By Bill Scholes
A record double-century stand between Gary Park and skipper Michael Payne was the feature of Bucks’ high-scoring draw against Staffordshire in the Unicorns Counties Eastern Division match at High Wycombe.
Park, who hit 163, and Payne (99) added 221 for the fourth wicket in 44 overs. This beat the Bucks record fourth wicket stand of 220 unbroken, set by Paul Atkins and Paul Sawyer against Lincolnshire at Burnham in 2006.
The stand helped Bucks reply to Staffordshire’s impressive first innings total of 445 all out, with 428-6 of their own
After Staffs batted well into the third day and set an impossible target of 373 at nearly eight an over, Bucks played out time at 113-3 to secure their second draw in four games.
Choosing to bat first, Staffs lost three wickets for 52 on the first morning, before a fourth-wicket stand of 250 in just 37 overs between Peter Wilshaw (144) and Tim Maxfield (130) took the game away from Bucks and helped reach that big first innings score. Tom Hampton was the pick of the home bowlers with 4-94.
After Shelvin Gumbs scored 73 from 82 balls, the Bucks reply was dominated by Park whose 163 from 200 balls, included two sixes and 21 fours, and Payne who was unluckily dismissed for 99, having batted for 134 balls.
With a 17-run lead, Staffs were made to struggle for runs in the second innings by the excellence of the Bucks bowling. Hampton again impressed with 2-36 from 20 overs.
Skipper Kadeer Ali laboured to 78, while Maxfield added a rapid 90, but their declaration on the final afternoon came too late to force a result.
The next Bucks game is against Cambridge at Chesham from Sunday July 30th to Tuesday August 1st.
Scores: Staffordshire 445 (88.4 ovs, P Wilshaw 144, T Maxfield 130, R Coates 39, T Hampton 4-96, G Park 3-73) & 355-9 dec (95 ovs, T Maxfield 90, K Ali 78, M Hill 45, P Wilshaw 33, G Park 3-78, M Rance 3-98), Bucks 428-6 (90 ovs, G Park 163, M Payne 99, S Gumbs 73, M Spencer 4-106) & 113-3 (36 ovs, P Castleden 51, P Byrne 3-53). Match drawn.