Alex sticks to his prob­ing Lines to keep pro­mo­tion hopes alive

Aussie seamer tears Datchet apart with 9-54

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

ALEX Lines wrote his own chap­ter of Amer­sham his­tory on Satur­day to bowl them to a sev­enth suc­ces­sive win and within an ace of the pro­mo­tion places.

The Aussie pace­man tore in first from one end and then the other to pro­duce stun­ning fig­ures of 9-54 to set­tle a tight game at Shard­e­loes amid ever-in­creas­ing ten­sion.

Lines’ swag bag of wick­ets is a record for Amer­sham in the Home Coun­ties League, but only puts him fourth in the club’s bowl­ing feats over­all.

Kevin Hef­fer­nan re­mains top of their list hav­ing taken 10-31 in a sec­ond XI game back in 1975, while Michael Hurry also claimed a full set while bowl­ing for the thirds back in the ’80s. And Michael Atkin­son holds the first XI record with 9-15 against Kew in a Thames Val­ley League en­counter in 2009.

Lines first ap­peared at Amer­sham two years later from his na­tive Syd­ney, play­ing four years in the club colours be­fore spend­ing the 2015 sea­son fur­ther north with Formby. He re­turned at the start of this cam­paign to claim his place in Shard­e­loes folk­lore.

Chair­man Ian Rogers be­lieves Lines’ feat stands up there with the best.

“Alex’s wick­ets have come at a much higher level than the two guys who got 10, so that makes them all the more im­pres­sive,” he said.

Prior to Lines’ hero­ics Amer­sham were put in and de­spite a de­ter­mined 41 from Bruce Frid­erich they were in trou­ble at 110-7.

Haseeb Ali (24) joined skip­per Andy Viney in a pre­cious half cen­tury stand be­fore both fell in quick suc­ces­sion, the lat­ter the last man out for a gritty 58.

The ques­tion is would it be enough – Cue Mr Lines. Bowl­ing first one end, then the other he tore out the top half, leav­ing Datchet 59-5.

Vis­it­ing cap­tain Steven Nay­lor stood firm though and found staunch sup­port from Tim Alldis as they car­ried the score be­yond 100.

When Maduka Liyana­p­athi­ran­age re­moved Alldis for 19 lit­tle did any­one sus­pect he spoilt a 10-fer.

Then it was Lines back in the spot­light, bag­ging another wicket be­fore in­duc­ing Nay­lor to nick one to the keeper for 60.

Seven down soon be­come 138-9, but Datchet’s last pair of Sa­muel Finn and Thomas Lam­bert inched their side closer.

Just 10 were needed when Lines, Corn­field be­hind him, surged in once more to scat­ter Lam­bert’s stumps and cue the cel­e­bra­tions.

Then it was time for the man of the moment to head to the club­house to get in the oblig­a­tory round of drinks.

They now sit two points shy of the pro­mo­tion places with a visit to lead­ers Ox­ford next on the agenda on Satur­day.

Amer­sham 2s beat Bagshot by 86 runs thanks to 110 from Chris Owen and Dun­can Ward’s 5-60, while the 3s beat Kew by five wick­ets.

Smart Alex: Amer­sham’s Alex Lines in ac­tion dur­ing a re­cent match against Che­sham.

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