Archive for Buckinghamshire County Cricket Club

Unicorns Minor Counties: Bucks seamer Burden benefitting from Oz experience

Bucks and High Wycombe seamer Jonathan Burden believes his experiences over the winter in Australia will benefit him for the forthcoming season.

Jonathan Burden

In the Home Counties Premier League, Division 1 opener at Banbury last Saturday, Burden picked up three for 14 from ten overs in an impressive spell.

Reflecting on his winter, Burden told Sports Shots:

The team started dreadfully, before Christmas we were seventh in a league of eight.

After the break we only lost one regular season game and got into fourth place, which meant we were in the play-offs. Unfortunately, the opposition proved too strong on the day and we lost.

My own performances followed the teams. I didn’t take many wickets early on, but did very well in the middle part of the season which was white ball/coloured kit cricket. I think I ended up with 20 wickets in 14 games at an average of just over 20.

The trip down under has been a great learning curve.

My cricket has benefited hugely from the experience. The pitches in Australia were far less responsive than English ones which meant I had to alter the lengths I bowl somewhat. I also spent a lot of time working with the other opening bowler at the club, who had played some first class cricket in India, on getting the ball to swing. I’ve always struggled to do that and so it’s been hugely beneficial for my cricket. Given that the conditions for swinging the ball are far less favourable in Australia than in England, I’m hoping to see some real benefits for the upcoming season.

Unicorns T20 Group 2: Bucks share the spoils with T20 holders in group opener

Bucks shared the spoils when they opened their Unicorns T20 competition with a double-header against reigning champions Berkshire at Wargrave on Sunday.

Bucks Shirt

Conrad Louth was the champagne moment winner in the second game, also for an outstanding piece of fielding

In two closely-fought low-scoring matches, Berkshire won the first encounter by seven runs, before Bucks hit back to take the second by four runs.

In the first match, Bucks chose to bat first and seemed set for victory after restricting the hosts to 131-8 from their 20 overs.
This was largely due to two early wickets from left-arm spinner Masoor Khan, who also held on to a spectacular one-handed catch in the deep to dismiss Berkshire’s top scorer James Morris for 46.

Masoor Khan

But Bucks also struggled on a slow surface against a predominantly spin attack and managed only 124-6 in reply, Garry Park top-scoring with 42.

Garry Park

In the second game, Bucks this time chose to bat first, with leg-spinner Stephen Croft replacing skipper Tom Hampton, who had recovered from a knee injury to be fit for the day.

The visitors seemed set for a big total, when reaching 77-3 after ten overs, thanks to newcomer Conrad Louth (31) and Park (37). But they did not score a single boundary in the last ten overs of their innings and finished on a disappointing 127-8.

Conrad Louth

Berkshire also struggled against tight fielding and bowling and came to the last over bowled by Michael Payne, needing 14 for victory.

Michael Payne

But two catches in the deep off successive balls saw them fall short on 123-6.

Bucks’s next group games in the group stage of this competition are against Oxfordshire at High Wycombe on Sunday May 26th.

Unicorns MCCA T20 Group 2: Hampton talks of ‘progressing’ Bucks after level encounter with T20 Champions

Bucks skipper Tom Hampton believes his side are making progress after a share of the points in their Unicorns T20 Group 2 opener at current champions, Berkshire on Monday.

Tom Hampton

Bucks narrowly lost their opening match before bouncing back to hold their nerve and pick a win in the second game.

With Berkshire being the competition holders, the Bucks captain was quick to praise his side.

Hampton told Sports Shots:

On the whole I was really pleased with Monday’s performance. We put ourselves in a position to win both games, and played some really good cricket.

The wicket had been used over the weekend and even in the first game was very slow and did assist the slower bowlers from the start.

I thought we bowled and fielded brilliantly in both games, with Mas (Khan) and Conrad (Louth) taking game changing catches in either innings. The intensity that we brought to the field was really pleasing.

We probably didn’t put our foot down early enough in the first game, and left a little too much to do. I think we underestimated  how hard it was to hit boundaries at the end of the innings, but you learn from these things.

The wicket was tricky for batters to go and play freely, which ultimately led to two tight games. For games of T20 to be so heavily dominated by spin is a slight shame but made it exciting to watch.

To win one game against a very good Berkshire team and to be in a position to have competed all the way in the game we lost was great to see and I think shows how we are progressing.

Looking forward, we have a couple of weeks off, but the lads will go and play club cricket and have the opportunity to build  some form,  before we come together again at home versus Oxfordshire, which will be another really big double header.

Unicorns Minor Counties: Bucks head to defending T20 champions Berkshire for group opener

Bucks head to face defending champions Berkshire for their Unicorns Minor Counties T20, Group 2 opener at Wargrave on Monday.

Bucks Shirt

Herefordshire, Oxfordshire and Shropshire are the other two sides in the group.

Tom Hampton

The Bucks skipper, Tom Hampton, was upbeat ahead of the game when he talked with Sports Shots.

Going into the first game Saif (Zaib) is the only player unavailable. So we had the luxury of almost the full squad to pick from. That did lead to some tricky decisions, but it’s great to be in a strong position with some real competition for places this year.

The focus has always been on the T20 competition, even with our one-day warm-up games. For me the only difference is the shortened nature of the game. You still have to get all the basics right.

The game is against the benchmark-side, who have set the standards.

It’s a massive first day of competitive cricket. Berkshire have led the way over the last few seasons so we know the challenge they will bring.

We are aiming to win the group and progress into the finals day, and I believe we have the squad to do that. It all comes down to putting the performances in, making the correct decisions over and over again.

We travel to Wargrave with a lot of confidence, but know we will have to be at our best.

Team news for Berkshire sees Chris Peploe return after running the London Marathon. Dan Lincoln, Euan Woods, Andy Rishton, Toby Greatwood and Jack Davies, who have all been representing Middlesex 2nds in their match against Hampshire 2nds on the Isle of Wight this week, are included in a 15-man squad.

Berkshire: James Morris (capt, Datchet), Jack Davies (Henley), Chris Peploe (Datchet), Andy Rishton (Henley), Dan Lincoln (Finchampstead), Euan Woods (Henley), Richard Morris (Henley), Brandon Gilmour (Downend), Joe Thomas (Datchet), Stewart Davison (wkt, Henley), Tom Nugent (Henley), Luke Beaven (Reigate Priory), Rhodri Lewis (Henley), Ali Raja (Henley), Toby Greatwood (Wargrave).

Bucks: Tom Hampton (High Wycombe) (Captain), Masoor Khan (Clevedon), Robin Pritchard (Chesham), Conrad Louth (High Wycombe), Garry Park (Swarkeston), Michael Payne (Tring Park), Shelvin Gumbs (Tring Park), C Macdonell (Tring Park), George Russell (High Wycombe), Uzair Amjaid (Highgate), Conner Haddow (High Wycombe), J Burden (H Wycombe), A Harris (Tring Park).

LINKS to the match images from the fixture played between the two sides from the 2018 T20 game. CLICK on the image below to view:

Buckinghamshire v Berkshire

Bucks CCC v Berks CCC

PSF: Bucks defeat Oxfordshire by 18 runs in 50-over friendly

Bucks defeated Oxfordshire by 18 runs in their pre-season friendly at Aston Rowant Cricket Club on Sunday.

FULL SCORECARD LINK: Oxon versus Bucks

MATCH IMAGES: Featured if you click image below.
Please Note: If you use any of our material or images, please ensure you credit

Oxfordshire v Bucks

Unicorns Minor Counties: Macdonell to lead Bucks for visit to Oxfordshire

Charlie Macdonell will captain Bucks for their trip to Oxfordshire for their final pre-season fixture.

Charlie Macdonell

The former Derbyshire player takes charge of the team in the absence of Tom Hampton, who misses out with a knee injury sustained in last weekend’s friendly with High Wycombe.

New addition Conrad Louth is set to make his debut having joined from Lincolnshire. See his interview when he spoke to us about his new challenge with Bucks.

Saif Zaib, who featured in the Northants Royal London Cup victory this week, is also included in the 13-man squad.

Bucks squad: C Macdonell (Tring Park) Captain, M Khan (Clevedon), C Louth (High Wycombe), S Zaib (Slough), D Ogden (Harefield), R Pritchard (Chesham), S Gumbs, M Payne (Tring Park), S Croft (Harefield), M Choudhry, A Harris (Tring Park), U Amjaid (Highgate), F Khan (Chesham).

Unicorns Minor Counties: Parsons talks NZ trip & debut for Northants 2nd XI

Cameron Parsons has discussed his winter’s experiences in New Zealand, plus a five-wicket haul on debut for Northants 2nd XI on his return from down under.

Cameron Parsons

In an interview with Sports Shots, the Bucks and High Wycombe seamer started by talking about his time on the field with his club, Matamata & Districts CA.

Yeah my winter down under was good. We had some ups and downs as a club on the field, unfortunately a few more downs than we would of liked, but they were all a good bunch of lads and made it really easy to settle in both on and off the field.

After adapting to his new surroundings, Parsons performed.

I was happy with my performances. After a rather slow start I ended up with 33 wickets for the season, with a few runs scored as well to the back end of the season. It was good to have the opportunity to play a bit for their Valley b side towards the end of the season in some quite challenging games.

I felt that in terms of conditions I had to adapt slightly. I felt that you had to make use of the first 10 overs with the brand new kookaburra ball and fresh pitch, which generally assisted first thing with the new ball. Then after that you had to find other ways either to be boring and look to contain and take wickets that way, or try variations and slightly different fields. But the big thing for me was being on it from ball one, to make the most of the brand new ball and taking those early important wickets to get the team off to a good start.

The seamer spoke about the team’s displays.

Unfortunately for the team, they were coming off the back of a good year the previous season and we just couldn’t put together the performances to have a real impact this year. It was one of those seasons where the perfect all round game kept evading us. It was difficult as we made quite a few changes each week with people being unavailable but, not making excuses, as a side we just didn’t put the performances together which was a shame.

As always, a trip overseas is a life experience.

To be honest with you I feel like I’ve learned a lot while being away both on and off the field. One, having to look after myself and be disciplined in what I’m doing in work outside of game day. On the field I feel I’ve learned how to adapt quicker in different situations especially bowling with a ball that doesn’t do as much as the dukes so to be more consistent and really play a bit boring cricket. Another would be finding other ways to take wickets in the tough periods when there isn’t much assistance from the ball or pitch.

On his return, Parsons believes the experience will be of benefit for him.

I think the experience will definitely help for the coming season, especially finishing the year pretty well with the bat so looking to bring that and have a more positive year with the bat. In terms of with the ball looking to be clinical up top with the new ball and taking those early wickets but also not looking to force things too much. Just hoping to carry on the form I finished with while away in NZ and hit the ground running for both High Wycombe and Buckinghamshire and continuing with a good season both individually and as well as the team.

Parsons has already played for Northants 2nd XI against their Nottinghamshire counterparts where he took five wickets.

See our interview on our YouTube channel, supported by Russell & Butler (below).

Unicorns Minor Counties: Bucks skipper could miss the start to the season

By Michael Knox

Bucks captain Tom Hampton could miss the start of the season after suffering a knee injury while playing in their warm-up match against High Wycombe at London Road on Sunday.

Tom Hampton

Hampton pulled up injured during his fifth over and had to be helped off the field.

The skipper, who is also a Wycombe player took 3-21 in 4.2 overs before the injury during his side’s four-wicket defeat in the 50-over friendly.

Charlie Macdonell

Michael Payne

Bucks made 144 all out in 39.2 overs with only Charlie Macdonell (33) and Michael Payne topping 30 as young Wycombe left-arm spinner Conner Haddow took 4-11 in 5.2 overs.

Conner Haddow

Daniel Ogden (65no) and Cameron Parsons (40), who are also Bucks players, saw Wycombe to victory in the 31st over on 145-6.

Dan Ogden

Hampton will miss the Bucks friendly against Oxfordshire at Aston Rowant on Sunday.

Our Flickr images from Sunday’s game, click on the image link below:

High Wycombe v Bucks

Unicorns Minor Counties: Bucks prepare for big season ahead

Bucks County Cricket Club are training for the new campaign as the Minor Counties prepares to become the National Counties Cricket Association in 2020. Changes that will see promotion and relegation introduced.

Bucks Shirt

Tom Hampton’s side trained at High Wycombe Cricket Club’s London Road home last weekend.

The Bucks skipper took time out to give the Sports Shots Russell & Butler YouTube channel an update.

Images from the training sessions can be viewed via our Flickr link below:

Bucks CCC - Pre-season 2019


Bucks boys down under : Stephen Croft

Today, in the first of a new series, Sports Shots talks with Stephen Croft, as we focus on players returning from overseas roles down under.

Stephen Croft

Croft spent the winter playing in Sydney, Australia and returns to be part of the Bucks squad for their Unicorns 2019 campaign.

My winter personally on the field went fairly well, taking over 30 wickets in all forms of cricket, including playing some games of 1st grade in Sydney.
Playing 1st grade, it was a good challenge for me and showed me the level I need to be at every week if I am going to take my game to the next level.
Croft played for Western Suburbs in the Sydney grade competition in a combination of 1st and 2nd grade matches.
In terms of how the side did which I played in, our performances were a little frustrating, often struggling to score enough runs to give our bowlers a chance. 
The trip down under has been a learning curve for the Harefield leg spinner.
I felt I learnt a lot of stuff on and off the field, my batting I felt improved during my stay especially my technique, which I had been working on. My bowling had been just a matter of trying to be as consistent as possible
The conditions are tough for English cricketers with the pace and bounce, whether you’re a bowler or batter, so you had to slightly bring your lengths back as a spinner and not get too frustrated by lack of turn, but really concentrate on hitting a consistent line and length.
So what will Croft’s winter experiences bring.
I am hoping playing with a white ball in a few games in Australia, as well as playing a lot of one day games in second grade, will have given me greater experience in this format and hopefully lead to me making the one day side this year for Buckinghamshire. I’m hoping my limited-overs format bowling has improved and hopefully will show at the start of the year.
We would like to thank Stephen for his time and wish him well for the season.