Leighton Buzzard Cricket Club picked up their first win of the season in a low-scoring affair at Wolverton on Saturday.
The narrow victory saw Leighton sneak over the line with one wicket to spare, as they hunted down what initially appeared to be a fairly meagre 118.
Town’s Jack Kempster continued his impressive start to the season with an excellent spell of hostile swing bowling at the top of Wolverton’s order.
With batsmen playing and missing Leighton set an early attacking field with four slips and a gully in place.
This proved a successful tactic as wicketkeeper Tim O’Leary took two early catches and Antony Francis took another as the visitors gained the upper hand.
Wolverton seemed intent on playing limited over style cricket as they wanted to hit every ball for a boundary. Lampard (23) and Potter (20) tried to steady the innings.
Sam Roberts, bowling straight and a good length achieved two leg before wicket decisions as the visitors continued to buzz around the field.
Spinner Lee Selfe tempted batsmen into playing rash shots and picked up three quick wickets courtesy of two catches by Dan Scott and a stumping by O’Leary.
Fellow spinner Tom Light took a wicket with his first ball and apart from some late fireworks from Butt (20 not out) Wolverton’s innings was over after 26 overs for 118 runs.
For Leighton Kempster 4-17, Sam Roberts 2-33, Selfe 3-19 and Light 1-21 were the successful bowlers.
Town now had 74 overs in which to achieve their target. Leighton’s batsmen now faced a similar challenge from Wolverton’s opening bowlers.
And the opening spell didn’t bode well for Leighton.
Chris Thompson(0) played on and Light (2) skied one off the edge of the bat and was caught at cover.
Francis (14) and skipper Phillip Whatmore (31) took the score on to 34 before the former was bowled. Culley was out first ball and Town were 34-4 with fast bowler Khan claiming all of them. This brought Dave Roberts to the wicket. He scored a vital half century last week and a similar effort was needed again. Leighton reached the tea interval at 58-4 .
Opening bowler Butt returned to the bowling attack and took three more wickets as Town slumped to 79-7. Selfe followed 10 runs later leaving Leighton needing 30 runs to win with two wickets in hand.
Dave Roberts stood firm whilst the chaos occurred at the other end. He was joined by No 10 Sam Roberts who played some excellent defensive cricket which allowed Dave Roberts to continue to play some aggressive shots.
They gradually and patiently began to take the initiative away from Wolverton.
With their partnership worth 28 runs from 9 overs and with just two runs needed for victory Dave Roberts pulled a full toss straight at mid wicket and was caught for an excellent 54. It was now down to the last wicket pair of O’Leary (1 no) and Sam Roberts (7 no) to see Leighton over the line on 119-9.
For the home side Khan 4-34, Butt 4-37 and Ramandanpulle 1-27 were the successful bowlers. Leighton get 25 points with Wolverton taking 10.
Great Brickhill’s good start to the season continued on Saturday with a 68 run home win over Cumnor.
The hosts posted 273-7, thanks in large part to Anton De Beer’s 82, and 50 from Mark Nelson. Cumnor’s response was hindered though by a brilliant spell from George Humphries, who though proved expensive, took 5-94 as the visitors were reduced for 205.
In Division 3, Cublington 1st made it two from two on Saturday with a hard fought victory at far away Shipton-under-Wychwood.
An early breakthrough from Cubs’ Andy Lane had Bates back in the shed, bowled for 4, but Hemming and Hayes then made steady progress to 25 overs.
Cublington only had themselves to blame, with three dropped catches.
The 29th over saw the effective Shipton partnership broken, as fifth change bowler Steve Godfrey bowled Hemming for 27, with Shipton 97-2.
Hayes continued to take advantage of his many lives before being well caught behind off Jenkins for 60.
The return of Andy Lane for an impressive second spell, supported by opening partner Ollie Fairhurst (3-36), saw wickets fall steadily, as Shipton progressed to 183 all out in the 53rd over.
Cublington started badly with the loss of Steve Godfrey and Greg Jenkins in the third and fourth overs, bringing Pip Webb to the crease to join Sam George. With some devastating hitting the pair moved Cubs over 100, before George attempted one to many bludgeoning drives and was bowled by Cockcroft for 60.
After losing Nick Talbot Webb, however, changed his approach, batting sensibly in the knowledge that Cublington’s victory most likely depended on him seeing it through to the close.
Despite more wickets falling, Cubs made it home on 186-8.