Buckingham fall one-wicket short of victory

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Buckingham Town 1st XI are fifth in Cherwell Cricket League Division One after falling one wicket short of victory against Oxford Downs in a thrilling encounter.

Buckingham picked up six points from their opening match of the season against Banbury last week and collected a further 18 points this week despite falling agonisingly short of victory.

Having lost the toss, Buckingham were put into bat by Oxford and made a steady start thanks to openers Ash Pearson and Ben Laycock.

The two put on 44 for the first-wicket before Lester Smart had Pearson caught in the slips for 28.

Laycock remained at the crease but only briefly as he was dismissed for 27 after he was caught behind off Mark Wingfield-Digby, while Matthew Thatcher (16) and Shane Williams (21) both made starts but when they fell it sparked a collapse that saw six wickets fall for just 33 runs, leaving Buckingham in trouble at 126-8.

However, Callum Price came in at number nine and wrestled back the initiative with a 33-ball 50 that included five fours and three sixes.

Buckingham were eventually all out for 191 in the 52nd over.

Price continued his good form when he came out to bowl as he took the wicket of Daryll Woods in the third over of the reply.

But the hosts regained control of the match through Wes Bartlett (46) and Justin Cantrill (35), who put together a run-a-ball 73 partnership.

The introduction of James Gear (4-34) saw them both depart, but the home side remained in control as they required 101 from 30 overs.

Gear and Matthew Thatcher stemmed the scoring rate as Oxford took 23 runs from the next 12 overs before a dramatic collapse swung the match towards Buckingham.

At 127-8, Buckingham appeared destined for victory but James Barrett (11), Richard Beer (16 not out) and Lester Smart (3 not out) managed to see out the final 15 overs to frustrate Buckingham.

Buckingham host Thame Town this weekend, starting at 1pm on Saturday.