Bucks beaten in season opener as Ali hits ton

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Bucks County Cricket Club kicked-off their 2015 season in disappointing style when they maintained their poor record in the Unicorns Trophy one-day competition with a seven-wicket defeat to Staffordshire in a high-scoring Group 4 match at High Wycombe on Sunday.

Batting first, the young Bucks side did well to recover from 56-4 to 284 all out but that was comfortably chased down by an experienced Staffordshire side, who were guided to victory by a century from Kadeer Ali, brother of England star Moeen.

Having won the toss and chosen to bat, Bucks made the worst possible start when Matt Watson was dismissed first ball, before the top order crumbled to 56-4.

However, a superb innings from skipper Matt Payne, who made 96 off 113 balls with eight fours and two sixes, helped the hosts recover before Dave Hampton’s 59 off 43 balls took Bucks to a competitive total.

It wasn’t nearly enough, though, as Ali struck a superlative century to guide his side to victory, despite the efforts of Hamzah Riazuddin, who took 2-35 on his Bucks debut.

Bucks have named 16-year-old off-spinner Uzair Amjaid in their squad for this weekend’s game against Berkshire.

Bucks squad v Berkshire at Wokingham: M Payne (Tring Park) capt, M Watson (Gerrards Cross), R Pritchard (Tring Park), S Khan (Slough), H Riazuddin (Henley), J Scriven (Cranleigh), D Hampton (Gerrards Cross), G Russell (High Wycombe), T Hampton (Gerrards Cross), M Rance (Chesham), D King (Harefield), U Amjaid (High Wycombe), S Stanway (Tring Park).