Reported By Andrew Holland
Buckingham travelled to bottom of the table Horspath on Saturday, and after winning the toss they asked the hosts to bat first.
George Humphries made an early breakthrough for Buckingham as he had Robbie Eason stumped for 2. Tom Coleman joined Dominic O’Connor at the crease and the pair began to build a good partnership. The majority of their early runs came in boundaries as they saw off the opening bowlers and began to increase the rate. O’Connor brought up his half century (92 balls) followed by Coleman (66 balls) as they put on 99 for the second wicket. With lunch approaching Tharindu Rathnayaka broke the stand by removing O’Connor for 56 as Horspath reached the break on 129 for 2.
In the first over after lunch Jack Deal picked up 2 wickets in 2 balls to set the tone as Horspath only managed 5 runs in 6 overs before rain forced the players off the field for the first time. The delay was less than 10 minutes and the players returned briefly before a second longer rain break saw the game reduced to 110 overs.
When the game resumed Kyle Hopper offered some support to Coleman until he became Rathnayaka’s second victim, bringing Will Hawtin to the crease. Coleman was looking good, and took the score up to 170 with 7 overs to go when he was trapped lbw by Rathnayaka for 67 followed by Will Eason going next ball just as the rain returned and once again forced the players off.
A further over was lost before they returned and Rathnayaka picked up the wicket of Will Robertson to claim his five wicket haul. In the next over Hawtin was dropped going for a big shot, and took advantage of his life to score some vital late runs. He made an unbeaten 41 from 37 balls to take the score past 200 but Deal ended the innings with 2 wickets in consecutive balls for the third time in the innings as Horspath were bowled out for 203. Rathnayaka took 5 for 46 and Deal 4 for 59.
Buckingham had a minimum of 51 overs to bat, but lost two early wickets as Steve Brunning was bowled by Robertson before Mark Hulbert was run out by an excellent piece of fielding by Hopper. Leigh Tomlinson looked in good touch, scoring 39 and looked untroubled before he flicked Lloyd Belcher off his legs and Stephen Green managed to knock it up and then hold on to the rebound at short leg. In the next over Adam King became Hopper’s second run out victim and shortly after Ash Pearson was bowled by Belcher as Buckingham came off at tea in a tricky position at 74 for 5.
Jonny Cater and Rathnayaka resumed the innings after tea, and played positively against the Horspath spinners. They got Buckingham back into the game and then into the driving seat with a partnership of 74 from 94 balls for the sixth wicket, and were looking in control when Rathnayaka was caught on the boundary for 30 from a shot that looked destined for 6 before being held up by the wind. Cater went on to bring up his 50 (55 balls) but Will Eason removed his opposite number Jack Parish lbw and the hosts were back in the game with the score 154 for 7. Jack Deal came in at number 9 and gave Cater the support he needed as the game headed towards the conclusion. Due to the over rate earlier in the innings there were still 15 minutes of play left at the end of the minimum 51 overs, with Buckingham needing 13 runs to win. Cater and Deal put on 46, and looked set to see Buckingham home when, with 4 runs to win, Deal was bowled by Robertson for 22. Cater ensured the visitors took the points though hitting the last ball of the innings for 4 to finish 73 not out.
The victory completed a hat-trick of wins for Buckingham over Horspath in 2019 across both league games and the T20 competition having previously failed to win any of their last 9 league games against them in a run stretching back to 2009. It also lifts Buckingham 57 points clear of the relegation zone as the league returns to the 50 over format for the final 4 weeks, and leaves them in a strong position for survival with only a maximum of 80 points available over the remainder of the season.
D. O’Connor c Pearson b Rathnayaka 56 (106)
R. Eason st Cater b Humphries 2 (24)
T. Coleman lbw b Rathnayaka 67 (107)
T. Cosford b Deal 9 (11)
S. Green lbw b Deal 0 (1)
K. Hopper c Deal b Rathnayaka 12 (46)
W. Hawtin+ Not Out 41 (37)
W. Eason* c Pearson b Rathnayaka 0 (1)
W. Robertson c White b Rathnayaka 2 (6)
L. Belcher c Humphries b Deal 4 (9)
L. Manley c& b Deal 0 (1)
Extras (8b, 1lb, 1nb) 10
Total 203 all out
FoW: 20-1 (R. Eason, 7.5); 119-2 (O’Connor, 32.6); 130-3 (Cosford, 35.4); 130-4 (Green, 35.5); 147-5 (Hopper, 46.4); 170-6 (Coleman, 52.5); 170-7 (W. Eason, 52.6); 178-8 (Robertson, 54.6); 203-9 (Belcher, 57.5); 203-10 (Manley, 57.6)
R. White 8-4-26-0
G. Humphries 11-1-43-1
T. Rathnayaka 22-7-46-5
J. Parish 4-0-20-0 (1nb)
J. Deal 13-0-59-4
L. Tomlinson c Green b Belcher 39 (58)
S. Brunning b Robertson 2 (10)
M. Hulbert Run Out (Hopper/Hawtin) 4 (14)
A. King Run Out (Hopper/Hawtin) 11 (39)
J. Cater+ Not Out 73 (90)
A. Pearson b Belcher 1 (11)
T. Rathnayaka c Hopper b Belcher 30 (58)
J. Parish* lbw b Eason 2 (11)
J. Deal b Robertson 22 (35)
R. White Not Out 2 (4)
Extras (13b, 8lb) 21
FoW: 17-1 (Brunning, 4.4); 27-2 (Hulbert, 8.3); 61-3 (Tomlinson, 19.5); 63-4 (King, 20.3); 70-5 (Pearson, 23.5); 144-6 (Rathnayaka, 39.3); 154-7 (Parish, 42.4); 200-8 (Deal, 52.5)
W. Robertson 10-1-25-2
L. Manley 5-0-25-0
T. Cosford 15-1-57-0
L. Belcher 19-5-55-3
W. Eason 6-0-24-1
Buckingham win by 2 wickets.
Buckingham – 25 points
Horspath – 11 points