Bucks County Cricket Club started their Unicorns Counties Championship campaign in sensational style with a record-breaking six-wicket victory over Hertfordshire in the Eastern Division clash at High Wycombe this week.
Set an enormous 490 to win on the final day after being thoroughly outplayed, Bucks cruised home with more than an hour to spare, thanks to a double century from debutant Tom Smith.
It is believed to be the highest successful run chase in Minor Counties history.
Smith, a 27-year-old left-arm spinner who is on Gloucestershire’s books, scored 244 not out as Bucks made 490-4 in 91.2 overs. His score is the highest ever made by a Bucks batsmen in their 120-year history. His runs came off only 261 balls with eight sixes and 31 fours.
He received good support from Shaan Khan, who contributed 147 to a third-wicket stand of 255. He batted for 149 balls and hit a six and 21 fours.
Skipper Michael Payne, who must have been rueing inserting Hertfordshire after winning the toss on the first day, made 65 as Bucks kept up their six-an-over chase in perfect scoring conditions.
In three days, the match produced 1,559 runs for 23 wickets.
It was Hertfordshire, who set the records on the first day, racing to 487-2 in their 90-over allocation after being put into bat.
Opener Ed Ballard (248no) and Tanweer Sikander (209no) produced an unbroken 431 for the third wicket, the highest ever stand in Minor Counties history .
Bucks replied with 290 all out.
Herts, to their regret, did not enforce the follow on and declared their second innings on 291 for 7.
This left Bucks an ‘impossible’ target of 490 – but they achieved the impossible.