Impressive win over Cheshire as Lewis Evans shines – but Academy places still up for grabs

Coach Ian Roe has revealed places are up for grabs in the Shropshire Academy side ahead of the county taking part in a Twenty20 competition at Worcestershire’s New Road ground later this month.

Roe welcomes having so many exciting selection options with a host of talented young players from around the county in contention.

Inspired by a stunning eight-wicket haul from spinner Lewis Evans and an unbeaten half century from debutant James Kinder, Shropshire emerged impressive five-wicket winners at Cheshire in their latest match last week.

The Academy side are next in action on Sunday, August 18 when they travel to New Road for a four-team T20 tournament which will also feature Worcestershire Academy and Development XI sides from Herefordshire and Staffordshire.

“We’ve got a lot of selection options, which is fantastic,” said Roe. “The lads have got to keep working hard for their clubs and have to take every opportunity in the weeks ahead.

“We haven’t finalised the team yet to take take part in the tournament at New Road. That will be done the week prior to the competition, so the players have got a couple of weekends to go away and score runs and take wickets. We will keep an eye on them.

“We’re looking forward to the competition at Worcester. It’s a fantastic opportunity to play at New Road and we also still have Lancashire’s Academy side to play at Wrekin College later this month.

“I’ve been really impressed with the work ethic of the players in the preparation on match days and the way they are presenting themselves as representatives of Shropshire County Cricket Club.”

Last week’s match with Cheshire at Weston Cricket Club in Crewe proved a memorable one for Shrewsbury’s Evans.

He claimed stunning figures of 8-27 from 10 overs as Cheshire, who were going along well at 76-0, were bowled out for 139.

Opening batsman Kinder, from Ludlow, then marked his Shropshire Academy debut in style by hitting an unbeaten 53, a fine knock featuring 10 boundaries.

Evans completed a good day’s work by weighing in with 27 before Jack Furnival (27no) joined Kinder to see the job through as Shropshire progressed to 142-5 inside 24 overs.

Roe added: “Cheshire were 76-0 and to be bowled out for 139 was mainly down to the wizardry of Lewis Evans with his left-arm wrist spin. They couldn’t play him. There were a number of lbw victims, as well as a rather sharp caught and bowled.

“That was topped off by some good work in the field, so the lads really stuck to their task well.

“James Kinder was class and carried his bat, punishing the bad ball. Lewis also came to the fore batting in the middle order and accelerated the run rate before Jack Furnival finished it in style by just hitting boundaries.

“We had some debutants and fresh faces in the side as we’ve rewarded players for their hard work and performances for their clubs.

“Cheshire had a more experienced team as we played four 16-year-olds, which is our policy now to work alongside Cricket Shropshire with players from their under-17 side.”

Pictured: Shropshire’s Academy side which beat Cheshire last week, back from left: Ben Lees, Ben Parker, Lewis Evans, Sam Davies, Jack Furnival, James Kinder, Alfie Holliehead; front: Joe Smallman, Matt Rees, Josh Darley, Matty Simmonds, Connor Davies.