Pickard’s magnificent ton leads Beds to victory

George Thurstance scored 39 for Beds at the weekend

George Thurstance scored 39 for Beds at the weekend

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A stunning century from Michael Pickard saw Bedfordshire produce a remarkable three wicket win at Hertfordshire in their MCCA Unicorns KO Trophy Group 4 clash on Sunday.

Chasing 344 for victory, Beds were in all sorts of trouble at 14-2 with both openers Ben Howgego and Luke Thomas out for ducks.

However, the in-form George Thurstance put on 103 with Charlie Thurston before Thurstance was out for 39, while skipper Andy Reynolds followed him for a four ball duck just one run later.

Herts looked to have the upper hand when Thurston fell for 91 from 75 balls, with Callum Berrill next out for 23 as Beds were 165-6 in the 27th over.

But Pickard joined forces with Nick Barden to put on 84 for the seventh wicket, with the wicket-keeper out for 35.

Pickard then upped the gears, blasting his way to 100 not out from just 81 balls with 11 fours and three sixes, as Jason Jakeman added a fine 39 from 32 balls to lead Beds to 345-7 with five deliveries left.

Earlier, Herts had failed to take full advantage of a century opening stand as they were dismissed for 343.

Openers James Southgate and Eddie Ballard put on 195 for the first wicket until Thomas bowled Ballard for 11, while Thurstance castled Southgate in the next over.

Herts had got to 290-3 before wickets started tumbling as they failed to bat out their overs dismissed two balls short.

Colin Griggs took 3-48, while Thurstance (2-65), Jakeman (2-73), Reynoldson (1-86) and Thomas (1-40) all helping out.

Beds remain top of the group with eight points from four games after winning four their first four matches.

The county are next in action when they start their Unicorns Championship Eastern Division three day game with a trip to Lincolnshire on Saturday, June 5.