Whatmore fires Leighton to the top of the table

Phil Whatmore
Phil Whatmore

Phil Whatmore scored a brilliant century as Leighton Buzzard stormed to the top of Cherwell League Division 2 on Saturday.

Whatmore hit 102 at the top of the order against Bledlow as Town easily chased down 205 to win by a massive nine wickets to leap-frog their opponents in the title fight.

Captain Jack Kempster won the toss and elected to bowl and it was decision that looked to have backfired as the opening batsmen put on 82 runs in double quick time. It was the introduction of Alan Priestley that halted the momentum as the seamer continued his good form by picking up three quick wickets, to bring Town back into the game.

Wickets then continued to fall at regular intervals with spinners Anthony Francis and Lee Selfe both bowling economically and picking up three wickets between them to reduce the hosts to 156 for 8.

There was late resistance from the Bledlow batting order as they managed to push the score along to 204, but it was Priestley who returned to take the last 2 wickets to fall to end with the stand out figures of 5 for 46 off his 10 overs.

Town’s response got off to a positive start as Phil Whatmore went after the opening bowlers bringing up his 50 within the first 10 overs of the innings.

He wasn’t finished there, as he continued the onslaught peppering the boundary seemingly at will and soon he brought up a magnificent century off just 69 balls comprising of 16 fours and four maximums.

However, he departed soon after for 102, to end an excellent opening partnership 157. Now other opener Tom Light who had played second fiddle to Whatmore, took over the scoring, and brought up his own half century. He, in partnership with number three batsman Callaghan, put on 48 to see Town to their target for the loss of just one wicket with more than 20 overs to spare. Light ended on 76 not out off 89 balls with 10 fours and a six.

The result sees Leighton overhaul Bledlow’s lead in the division, opening up a five point gap at the top of the table.