BERKSHIRE opened their defence of the Unicorns Championship with an emphatic victory by an innings and seven runs over Herefordshire at Colwall on Monday.

Having bowled out their hosts for just 49 on Sunday, they built up a huge lead with a total of 326-7 declared, giving them the full eight bonus points available from the first innings.

There was a century for opener Savin Perera on his championship debut, making exactly 100 off 178 balls with 12 boundaries.

Finchampstead captain Dan Lincoln smashed 75 off just 86 deliveries with a six and 10 fours, while sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 116 with Perera.

Herefordshire offered plenty of resistance on their return to the crease on Monday and it was certainly not the most entertaining day's cricket seen at the ground. However, their batsmen deserve credit for their resilience as they battled to restore some pride following two consecutive embarrassing Sundays (55-9 in the Twenty20 and now 49) at the expense of Berkshire.

Worcestershire professional Jack Haynes made 69 off 134 balls while Jujhar Johal remained unbeaten with 59 from 116 balls.

The hosts survived for one ball short of 86 overs before being dismissed for 270 to leave Berkshire victorious with more than a day to spare.

Seamer Andy Rishton again took the bowling honours with 4-75 for match figures of 8-90, while spinner Luke Beaven, who ended the game by taking two wickets in succession, claimed 3-43 to follow up his 2-1 on Sunday.

It means Berkshire have now gone 28 championship games (including play-off finals) without defeat.

They are back in action this coming Sunday (11am) when they face Cornwall in the last eight of the Unicorns Trophy at Falkland CC, with the winners at home to Oxfordshire or Wiltshire in the semi-finals.

Skipper James Morris, who missed the Herefordshire game and handed over the reins to brother Richard, will return to lead the side.

But Henley spinner Ali Raja is ruled out after breaking his thumb when struck by the ball during the warm-up at Colwall on Sunday. He is likely to be out of action for a month.

DIVISION Three Group A winners Berkshire Women extended their unbeaten run to six games in the ECB Women's Twenty20 competition with emphatic wins over both Wiltshire and Dorset at Calne last Sunday.

Their young side skittled out Wiltshire for just 33 with Romilly Hayward taking 2-2 from five balls and Sophie Day 2-3 from four overs. There were three run outs, two of them by Freya Johnson and one by Phoebe Graham.

Sophie and Emily Cunningham both made 14 as Berkshire cruised to 34-0 in 4.5 overs.

In their second game, Berkshire posted a very healthy 159-7 with Kate Coppack scoring 46, Amanda Potgieter 35 and Day 33.

The latter's fine day continued as she took three wickets for just one run in two overs, while Colette Bell claimed 2-8 as Dorset were dismissed for 40, which included 16 extras, leaving Berkshire victorious by 119 runs.

Danni Warren's side complete their Twenty20 fixtures with games against Oxfordshire (10.30am) and Wiltshire (4.30pm) at North Maidenhead CC this coming Sunday.