Skipper Tom Hampton led from the front as Bucks beat hosts Northumberland by an innings with more than a day to spare to set the pace at the top of the Unicorns Counties Championship Eastern Division.
Hampton took eight wickets in the match, which combined with his predecessor Michael Payne’s brilliant century, gave Bucks victory by an innings and 59 runs.
After waiting three seasons without a Championship victory, Bucks have now made it two out of two and have a realistic chance of challenging for the divisional title.
The visitors took charge on the first day, rattling up 440-9 from 90 overs on the small Jesmond ground, after being put in to bat.
Payne, whose loss of the captaincy, appears to have freed up his batting, made his second successive century, scoring 126 from 173 balls with 17 fours.
He shared in two century stands. He and Masoor Khan (63) put on 124 for the second wicket.
Then Payne was joined in a third-wicket partnership of 101 with Dan Marles.
In his second Championship game for the county, Marles was unluckily dismissed for 99, which came off 163 deliveries with a six and 12 fours.
With such a platform, the later batsman feasted themselves in the free-scoring condition to reach 440-9.
Hampton then took centre stage, taking 5-51 from 19 overs, as Northumberland slipped from 76-1 to 186 all out in reply. Good support came from Gary Park with 3-25.
Robin Pritchard taking six catches behind the stumps.
With a first-innings lead of 254, Hampton had no hesitation in enforcing the follow-on, despite the hot conditions.
The hosts fared little better second time around, falling for 195 all out.
Hampton again led the way with 3-40 – for match figures of 8-91 – while Jonathan Burden and Khan also picked up two wickets.
The side thoroughly deserved their day-off after a superb display.
There is now excited expectation ahead of their next Championship match against Lincolnshire at Chesham from July 22-24.
Scores: Bucks 440-9 (90 ovs, M Payne 126, D Marles 99, M Khan 63, R Prichard 36, G Park 30), Northumberland 186 (57, ovs, J Thompson 43, T Hampton 5-51, G Park 3-25) & 195 (62.3 ovs, A Simpson 30, T Hampton 3-40).
Bucks (24pts) won by innings an innings & 59 runs.
Bucks 1st Innings:
Northumberland 1st Innings
Northumberland 2nd Innings
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