Smith shines as Leighton 2nds give themselves a top four shot

Leighton Buzzard 2nds' Andy Smith against Didcot
Leighton Buzzard 2nds' Andy Smith against Didcot

Leighton Buzzard 2nds could still nick a top four spot in Cherwell League Division 5 after avoiding the rain on Saturday to beat Didcot 2nds by four wickets.

It was a nail-biting finish at Bell Close, but one which saw Leighton come out on top, moving within seven points of Cumnor 2nds in fourth spot with one game to go.

LB2nds vs Didcot

LB2nds vs Didcot

The visitors won the toss and batted first and made a solid enough start with Kankadandi (17), Higgins (30), Beesley (12) and Fryatt (25) getting them along to 111-4 at halfway.

The middle order faded somewhat but Green (27) and Singh (26) managed to get the score up to 204 all out.

For the home side Andy Smith led the way with 4-62, backed up by Adam Culley’s 3-65.

In reply Town lost two early wickets with Mark Burfoot (8) caught by the wicket keeper and Culley (5) lbw. However Will Smith was in excellent form and he fired his way through to a half century at a run-a-ball.

With the score on 88-2 from 17 overs the rains came and play was held up for an hour. During the rain delay a number of spectators arrived to watch the conclusion.

When play resumed Town’s innings had been reduced in length from 55 to 39 overs, so the home side had 22 overs remaining in which to score 117 runs for victory.

Before the game restarted the Umpires, Captains and Scorers convened on the pitch and, unlike last week, it was made clear to all that the Didcot bowlers had had their overs allowance reduced.

Will Smith stroked a few more excellent cover drives but was then bowled for 73.

Matt Gurney then took up the challenge and produced some excellent stroke play.

Gurney kept the scoreboard moving along at the required rate. He reached his 50 from 47 deliveries and had moved on to 64 when he pushed a catch to mid off. This excellent knock from the young player included 1 six and 9 fours and kept Leighton in the hunt for victory.

With support from Scott Clark (9) Colt Ryan Smith (2) and James Raine (18no) Town reached their target of 205 with just 4 balls remaining for an exciting end to the match.