Berkshire cricket remains on the crest of a wave after the county first XI won the Minor Counties title for the third year in a row this week.

Outside of the first-class game, they are undoubtedly the strongest county in the country.

They have not lost a Western Division game for four seasons, a run of 24 fixtures, and in the last three years have beaten triple Eastern Division title holders Lincolnshire in the championship play-off.

Of the three finals, this week’s was by far the easiest, with the winning margin being an innings and 32 runs after skittling Lincs for 198 and 175.

In the second innings, Andy Rishton produced by far his best ever spell of bowling for the county by taking 5-33 from 16 overs. He has never been on the losing side in a championship game.

Reading CC can take some credit, as he played for them until four years ago, being voted their 2014 young player of the year and the first team’s most improved player.

How Reading needs a player or three of his quality to turn their fortunes around following three successive relegations.

Yet, the Sonning Lane side can take great heart from their form towards the end of this season, as in their last five fixtures they secured a whopping 93 points, the highest total in Division 1 and six points more than champions Cookham Dean.

Reading have received their pitch gradings for the season from the Thames Valley League.

The one used by the third and fourths received an average mark of 4.06 and the outfield 4.22, compared to the main square’s 3.69 and 4.28 respectively.

The average for the 102 grounds was.4398 and 4.525.

Neighbours Sonning did better in the rankings, with their main pitch scoring 4.50 (pitch) and 4.18 (outfield) and the second pitch 4.95 and 5.24, making it among the top 10 in the league.

But it hasn’t been a good summer for the Pound Lane club, with three teams all finishing bottom of their respective divisions.