Bucks back on top after two-day victory

Hamza Riazuddin
Hamza Riazuddin
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Bucks County Cricket Club have gone back to the top of the Unicorns Championship Eastern Division after a low-scoring win over Lincolnshire inside two days this week.

The visitors won the toss and batted first but could only manage 193 all out, however that was enough for a first innings lead with Bucks then bundled out for 181.

Lincolnshire failed to capitalise on their advantage, though, as they were again dismissed cheaply and Bucks comfortably chased down the 161 needed for victory, losing just four wickets in the process.

With only one game of the season remaining, the victory takes Bucks back above Cumberland, who have a game in hand.

The game against Lincolnshire started on Sunday and was played at Tring as Bucks welcomed in Hamza Riazuddin and debutant Adam Dobb with Shelvin Gumbs unavailable.

The visitors made a promising start having won the toss and elected to bat with Karanjit Bansal (61) and Conrad Louth (22) helping them to 92-1 before a cluster of wickets fell.

The wickets were shared around by the Buckinghamshire bowlers with Dan Hampton (4-52) and Riazuddin (3-29) the pick before Lincolnshire recovered from 114-5 to post 193 all out, largely thanks to Luke Robinson’s 49.

Bucks started well in reply with openers Shaan Khan (19) and Charlie Macdonnell (27) sharing 38 for the first wicket, however wickets then tumbled as only captain Michael Payne (63) passed 30 with Bucks closing day one on 178-7.

Any hope of eking out a first innings lead were quickly extinguished when Bucks lost their final three wickets for a mere three runs on the second morning and instead it was Lincolnshire who held a 12-run advantage.

Their second innings began terribly, however, as they first slumped to 6-2 before collapsing to 76-6 as another team effort from the Bucks bowlers removed the top order cheaply, although it was Jonathan Burden (5-44) who ran through the lower-order.

A mini-recovery late on boosted the total as a last-wicket partnership of 33 took the away side to 148 all out, leaving Bucks needing 161 for victory.

They wobbled at the start of the chase, slipping to 13-2, but an excellent innings from opener Macdonnell steadied the ship before an unbeaten partnership of 69 between Riazuddin (28no) and Macdonnell (66) saw Bucks to victory.

Bucks play their final Eastern Division match at Staffordshire next Sunday.