Amersham thirds celebrate despite heavy defeat
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.