Super Smith’s double ton earns historic win
Batsman makes impressive county debut in unlikely victory
UNICORNS CHAMPIONSHIP EASTERN DIVISION TWO Hertfordshire 487-2dec/292-7dec Bucks 290 all out/490-4 TOM Smith has been told he is welcome back any time after helping Bucks bag a first win of the season with a recordbreaking run chase on Tuesday.
Having failed to win a single one-day or Twenty20 match over the past three months, it looked like Bucks’ Championship campaign would start on a losing note too when Herts plundered 487-2 in their first innings.
When Bucks were bowled out for 290 in their first innings and Herts declared on 292-7 in their seconds, the county side were set an extremely unlikely 490 to win on the third and final day.
But step forward Smith, a Gloucestershire second XI player making his Bucks debut, who smashed his way to an astonishing 244 no which, alongside a knock of 147 from Shaan Khan (the pair shared a third wicket partnership of 255), ensured they made their target with six wickets to spare.
Bill Scholes, who sits on the county’s management committee,
Brothers Dan and Tom Hampton and Jason and Matt Rance; (right) Tom Smith hit an unbeatable 244 watched the amazing scenes unfold at High Wycombe’s London Road ground.
He said: “We’re certainly hoping Tom comes back to play for us again – he is welcome any time after that. The funny thing is, he is more of a bowler than a batsman for Gloucestershire.
“We needed to score five an over on the final day to win and while some were saying it was possible, I don’t think many believed we would actually do it. But we slowly picked off the runs before accelerating away when the end was in sight.
“We have had a torrid time as usual in the one-day and Twenty20 games, but having won our last two Championship games of last season, that’s three in a row in the three-day game now.”
Smith’s score is the highest made by a Bucks batsman in the county side’s 120-year history.
The 27-year-old’s 244 came from 261 balls and included eight sixes and 31 fours, while the run chase is also believed to be the highest successful one in minor counties history.
It is also the first time two sets of brothers – Tom and Dan Hampton (Gerrards Cross) and Matt and Jason Rance (Chesham) – have represented Bucks Championship game.
Meanwhile, Bucks Over-60s’ seconds went down by three wickets to Surrey with four balls to spare at Hawridge & Cholesbury last Wednesday.
Batting first, Bucks found runs hard to come by and Chesham’s John Pothecary top scored with 33 in a total of 154-9 off 45 overs.
Early wickets then came through Dave Burton (4-30) and Chris Lowe (1-7), but Surrey rallied from 27-5 to reach 155-7, although the result was in doubt right up to the final over.