Town edged out in final over thriller

Ash Pearson
Ash Pearson
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Buckingham Town were on the wrong end of a nerve-shredding HCPL Division Two contest at the weekend when they were edged out by just two wickets in the final over against Amersham.

Having lost the toss, Town were asked to bat first. Liam Gough and Steve Brunning opened up for Buckingham and saw off the opening bowlers with a partnership of 31.

Haseeb Ali was introduced into the attack in the 10th over and immediately struck as he removed Gough for 24, but the in-form Ash Pearson came in at number three and, alongside Brunning, scored steadily up to the drinks break with a partnership of 72.

Straight after the interval, Stuart Rogers made the breakthrough when trapping Brunning lbw for 36.

Pearson went on to bring up his 50 from 67 balls and with the help of new partner Rob Large, Buckingham gradually upped the run-rate heading into the last 20 overs.

After adding 88 at a run-a-ball, Rogers claimed a second wicket by dismissing Pearson for 73, while Large brought up a 52-ball half century before falling to the returning Ali which left Jonny Cater and Jack Deal at the crease.

They added 39 in just 27 balls, and with Cater making a 27-ball 38 before being bowled by Alexander Lines and Deal finishing 17 not out (14 balls), the innings closed on 270-5.

Looking to defend a competitive total, the Buckingham opening bowlers started well and kept things tight, with Callum Price taking the early wicket of Adam Ali for seven.

Paul Langley scored 24, and was looking settled before departing to George Humphries, which brought Robert and Andrew Viney to the crease.

After a slow start, they soon found their stride and increased the rate against the Buckingham change bowlers.

Both passed their 50s, Robert from 66 balls and Andrew from 70 balls, as the duo added 167, leaving the hosts needing 65 from the final 11 overs, setting up a tense finish.

Nuwan Jayasena returned to the attack and struck instantly when he had Robert Viney caught on the boundary.

Kallan Braid-Ball returned at the other end and between them the pair took regular wickets to slow the Amersham victory charge. Five wickets fell for 28, which meant 37 were needed from 27 balls with three wickets left, although key man Andrew Viney was still at the crease.

The Amersham skipper looked set to take his side home, closing to within 13 runs of victory when he was caught on the boundary for 90.

At the start of the final over, Amersham needed 11, and Haseeb Ali was the hero, scoring seven from two balls before hitting the winning runs with a six.

The efforts of Jayasena, who finished with 4-59 from his 10 overs, proved in vain and now Buckingham must look to bounce back to home when they welcome Great Brickhill to Bourton Road this weekend.