Peploe ready as old foes get set for battle again
FRESH from hauling Berkshire to a draw against Devon this week, Chris Peploe says that retaining the Unicorns Championship title comes above maintaining the county’s three-year unbeaten run.
The result meant Berkshire have now gone three complete seasons undefeated in the Unicorns Championship and finished 23 points clear atop the Western Division.
Nevertheless, the former Middlesex man insists the unbeaten run was not top of the county’s priorities this season as they now gear up for a pair of finals against Eastern Division Lincolnshire later this month – in the Championship and the one-day Trophy competition.
“It’s a lovely accolade to have [being three years unbeaten], but the fact that we’re in two finals with the chance to win both competitions is a fantastic place to be,” Peploe said.
“The goal this year was to play the best cricket we can and to retain the three-day competition title.”
Peploe took seven wickets and scored a crucial 32 not out in the second innings against Devon, after Berkshire had fallen to 70-4, chasing 228.
“Sadly, we didn’t get off to the best of starts, so myself and captain James Morris had to bat out the draw,” explained Peploe.
“It’s not how Berkshire set out their stall to play their cricket, but it was a necessary way to end the game and keep that unbeaten run intact.”
Berkshire now face Lincolnshire in the Unicorns Championship final, but first do battle in the Unicorns Trophy final on Wednesday.
Peploe starred in last year’s Championship final between the sides, scoring 73 runs and taking five wickets as Berkshire triumphed by 28 runs. But despite stressing that he is part of a team full of potential match-winners, the 36-year-old isn’t taking victory for granted.
“Euan Woods [who hit an unbeaten 142 in last year’s final] is a prime example – someone that dominated last year that’s going to play a huge amount of cricket,” Peploe added.
“We’re full of guys who can turn up and be counted in any given situation and that’s what makes us such a formidable team.
“I’m sure Lincolnshire will be hungry for revenge after defeat last year though.”