Bedfordshire buckle once against as they’re well beaten by Bucks

BEDFORDSHIRE crashed to an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Buckinghamshire in their Minor Counties Championship match in Slough yesterday, as their search for a first win goes on, writes Michael Hann.

Beds made a solid start with James Kettleborough and Steve Stubbings putting on a first wicket partnership of 104. However, Kettleborough fell for 62 and next man in, George Thurstance, made just five before Vikram Banerjee clean bowled him.

Beds were struggling to build on their good start as Rob Keogh was dismissed cheaply for four, while Andy Reynoldson and Oliver Clayson both chipped in with 20.

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Stubbings was looking in good touch, hitting 12 fours in his innings of 125, before being forced to retire.

It was starting to look ominous for the away side as Banerjee sliced through their lower order, finishing with figures of 5-69 as Beds were all out for 252.

The visitors needed to apply some early pressure and they did just that when Afaq Babar took the wicket of Hamza Taj for a golden duck.

They continued to impress early on with Keogh taking the wickets of Fahim Qureshi and Doug King, leaving the home side 82-3. Experienced batsman Mal Loye was now at the crease and, despite Beds’ good start, he and Michael Payne started to chase down their target. Beds could not break the pair and they put on a partnership of 216 before Keogh finally dismissed Loye for 179.

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Another two wickets fell shortly afterwards, however Buckinghamshire had given themselves a healthy lead by the time Payne was eventually run out for 83. Bucks declared at 335-8 giving themselves a lead of 83.

Trying to salvage something from the game Beds looked in trouble when Kettleborough failed to score in the first over of the second innings.

Thurstance (six) went a few balls later and, despite Stubbings and Keogh chipping in with 25 and 45 respectively, Beds had only just edged their noses in front.

Slow left-arm bowler Banerjee was once again proving too good for the away side’s batsmen as he claimed the wickets of Clayson (two) and Martin Weightman (nought).

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Reynoldson was trying to keep his side in it as he watched Bucks paceman Faisal Ali rip through Dan Bendon (eight) and James Kerr (nought). But Reyonldson was the next man to be overcome by Ali as he was bowled for 28. The Beds tail offered some resistance but they finished on 170 – a lead of just 87.

Bucks proceeded to chase down the total with consummate ease, finishing on 89-2, to leave Beds wondering where that first win will come from.

Scores: Bedfordshire 252 and 170; Buckinghamshire 335-8 dec and 89-2.