Buckingham sink Thame to strengthen grip on title race

Ashley Pearson
Ashley Pearson

Buckingham Town are now 58 points clear at the top of Cherwell League Division One following a four-wicket victory over Thame Town.

Thame won the toss and batted first against the table-toppers, but, for the second time in three weeks, Lester Smart made a breakthrough with the first ball of the match as Michael Higgs was caught in the slips.

After the early setback, Will Taylor quickly settled against the opening bowlers, scoring 39 from just 36 balls as he dominated a second-wicket partnership of 47 with James Crichton.

Buckingham struck back, though, and a flurry of wickets in a 27-ball spell saw five Thame batsmen fall for just nine runs as the hosts collapsed to 56-6, with Wayne Platts taking four of the wickets.

Skipper Sam Lachlan and Will Rooney managed to see off the opening bowlers, and looked comfortable against the spinners as they added 76 for the seventh wicket to help give Thame something to bowl at.

However, when Rooney went for 41, James Gear picked up four wickets in four overs to bowl the home side out for 152. Lachlan was left stranded on 42 not out while Gear took 4-32 and Platts 4-63.

The Buckingham innings followed a similar pattern to that of previous weeks. Ashley Pearson and Callum Price got the innings off to a quick start with an opening stand of 40 at a run-a-ball before Price was caught and bowled by Rooney for 21.

A second wicket fell shortly afterwards, which brought Simon Myatt to the crease and together with the Pearson, the pair added 56 in 10 overs to put Buckingham firmly in control with Pearson passing 50 from 61 balls.

When Myatt was stumped off the bowling of Hassam Mushtaq for 30, there was a mini collapse of four wickets for 31 runs, but Buckingham snuck across the finish line to end a run of five consecutive league defeats to Thame. With other results again going their way, Buckingham now hold a commanding lead at the top of the table.

Town host Great Brickhill this weekend.