BUCKINGHAM Town 1sts had to settle for a draw last Saturday in their Division One contest at Oxford II despite a sparkling century from Andrew Fletcher.
Opening the batting Fletcher hit 104 in Town’s total of 194-6, but the visitors were unable to bowl Oxford out, who grafted to 98-9 in reply.
Buckingham’s rejigged batting line-up started poorly as Richard Beer reduced them to 4-2 from five overs.
Fletcher and Simon Myatt steadied the innings, but scoring was slow, and when the players took drinks after 26 overs the score was 67-2.
After the break the batsmen looked like they might try to increase the run rate as the 30th over went for 10, but in the next over Rupert Evans bowled Myatt for 33.
Fletcher carried on to bring up his second 50 of the season from 93 balls. Callum Cater was dismissed with the score on 99 which brought Jonny Cater to the crease. The pair changed the innings, scoring 85 from just 87 balls and pushing Buckingham to a respectable score.
Fletcher’s second 50 came at a run a ball and he was eventually caught on the boundary in the penultimate over for a well-made 104.
Cater fell in the final over for 43 from 43 balls and the innings finished on 194-6.
The momentum stayed with Buckingham in the second innings as Jason Ell took two wickets in two balls in the opening over. Injury forced Ell out of the attack after two overs but Josh Nix picked up two wickets in his opening spell which saw the hosts slip to 23-4 from 14 overs.
If runs had seemed hard to score in Buckingham’s innings, it was nothing compared to the Oxford innings.
The spinners came on and continued to give the batsmen nothing and when drinks were taken after 23.5 overs the score was 31-6, with James Gear claiming two wickets.
After the break wickets continued to fall as Oxford fell to 48-8. John Allcock gave some resistance along with Luke Finch.
The pair added 49 and survived until the final over before Allcock was stumped to give Myatt his first league wicket.
That left the final pair four balls to survive, which they did to salvage the draw and finish on 98-9.
>>Buckingham Town 3rds drew their match away with Oxford 4ths.Oxford scored a useful 215-3 with Stuart Helps taking 3-109 from 23 overs but dropped catches didn’t help Town’s cause.
Town in reply made 194-9 with skipper and opener Mark James(67) in fine form and useful runs came from Chris Coates(24),Anant Peshavaria(22),Stuart Helps(17) and Harry Scarr(13) but really Town should have won this game.