Vish Valambhia marked his return to Buckingham Town in superb style as he captured 5-9 from four overs in the club’s 50-run win over fellow Home Continues new boys Datchet in the first round of the Twenty20 competition at the weekend.
In their opening match of the 2015 season, Buckingham were put into bowl after losing the toss and made a shaky start, reaching 27-2 from four overs with both openers dismissed.
Leigh Tomlinson and Simon Myatt briefly steadied the ship with a 41 partnership at run-a-ball for the third wicket, but when Myatt departed for 16, the home side began to lose wickets at regular intervals.
Tomlinson top scored with 27 and skipper Jack Parish made 20 as Buckingham reached 112-7 in the 18th over before Lester Smart and Steve Lewis took the momentum back from Datchet with a vital partnership of 37 from 16 balls.
Town posted 149-7 from their 20 overs with Smart unbeaten on 25 from 10 balls, while Lewis finished 19 not out. Stephens was the pick of the Datchet bowlers with 3-36.
In Datchet’s reply, openers Stephens and George made a strong start and raced to 45 from the first five overs, but the introduction of Jason Ell proved key as he broke the partnership by removing Stephens for 24.
Jones (18) joined George (32) and the two took the score to 69-1 before both fell in consecutive over and that sparked a collapse.
Ell finished with excellent figures of 2-13 from his four overs, but it was Valambhia who did the damage when he ran through the visitors’ middle-order, taking five wickets for just nine runs as Datchet finished on 99-9 and Buckingham took victory by 50 runs and made it through to the second round of the National T20 competition.
This Saturday, a Buckingham Town XI entertain University College of London at Buckingham in a pre-season friendly at 1pm.