Su­per Smith’s dou­ble ton earns his­toric win

Bats­man makes im­pres­sive county de­but in un­likely victory

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT - By Tim Street tim.street@trin­i­tymir­

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.

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