Five-wicket Ell sparks Town win over leaders

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A dazzling display from Buckingham Town’s bowlers sunk league leaders Oxford Downs by 63 runs at Standlake last Saturday.

Jason Ell grabbed 5-54, Vish Valmabhia 3-41 and James Gear 2-13 as Oxford were skittled for 145 in reply to Buckingham’s total of 208. Town move upto to fourth spot in the Cherwell Division One.

Buckingham lost the toss and were put into bat by Oxford. Steve Brunning (16) and Ben Stafford (7) played some nice shots early on but both were dismissed by Simon Launder in the opening half hour.

Jonny Cater and Andrew Fletcher came together and built a partnership but runs were hard to come by.

Having survived one chance Cater was caught in the gulley for 23 with the score on 73. Callum Cater came to the wicket and helped Fletcher take the score past 100.

The introduction of spinner Daryl Johnson saw Fletcher look to increase the run rate as he took 12 from his third over including a six over the bowler’s head.

The re-introduction of Rafiq brought about the end of Cater but when Simon Myatt joined Fletcher the run rate continued to increase. Fletcher scored consecutive boundaries off Rafiq to bring up his first 50 of the league season from 87 balls. The pair added 44 from 70 balls before Johnson had Fletcher caught on the boundary for 64. In the next over Launder had Tomlinson caught and bowled for a duck.

Myatt and James Gear added 22 from 15 balls before Myatt was bowled by Johnson for 29. Josh Nix hit 13 from eight balls including one big six before Rafiq bowled him and Johnson removed Gear for 16 from 13 in the next over. The final pair added 14 before Valambhia was run out so that the innings ended 208 all out.

Darryl Woods and Justin Cantrill got off to a good start in response, Cantrill getting to 25 from 20 balls before Jason Ell had him caught at cover. The rate slowed after the wicket before Ell collected his second wicket in the 11th over to leave the hosts 42-2.

Tim Sutton hit one Josh Nix over for 12 before Ell and Vish Valambhia started building pressure with maidens culminating in Sutton becoming Ell’s third victim. In his next over Ell trapped Buckingham lbw and at 64-4 with the required rate climbing past five Buckingham were taking control. Tim Hardy and Will Watts began to rebuild for Oxford, adding 17 before the drinks break. In the first over after the break Watts was caught behind to give Ell his fifth wicket.

Oliver Bailey joined Hardy and they added 59 from 81 balls before Valambhia had Hardy well caught at square leg by Fletcher. Runs slowed after the wicket and the run rate crept up. Bailey reached 40 before he was caught at mid-on off Valambhia. That wicket ended the resistence as the last three wickets fell in three overs without adding another run.