Bucks slump to third defeat in four

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Buckinghamshire County Cricket Club slumped to their third defeat in four matches today, Tuesday, when they were resoundingly beaten by Staffordshire in the Unicorns Championship Eastern Division.

New Bucks captain, Michael Payne, won the toss and chose to bat first, but the home side soon found themselves in trouble as they struggled to 66-5.

Payne top-scored with 56 as he added 72 for the sixth-wicket with George Russell (35), but Alex Thomson (4-15) rattled through the lower-order to dismiss Bucks for 162.

Three early wickets for Sam Helm brought Bucks back into the game with Staffordshire stuttering to 25-3, but two significant partnerships, first of 83 and then 167, between Alex Thomson (120), Tim Maxfield (49) and Michael Hill (85) helped the visitors declare on 319-8.

Trailing by 157, Bucks made a promising start to their second innings with Shaan Khan (36) and Charlie Macdonell (72) adding 61 for the first wicket before Payne backed up his first innings half century with 59 as Bucks looked well-placed on 178-2.

However, Kadeer Ali (5-43) ran through the remaining batsmen to dismiss the hosts for 251, leaving Staffordshire needing just 95 to win.

Tom Hampton removed Alex Mellor early to give Bucks some hope, but the visitors eased to the total with six wickets to spare thanks to Ali’s unbeaten half century.