Maduka’s lucky seven wick­ets help Amer­sham close the gap

Ox­ford beaten in low-scor­ing game as Sri Lankan stars with the ball to skit­tle out the league lead­ers

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

Even though Amer­sham had won their last seven games, the gap on lead­ers Ox­ford had stub­bornly re­fused to nar­row over re­cent weeks, but this changed dra­mat­i­cally when they de­feated their ti­tle rivals by six wick­ets to make it eight in a row.

Forced to make two changes due to the in-form Viney broth­ers be­ing on hol­i­day, stand-in skip­per Luke Jackson was keen to win the toss and pro­tect his weak­ened bat­ting line-up. This didn’t go to plan, but Ox­ford sur­pris­ingly chose to bat first on a freshly pre­pared pitch.

Open­ing bowlers Liyana­p­athi­ran­age and Alex Lines im­me­di­ately took the op­por­tu­nity to shape the game, with Ox­ford at one stage re­duced to 19-7, in­clud­ing los­ing three wick­ets in an over to Lines. With Ox­ford eight wick­ets down by lunch, Liyana­p­athi­ran­age needed only eight balls af­ter the break to take the fi­nal two, fin­ish­ing with 7-31 from 16.2 overs, while Lines took 3-23 from 12.

Led by Bruce Friedrichs on 34 not out, Amer­sham man­aged to reach their tar­get in the 20th over for the loss of four wick­ets, not only mov­ing Amer­sham into the pro­mo­tion places, but also only two points be­hind new lead­ers Horspath.

They play lo­cal rivals Ger­rards Cross this week­end and will have an al­most full squad to pick from, with only in­flu­en­tial all-rounder Rich Stephen­son be­ing un­avail­able.

But the Cross will also be des­per­ate for the points as they are four from safety, de­spite get­ting the best of a draw against Buck­ing­ham Town on Satur­day.

Dan Hamp­ton struck 41, while Sam West­away and Harry Ni­cholls were both not far be­hind on 39, as the Cross made 233-8, but Buck­ing­ham stub­bornly dug in to fin­ish on 170-7, de­spite El­liott Green tak­ing 2-64.

Mean­while, Ross Haines had a bril­liant de­but, tak­ing 4-39 and hit­ting 88 not out as Amer­sham 2s drew with Datchet to go top of TVL Di­vi­sion 3b, while the 3s stayed top of Di­vi­sion 5a de­spite los­ing for only the se­cond time this year, to Mar­low 2s.

Maduka Liyana­p­athi­ran­age took seven Ox­ford wick­ets to help his team to vic­tory

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