Cross sink Shipton in tense four-wicket win
Bracey and Watson ensure side creep over finishing line
HOME COUNTIES PREMIER CRICKET LEAGUE DIVISION TWO Shipton-under-Wychwood Gerrards Cross
144 145-6 GERRARDS Cross were forced to dig deep on Saturday to record a tense four wicket win over Division Two leaders Shipton-under-Wychwood.
Jamie Hoddle (4-21) and Dan Hampton (2-30) made excellent use of the bowler-friendly conditions, with the Shipton batsmen unable to cope with the prodigious movement to find themselves in dire straits at 42-6.
A seventh wicket stand of 75 eradicated the possibility of an early end to the innings and spared Shipton’s blushes, pushing them towards a more defendable total, but a lower order collapse reduced them to 142-9 before wicket keeper James Crosthwaite brilliantly collected a wayward throw to run out their last man.
The Cross made a shaky start to their reply, and although Sam Westaway, who scored what turned out to be a crucial 22 off 81 balls, stood firm against a hostile spell from Anupam Sanklecha, the Shipton bowler took two wickets off his last two balls.
With the Cross now 57-5, Shipton were in the driving seat, and Sam Bracey was forced to rein in his natural attacking instincts, sharing a patient 38run stand with Westaway and when the latter was dismissed there was still plenty of work still to do.
Bracey continued to nudge his way to an unbeaten 48, and the Cross towards the finishing line, having found an ally in skipper Matt Watson (20no), and together they compiled an unbroken stand of 50 to see the Cross home.
With the seconds and thirds having also won – the first time all three teams have won on the same day since July 2013 – celebrations continued well into the night.
Meanwhile, in the same division, Amersham went down by five wickets to Dinton, despite a knock of 68 from opener Edward Bowcock and figures of 3-46 from Andrew Viney.