Bucks snatch victory from the jaws of defeat

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An extraordinary spell of bowling by Michael Payne earned Buckinghamshire County Cricket Club a stunning five-run victory over Suffolk in their Unicorns Trophy match at Ipswich School.

The Bucks captain captured five wickets for eight runs in his final two overs to turn almost certain defeat into an unlikely victory.

This result ended a long run of losses for Bucks in this one-day competition.

Chasing Bucks’ score of 234 all out in 49.4 overs, Suffolk appeared to be cruising to victory at 179-2 in the 42nd over after a fine innings of 82 from opener Tom Huggins, who was run out by Jason Rance.

Only High Wycombe off-spinner Uzair Amjaid had contained the home batsman.

At 214-4, Suffolk were still likely winners, but Payne dismissed both Ben Parker and Darren Batch in his penultimate over.

The home side needed nine off the final over, but off-spinner Payne captured three wickets in four balls, and they closed on 229-9.

Payne finished with 5-43 from his ten overs.

Earlier teenager Saif Zaib top-scored for Bucks with 56 off 67 balls after they had been put into bat.

Dan Hampton (49) and a late flourish from George Russell (28 not out from 21 balls) helped Bucks to reach 234.

That total did not look enough until Payne turned the game on its head, while other wickets fell to Hampton, debutant Jonathan Denning and Hamza Riazuddin as Bucks squeezed home by five runs.

Bucks will be hoping to continue this momentum when they take on Wiltshire at Chesham in their final group game on Sunday May 22.