Viney’s safe hands and batting prowess sees Amersham home
Cove won the toss and elected to bowl and normal service was resumed with Mthiwekhaya Nabe and Andrew Short opening the bowling.
After their opening spells Gerrards Cross were 33 without loss off 11 overs. Having settled, Cross’ openers pressured Kazim Naqvi, but spinner Najeeb Malik’s bowling was back to its economical best.
Cove had to wait until the 25th over for a breakthrough, Jake Roylance catching Jasraj Grewal (59) behind off Malik with Gerrards Cross 102-1. Danger man Dan Hampton came in but went a few overs later when Cove skipper Jordan Finney took an unbelievable catch to give Malik his second wicket and at 113-2 Cove were making progress.
Finney brought himself on and instantly claimed the other opener with Malkeet Dhaliwal (39) trapped lbw and Cross 117-3, but although Malik was bowling well Cove had to wait until the 42nd over for the next wicket as Ben Lane and Matthew Whitley started to drive.
Andrew Short took the deserved wicket of Lane (39) and Cove had changed the seamers at one end with Finney bowling spin from the other, and taking another wicket with Naqvi claiming one at the end of the innings.
Gerrards Cross batted out the 52 overs for a healthy 239-6 after lacklustre fielding in the heat and Naqvi and Nabe were punished in the last 10-over spell. Malik and Finney performed well, each bowling straight 13-over spells and taking two wickets, for 50 and 52, respectively.
Cove had 48 overs to reply and were soon in trouble when Nick Farr (1) went in the second over.
That brought Stan Marisa to the crease to join James Marsh and Cove were only on 23 when Marsh (14) went in the ninth over.
Malik (1) followed in the 10th over with Cove 24-3 and wobbling.
Tom Redhead joined Marisa and they had just got going as Redhead went to a delivery that popped up from Joseph Bracey, who had posed no threat, to leave Cove 55-4.
Finney came in and instantly opened the attack to the spinner, hitting a big six, making Cross push fielders back and giving Marisa the strike as often as he could.
With Marisa batting well and in control of the bowlers, he went about hitting some wonderful stokes to get Cove back into the game.
Just as they started to glimpse hope, Finney (16) got one that popped up from Bracey and he went with Marisa just passing his 50 to have Cove 92-5 after 24 overs.
Nick Randall (16) joined Marisa and stayed around for 16 overs, again giving his partner the strike before being caught.
With Marisa on 92 and Cove 156-6 with eight overs remaining, Roylance came in and Marisa passed his 100 for the second time this season.
Roylance was going well when he played an unnecessary shot and breathed a sigh of relief as the catch was dropped five overs from the finish.
A reprieved Roylance (22 not out) then played some lovely strokes to see the overs out comfortably as Cove posted 189-6 off the 48 overs and man-of-the-match Marisa saved the day with a brilliant, chanceless 103 not out for the draw.
The result sets up an enticing encounter on Saturday when Cross play host to the Wokingham tabletoppers they need to reel in.