Amer­sham thirds cel­e­brate de­spite heavy de­feat

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - SPORT -

THAMES VAL­LEY LEAGUE DI­VI­SION 5

Amer­sham 3rds .......................................... 179-7 Princes Ris­bor­ough ..................................... 180-1

IT’S not ev­ery day you get to cel­e­brate hav­ing been on the end of a crick­et­ing thrash­ing.

Yet just such a fate came the way of Amer­sham 3rds on Satur­day, who clinched pro­mo­tion de­spite a nine-wicket trounc­ing at Princes Ris­bor­ough.

And life may get even bet­ter yet with the men of Shard­e­loes re­quir­ing just four points from Satur­day’s trip to Hayes to be con­firmed as cham­pi­ons.

Their youth­ful and much changed side looked to be cruis­ing at 74-0 bat­ting first, but the dis­missals in quick suc­ces­sion of openers Mon­ish Mer­chan­dani (28) and Chanath Gu­naratne (39) sparked such a dra­matic col­lapse for a while it looked as if the 150 re­quired to guar­an­tee pro­mo­tion may elude them.

How­ever, Paul and Joe We­ston’s part­ner­ship of 54 saw that mile­stone passed and they ended with 179 to de­fend.

The home side’s hopes of an un­likely win were briefly raised when Ol­lie Lans­downe dis­missed Wes Strecker with the sec­ond ball of Princes Ris­bor­ough’s re­ply.

That though was as good as it got with Matt Greaves (97 not out) and Pratik Bhat­tacharya (61 not out) car­ry­ing the vis­i­tors to vic­tory with­out fur­ther loss.

Amer­sham’s 1st XI mean­while face a nerve-jan­gling fi­nal day as they bid to gain pro­mo­tion from Home Coun­ties Premier Di­vi­sion 2.

Satur­day saw them lose at home to Horspath by six wick­ets, a re­sult which con­firmed the vis­i­tors as cham­pi­ons.

How­ever, if sec­ond place Ox­ford fail to beat Thame Town in this week­end’s fi­nal round of games, Amer­sham can clinch the sec­ond pro­mo­tion spot with vic­tory at Cookham Dean.

The hosts had looked well placed against the lead­ers when rac­ing to 96-1 thanks mainly to a sub­lime 61 from Bruce Frid­erichs.

His dis­missal saw Amer­sham ca­pit­u­late to 112-7 and de­spite 26 from Chris Owens their fi­nal to­tal of 151 looked vul­ner­a­ble.

Horspath looked set to make short work of the chase at 85-1 be­fore Alex Lines (3-28) caused a mid-in­nings wob­ble.

How­ever, his ef­forts came up short as the vis­i­tors got home with three overs and four wick­ets to spare.

Amer­sham’s 2nds will also take their pro­mo­tion bid to the last day after a thrilling five-run win over Ruis­lip moved them back to sec­ond place in Thames Val­ley League Di­vi­sion 3B.

Cal­lum Til­bury’s flu­ent 92 helped them post 229, but Ruis­lip looked strong favourites at 178-2 in re­ply.

Ross Haines wres­tled back con­trol with three wick­ets in one over and three su­perb catches were taken as Ruis­lip came up just short amid mount­ing ten­sion.

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