Buckingham Town II’s – 199-7 off 50 overs (25 points)
Challow & Childrey – 182 all out off 47.1 overs (10 points)
Buckingham Town II’s made it three wins on the bounce on Saturday when they beat Challow & Childrey at Bourton Road by just seventeen runs, in a game that went down to the wire yet again and a result either way being possible with just a minimal amount of balls left in the game. A superb half century from Ben Stafford off just 60 balls added to a great 45 from Matthew Thatcher set Town on their way to 199 off their allotted overs, Challow fought back and 64 from Ryan Gordon looked to be edging the game in their favour but the Town spinners got the wickets tumbling and some very alert wicket keeping from Alex O’Dell helped the home side clinch the victory that lifts them up to sixth in the Cherwell Cricket League Division One table.
Challow won the toss and put their hosts into bat and made an early breakthrough in the third over when Conor Jones bowled Ali Martin after the young batsmen had hit two boundaries, but Sam Younghusband came in to partner Towns other opener Alex O’Dell and the pair added 30 to the total before the new batsmen was trapped LBW off the bowling of Jones again.
Matthew Thatcher came to the crease and added a further 15 with O’Dell until the home wicket keeper going for a boundary only succeeded in finding the hands of Harry Whitehead, and at 54-3 a few nerves were obvious. But Callum Cater joined Thatcher and the partnership was worth a further 29 before Cater fell LBW to Ryan Gordon although clearly not convinced as he left the field.
Skipper Steve Beck joined Thatcher to add 22 between them before being trapped leg before, this time off the bowling of Luke Cheshire; Thatcher was moving along nicely and as Ben Stafford joined him in the middle the pair added 33 until Thatcher suffered heartbreak being caught behind with his score on 45. Max Sutton came to the crease for his first start for the 2nds this season, and he & Stafford added a brilliant 54 between them.
Stafford reached 53 which included seven boundaries, of which three cleared the rope, in just over an hour; the last of which a four to see him over the half-century mark, then in the very next ball was bowled by Jones. In that time Sutton had also been scoring, and as Albert Johnson came out to replace Stafford just a few balls remained, Sutton ended 21 not out, and the home score on 199, Conor Jones the top wicket taker, 3-33 off his 10 overs.
Challow started well and reached 22 before Harry Kent was trapped LBW by Richard Pengelly, Harry Whitehead then joined Joe Harris and the pair added 18 until Harris was caught behind off the bowling of Albert Johnson with the scoreboard on 40. Just a run later Whitehead was bowled by Johnson, but Jack Chapman came to partner Ryan Gordon and the pair added 34 until Younghusband caught Chapman off the bowling of Wasim Fayyaz with his score on 26.
Justin Penrose was bowled by Fayyaz shortly after, and whilst Gordon was adding runs his partners were falling rapidly, James Coombs fell leg before to Fayyaz to leave Challow 89-6. At this stage Town looked confident but Gordon dug in and alongside Mark Foster the pair added 60 between them to frustrate the Town attack, Gordon reaching his half century just before Foster was eventually removed when O’Dell stumped him off the bowling of Thatcher.
Hugh Atkinson came in and again Challow threatened to knock off the runs required, but just as their partnership reached 21 the vital wicket of Gordon came when he was brilliantly caught by Stafford off the bowling of Pengelly. Challow needing 30 to win, Town needing 2 wickets, it was now all Town on the field as they urged each other on; Luke Cheshire stood with Atkinson in the middle adding 12 between them before Johnson removed the bails of the former with his final ball of his ninth over.
Ben Stafford then came in for his final over and with his first ball watched as Atkinson advanced forward only for the ball to spin past him into the gloves of O’Dell who gratefully removed his bails to spark huge celebration on the pitch amongst the Town players. Johnson & Fayyaz finishing with 3 wickets apiece, the latter taking his tally to 33 wickets for the season to date, and proving invaluable at this crunch time of the season.
Next week Town host Tiddington who are one of the teams below them, so victory is vital as the final game see’s the 2nds travel to fourth placed Abingdon Vale knowing that will be a tough test, and not one wanted to face should they have to win to stay up.
Match scorecard: http://cherwellcricketleague.com/scorecard.php?Match_ID=6078
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