Col­lapses cost Bucks

CRICKET

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

Tom Helm MCCA UNI­CORNS CHAM­PI­ONSHIP EASTERN DI­VI­SION Northum­ber­land Bucks 429 & 272-8 dec 340-9 dec & 218 BUCK­ING­HAMSHIRE are no longer league lead­ers af­ter bat­ting col­lapses cost them their 100 per cent record away to Northum­ber­land.

Skip­per Michael Payne and his team will have en­dured a long jour­ney back from Jes­mond, re­flect­ing on sev­eral op­por­tu­ni­ties to gain at least a draw against their pre­vi­ously win­less hosts, bids un­der­mined by frail­ties in their mid­dle­order.

De­feat, cou­pled with wins for near­est ri­vals Cum­ber­land and Lin­colnshire, sees Bucks drop to third in the stand­ings.

Payne may be re­gret­ting his de­ci­sion to in­sert the hosts on Sun­day af­ter win­ning the toss as, af­ter Jonathan Bur­den trapped Jack Jes­sop LBW, early on wick­ets were hard to come by.

Dan Hamp­ton’s per­sis­tence was re­warded with 5-93, but home skip­per Jac­ques Du Toit’s 144 and 94 from Sean Tin­dale saw Northum­ber­land reach an im­pos­ing 429.

Buck­ing­hamshire hit back though with Shaan Khan (77) and Char­lie Macdon­nell adding 153 for the first wicket. Next man in Shelvin Gumbs then made 57 and at 227-1 the visi­tors looked well placed.

How­ever, when Gumbs and Mac­donell (92) fell in quick suc­ces­sion a col­lapse was trig­gered as Bucks slumped to 237-6, and though Payne bat­tled on for 49 not out, the first in­nings deficit was 89.

A su­perb open­ing spell by Sam Helm, brother of Mid­dle­sex quick Tom, re­duced Northum­ber­land to 29-4 sec­ond time around, lift­ing Bucks hopes once more, but Du Toit (70) and Sameet Brar (99) led a counter-at­tack, which meant by the time of the hosts’ dec­la­ra­tion at lunch on day four the tar­get for vic­tory was 362.

Again Khan and Macdon­nell started pos­i­tively – 95 at five runs an over – but once Oliver McGee had scat­tered the for­mer’s stumps for 60, Bucks’ chal­lenge dis­in­te­grated with no one in the up­per mid­dle-or­der mak­ing dou­ble fig­ures.

MacDon­nell’s dis­missal for 63 left only wick­et­keeper Ge­orge Rus­sell to try and shep­herd the tail and de­spite his valiant 55, they could not bat out time.

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