As the season reached the half way point Buckingham hosted third place Banbury on Saturday, and after winning the toss elected to bat first, writes Andrew Holland.
Leigh Tomlinson and Adam King started solidly for Buckingham, seeing off the opening overs and then starting to increase the rate. King reached 23 and was looking in good touch before being adjudged lbw off Shahid Yousaf with the score on 45. With spin at both ends the scoring rate slowed again, and Joe Thomas struck in his fourth over to get Callum Price stumped for 8. Jonny Cater came in at number 4 and with Tomlinson looked to be heading towards lunch before being caught at slip off Ollie Clarke for 11 as Buckingham reached 86 for 3 at the break.
Thomas removed Rob Large after lunch which brought Mark Hulbert to the wicket. He looked in good touch and built a partnership with Tomlinson who carried on his impressive form of the last couple of weeks by bringing up his 50 (150 balls). The pair put on 70 inside 15 overs, and were just starting to increase the rate when the return of Ollie Wright saw Tomlinson caught on the boundary for 72. In his next over Wright picked up the wicket of Hulbert for 46 before both he and Thomas took a further wicket apiece to reduce the hosts to 182 for 8. Skipper Jack Parish (17 not out) and Jack Deal (5 not out) made sure Buckingham passed 200 as they saw out the final overs to close the innings on 211 for 8. Wright took 3 for 45 and Thomas 3 for 69.
Buckingham’s new overseas recruit, Tharindu Rathnayaka, opened the bowling in reply and after an over of left arm spin switched to right arm spin to bowl Tom Bartlett for a duck. Skipper Lloyd Sabin and Joe White dug in and put on 29 for the second wicket, but the scoring rate was struggling to get above 2 an over, and after a switch of ends Rathnayaka trapped Sabin lbw for 23. In his next over he took 2 wickets in 2 balls followed by George Humphries chipping in with a wicket to leave the visitors struggling at 40 for 5. Banbury shut up shop and looked to be batting through to the tea interval when Jack Parish threw the ball to Russell White for the last over before tea and was rewarded with the key wicket of White for 14 as Banbury ended the session 49 for 6.
After the tea interval Banbury survived 25 minutes without further loss before rain forced the players off the field for the best part of half an hour. When they came back on there were a minimum of 12 overs, or 49 minutes of cricket left with Buckingham still needing 4 wickets.
Charlie Hill and Shazad Rana were at the crease and playing solidly for the draw. The pair had survived for 11 overs when Jack Deal has Rana trapped lbw for 8 to make the breakthrough. David Whiteley came in at number 9 and supported Hill as they played out 6 overs together, but more importantly 21 minutes as time back to run out. Buckingham brought Mark Hulbert into the attack and in his second over the change worked as he had Hill caught at gully for 19. Hulbert picked up his second when Ollie Wright was struck on the pad leaving the ball and Joe Thomas came in at number 11 with 10 minutes left in the match. He and Whiteley made it to the final over before he edged the ball to White with 3 balls remaining to seal an impressive victory for Buckingham as they bowled Banbury out for 82. Rathnayaka was the pick of the bowlers with 4 for 27 from 26 overs while Hulbert sealed the win with 3 for 6 at the end. White, Humphries and Deal all chipped in with a wicket as well as the win takes Buckingham level on points with Banbury in the table.
L. Tomlinson c Whiteley b Wright 72 (176)
A. King lbw b Yousaf 23 (35)
C. Price st Rana b Thomas 8 (26)
J. Cater+ c Yousaf b Clarke 11 (30)
R. Large lbw b Thomas 5 (25)
M. Hulbert c Clarke b Wright 46 (54)
T. Rathnayaka c Rana b Thomas 5 (8)
R. White b Wright 1 (4)
J. Parish* Not Out 17 (17)
J. Deal Not Out 5 (9)
Extras (11b, 5lb, 2w) 18
FoW: 45-1 (King, 15.1); 65-2 (Price, 25.2); 84-3 (Cater, 34.5); 95-4 (Large, 41.5); 165-5 (Tomlinson, 56.2); 179-6 (Hulbert, 58.2); 182-7 (Rathnayaka, 59.1); 182-8 (White, 60.3)
O. Wright 14-3-45-3 (1w)
C. Hill 6-1-14-0 (1w)
S. Yousaf 13-4-37-1
J. Thomas 23-4-69-3
O. Clarke 8-0-30-1
L. Sabin* lbw b Rathnayaka 23 (67)
T. Bartlett b Rathnayaka 0 (2)
J. White c Rathnayaka b White 14 (80)
S. Yousaf c King b Rathnayaka 1 (7)
O. Clarke b Rathnayaka 0 (1)
G. Tait c Tomlinson b Humphries 1 (10)
C. Hill c White b Hulbert 19 (79)
S. Rana+ lbw b Deal 8 (34)
D. Whiteley Not Out 2 (38)
O. Wright lbw b Hulbert 0 (8)
J. Thomas c White b Hulbert 4 (13)
Extras (2b, 8w) 10
Total 82 all out
FoW: 6-1 (Bartlett, 2.2); 35-2 (Sabin, 17.3); 37-3 (Yousaf, 19.3); 37-4 (Clarke, 19.4); 40-5 (Tait, 22.4); 49-6 (White, 31.5); 73-7 (Rana, 42.5); 78-8 (Hill, 48.6); 78-9 (Wright, 52.2); 82-10 (Thomas, 56.3)
T. Rathnayaka 26-16-27-4 (1w)
R. White 10-3-21-1 (6w)
G. Humphries 9-2-19-1
J. Deal 6-4-7-1 (1w)
M. Hulbert 5.3-3-6-3
Buckingham win by 129 runs.
Buckingham – 25 points
Banbury – 3 points