Bucks left in a spin by Monty’s Beds

Ex-England star Monty Panesar. Picture by June Essex
Ex-England star Monty Panesar. Picture by June Essex

Bucks’ hopes of qualifying for the knock-out stages of the Unicorns Counties Trophy suffered a big blow when they lost by 20 runs to Bedfordshire in a tight game Dunstable

In the end, the difference between the side’s was the bowling of former England left-arm spinner Monty Panesar, who took 1-21 in ten tight overs to thwart Bucks’ chase of 217 for victory. They finished on 196-9, 20 runs shy of Beds’ total.

The hosts got off to a flying start after winning the toss, with former Northants and Glamorgan batsman James Kettleborough top-scoring with 59 in a 123-run partnership for the first wicket alongside fellow opener Jack Keeping (58).

Bucks did well to keep the innings in check thanks to good spell from Saif Zaib (3-26) and Tom Hampton and must have been confident after restricting the hosts to 216-8, only one run coming off their final over.

However, the Bucks reply suffered from the lack of a major innings. Their first eight batsmen all reached double figures but only one – No 8 George Russell (31) – made it to 30.

After falling behind the required run rate, they never looked like reaching the target despite a late flourish.

Bucks must now beat Hertfordshire handsomely at Gerrards Cross this Sunday to have a chance of going through to the quarter-finals.