Tense win keeps table-topping Buckingham unbeaten

Callum Price bowling for Buckingham. Picture by Jake McNulty
Callum Price bowling for Buckingham. Picture by Jake McNulty

Buckingham Town held their nerve to claim a tense two-wicket win at the weekend and maintain their unbeaten start to the season which now stands at five games.

In the final 50 over game before the league switches to the timed format, Town won the toss and put Gerrards Cross into bat and the visiting openers began steadily.

Despite a slow run-rate, Alexander Woodland and Matt Watson put on 50 for the first-wicket and appeared to have laid the platform for a strong score having seen off Town’s new ball attack.

But it was the introduction of Will Thompson which brought the breakthrough as he found Watson’s (27) outside and Jack Parish knocked the ball up for Ash Pearson to complete the catch.

After that, Buckingham wrestled control as they turned to the spin of James Gear and Jack Parish, who continued to keep the run-rate in check at less than three-an-over as Woodland and new batsman Harry Nichols put on 26 for the second wicket.

Gear removed Nichols, however, and that sparked a dramatic collapse which saw Gerrards Cross lose five wickets for just 33 runs in 10 overs.

Woodland battled on at the other end as he carried his bat for an unbeaten 71 but Thompson skittled out the away side’s lower order to finish with 5-39 from his 10 overs before a run-out in the final over saw the innings close on 154 all out.

Thompson was supported by Gear (2-32) and Parish (1-31).

Chasing 155 to win, Buckingham went into bat confident of victory but a terrible start to their reply saw them slump to 12-3 in four overs.

Leigh Tomlinson and Rob Large began to rebuild the innings, with Large in particular counter-attacking the bowlers as he scored 36 from 33 balls in a partnership of 62.

When he was caught on the boundary off Richard Knudsen, Jack Wilkins (14) joined Tomlinson to push the score past 100 before both falling to spinner Elliot Green as Buckingham wobbled again.

Tomlinson moved on to 29 before being dismissed by the returning Hampton and that was followed by two more wickets which left Buckingham 133-8 with still 22 to win.

Simon Myatt (31no), fresh from his half century the week before, was scoring from one end and found support from the new batsman Thompson.

Together they saw off the bowling of Green and Hampton before reaching the target with nearly 16 overs to spare.

Buckingham travel to Thame Town this weekend.