Buckingham Town pulled off a thrilling run chase as they overcame Great & Little Tew by two wickets and with four balls to spare in an exhilarating HCPL Division Two clash.
Town welcomed table-topping Tew looking to build on last week’s first win of the season but their hopes took a blow when Martin Coetzee struck a superb 146 in the visitors’ score of 278-5, only for Buckingham to produce a fine team batting display in reply and chase down the target.
After winning the toss and inserting Tew, Jason Ell struck early to remove Matt Clark for 10 as Buckingham started well and limited the scoring to three-an-over during the first powerplay.
Joe White and Coetzee saw off the opening bowlers and, aided by several dropped catches, began to build a substantial second-wicket partnership that threatened to take the game away from Buckingham.
They reached drinks on 94-1 and after the break, Coetzee brought up his 50 from 73 balls with White following him a couple of overs later.
Once past 50, Coetzee increased his scoring rate, and although Tew lost White lbw to James Gear for 62, he kept on accelerating and brought up his century from 106 balls.
The score moved passed 200 before Simon Myatt returned to take two wickets in an over and at 224-4 after 46 overs, Tew looked set for a score in the region of 250.
However, Buckingham‘s death bowling again leaked late runs as 54 came from the final four overs with Coetzee eventually out in the penultimate over for 146 (132 balls), supported by Jordan Garrett (18) and Ashley Hubbert (10), as the innings closed on 278-5.
Buckingham’s reply began slowly, with nine runs from the first seven overs, before a quick burst saw 32 scored in the next four before Matt Woods bowled Steve Brunning for 25 to leave the score 41-1 after 11 overs.
Leigh Tomlinson joined Ash Pearson at the crease and the pair kept the scoreboard moving to keep the required rate under control as both passed 50 in a superb partnership of 122 that left Buckingham needing 116 further runs to win from 14 overs.
The reintroduction of Joe Thomas briefly stalled the innings as he took three wickets for two runs in three overs, including both Pearson (73) and Tomlinson (55), to leave the hosts on 172-4 with 12 overs to go.
With the required rate having jumped up to nine-an-over, Jonny Cater looked to swing the momentum back to Buckingham’s way and he was ably supported by Jack Wilkins (16 off 18) and Simon Myatt (10 off nine), before a 10-ball over left Town needing 37 from the last five overs.
Skipper James Gear (nine) joined Cater and the pair added 29 during which Cater brought up his 50 from 38 balls. Gear was run out in the penultimate over but when Cater hit the final ball of Shurmer’s over for six, the scores were level, which left it to Jason Ell to score the winning run and secure a superb victory for Buckingham.
Cater finished 62 not out from 43 balls while Thomas took 4-34 from his 10 overs.
Buckingham travel to Amersham this weekend searching for a third straight win.