Richard Prime:

HEREFORDSHIRE let slip a commanding position as they slipped to a three-wicket reverse in their second National Counties 50-over competition group clash with Cornwall at Eastnor.

Opening bowlers Tom Hage (2-25) and James Rudge (2-37) reduced the visitors to 32-4, chasing the home side’s 194 all out.

But Tom Wells (73) led a recovery before Herefordshire fought back again as spinners Alex Russell (2-33) and skipper Matt Pardoe (1-22) had the south-west county struggling once more on 143-7.

That, however, proved to be the last success for the home side as Scott Harvey (28 not out) and Jonathan Ludlam (26 not out) edged their side home to the delight of the small travelling contingent.

Earlier, Herefordshire had won the toss and Pardoe had little hesitation in batting on a warm day and what seemed excellent batting conditions.

Pardoe, however, was the first to depart, neatly caught at slip by Christian Purchase for 13.

His opening partner Ben Chapman-Lilley (three) quickly followed before Nick Hammond (36), who repeated his feat from the previous game at Devon of being the side’s top-scorer, steadied the innings in partnership with Zain Ul Hassan (18).

Connor Smith (five) and Dave Ball (19) followed Hassan back to the pavilion and when Hammond became the sixth wicket to fall, caught behind off Craig Johnson (1-25), Herefordshire were in some trouble at 120-6.

Hage (34) and Barney Morgan (16) rallied things again with a seventh wicket stand of 44 and there were some late fireworks from the last wicket pair of Alex Russell (nine not out) and Rudge, whose 17 included a massive six which smashed a tile on the roof of the Eastnor pavilion.

His wicket finally fell at 194, which left the home side perhaps 20 runs short of the winning target they were seeking, with Cornwall easing home with 17 balls to spare.

Herefordshire will hope to get back on the winning trail when they travel to Warminster to take on Wiltshire on Sunday.