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Lancashire all-rounder, and Nantwich batsman Luke Robinson tried to accelerate for Cheshire but were dismissed doing so and it was left to their captain Rick Moore, with 26 not out from 15 balls, to give the innings some late impetus.
Chris Peploe (two for 28) and fellow slow left-armer Akbar Raja (two for 28) proved most effective on a pitch that lost much of its early pace.
Peploe then impressed with the bat with a sensible and restrained innings after he was again promoted to open with Waqas Hussain.
The pair added 57 in seven overs before Hussain was run out but Peploe remained to complete a 41-ball half century.
Berkshire were only 11 short of victory when Peploe, who won the Man of the Match Award, was caught behind.
Berkshire captain James Morris said: “We’ve won a trophy in all three formats in the past 12 months which says that we are an adaptable side who learn quickly.
“We like to think we have all bases covered and we can cover whatever is thrown at us as today showed.
“The semi-final particularly against a good Devon side and it was particularly pleasing the way we bowled and fielded against them.
“We never know when we are beaten. These are big days, we put in a lot of work to get here so it’s important we give our best. It means a lot to us so until the game is over we will keep fighting like mad.
“Chris Peploe’s batting often goes unnoticed. He said when he came off: why don’t I bat like that a little bit more, rotating the strike rather than pinning the ears back and trying to hit boundaries? I was delighted for him to contribute so heavily with the bat.”
Cheshire captain Rick Moore said: “It’s disappointing because we set out at the start of the day to win it but a little silver lining is that we are back on Wednesday for the Trophy final against Devon and so we have another chance to come back and hopefully go one better.
“At halfway we knew we were probably 20 or 30 short. They bowled very well through the middle overs and fielded very well and maybe we stuttered a little bit.
“We came out and gave it a good go but they knew what they were chasing and they went about their business very well.
“Berkshire’s recent record speaks for itself. It’s fantastic. They are a very well organised and well drilled side. We played them in a three day game last week and we saw then what a very good side they are.”