Cross sink Ship­ton in tense four-wicket win

Bracey and Wat­son en­sure side creep over fin­ish­ing line

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Ian Thomp­son tms-sport@trin­i­tymir­ror.com

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.

West­away

CRU­CIAL: Sam

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