Thame Town went 21 points clear at the top of the Cherwell League Division One with another close victory, this time against Oxford IIs.
Oxford won the toss and elected to bat, which appeared a good decision after 27 overs when they reached 130-2 with John Barrett (61) and Mark Beer (44) settled at the crease.
However, captain Mike Higgs (3-50) produced a tight spell and dismissed both batsmen, with Oxford then only able to scratch together what looked like a below-par 208-8.
In reply, however, Thame were struggling when they were quickly reduced to 20-3 before McPhee (64) and Mushtaq (61) batted superbly together to move Thame to 150-3 with 18 overs remaining.
After these two were out, a cluster of wickets fell and it was left to youngster Harry Thomas (23no) to see Town edge home by two wickets.
Thame return to Church Meadow this Saturday to take on in-form Banbury IIs.
Thame IIs won the toss and posted their best total of the season to date against Bledlow Ridge – 235-7 off 53 overs, thanks to Ben Warwick (62), Guy Holmes (40), Paddy Harris (27), and Liam Evans (27no).
Bledlow started steadily in reply and reached 97-3 off 26 overs before they accelerated thanks to Rory Spiers’ match-winning 75. In the end, the Ridge got to their target with two balls and four wickets to spare in an exciting climax.
Credit to Ian McStay and Thame’s most economical bowler Liam Evans (3-26), but the hosts struggled to stem the flow of runs on a good track.
The IIIs secured an excellent winning-draw with Shipton-under-Wychwood IVs.
Batting first, Thame made 183-7 thanks to Christian Warwick (50) and Ian Chappell (57) before Shipton batted through to a draw despite youngster Scott Chappell taking 5-6.
Other Thame youngsters are performing well in the Thame junior sides. The U13s, U11s and U9s have all secured several victories in the last four weeks. The club has entered the Oxfordshire summer junior league to promote their promising youngsters.
On Monday, the club start their two summer courses at Church Meadow; contact Sheena Beard by email firstname.lastname@example.org or 01844 213695, for more info.