Four players to make NCCA Championship debuts for Shropshire against Wales at Oswestry

Four players will make their National Counties Cricket Association Championship debuts for Shropshire against Wales at Oswestry’s Morda Road this weekend.

The three-day Western Division Two fixture starts tomorrow (Sunday, 11am).

Shropshire have made five changes from the team beaten by Wiltshire in their NCCA Championship opener earlier this week as a number of players are either injured or unavailable.

There will be Championship debuts for Sam Baugh, Sam Dorsey, Luke Thornton and Ryan Wheldon, while experienced top order batter Ryan Lockley returns to the side.

From the team which faced Wiltshire, Bridgnorth duo David Exall and Matty Simmonds, along with Ludlow’s Luke Miles, are unavailable, while Wem seamer Andy Harrison and Bridgnorth all-rounder David Laird are both injured.

Quatt all-rounder Wheldon has previously represented Shropshire in Twenty20 cricket.

That’s also the case for Shrewsbury seamer Thornton, who made his first-team debut for the county earlier this season.

Bridgnorth left-arm spinner Baugh returns to the side after playing twice in the NCCA One Day Trophy last month.

Dorsey, a top order batter who has played for Lancashire’s 2nd XI, is selected by Shropshire for the first time.

A team mate of Shropshire’s Sam Ellis in the Leeds Bradford UCCE side, Dorsey is enjoying an impressive season for Leigh in the Liverpool & District Cricket Competition.

Skipper Whitney said it was a good opportunity for the four players handed their Championship debuts, while he also welcomed the return of Lockley, his Bridgnorth team mate, to the county side.

Whitney said: “Ryan Wheldon is a good batter and he’s in some form this year. He’s a very handy seam bowler as well.

“I’m excited to have Ryan with us. He bats, bowls and fields well, so he’s a very good all round cricketer.

“Sam Baugh is having a really good season for Bridgnorth and there’s a big place in National Counties cricket for left-arm spinners.

“He’s full of confidence after scoring 64 for Shropshire against Cheshire last month. I’ve watched Sam bat for a few years and I think he could provide some very useful runs.

“I’ve spoken to quite a few people about Luke Thornton and he’s very similar to Ryan as he bats and bowls.

“He’s quite an aggressive batter and with his bowling he’s going to run in and attack the stumps.

“Sam Dorsey plays university cricket with Sam Ellis, who tells me that he’s a very good player, very organised and he’s scored runs this year against some strong sides.

“What I like is that he’s itching to play National Counties cricket and put his name out there. He’s very eager to impress.

“Ryan Lockley is an experienced player who got runs against Wales last year. He’s played lots of games at this level and it will be nice to have him back.”

Wales enjoyed a winning start to their Championship season by beating Devon by five runs at Abergavenny earlier this week.

Whitney added: “Looking at the Wales squad, they have very strong links with Glamorgan. From looking at the Wales side, it’s a very strong team.

“Brad Wadlan got 12 wickets in their last game and also got a hundred as well, so he’s a quality player, very experienced at this level.”

Admission is free for spectators to attend on all three days at Oswestry.

Parking at the club is reserved for players and officials only, with free parking available at the nearby Marches School on Sunday only.

There will be bar facilities and food outlets at the ground, while scorecards, which include an eight-page match programme, are available priced £2.

Shropshire: Andre Bradford (Swarkestone), Sam Dorsey (Leigh), Ryan Lockley (Bridgnorth), Ryan Wheldon (Quatt), Graham Wagg (Wem), Sam Ellis (Formby), Ben Lees (Bridgnorth), Sam Whitney (Bridgnorth, captain), Sam Baugh (Bridgnorth), Luke Thornton (Shrewsbury), Ben Roberts (Brymbo).

Pictured: Oswestry hosts Shropshire’s NCCA Championship match against Wales starting on Sunday.