Leighton’s batting collapse puts good bowling spell to waste

Leighton Buzzars vs Sandford
Leighton Buzzars vs Sandford

A dramatic lower order collapse saw Leighton Buzzard slump to a 10 run defeat at the hands of Sandford St Martin on Saturday.

After winning their opening Cherwell League Division 2 match last week, Leighton looked in great shape to take back-to-back victories when chasing 162 to win, they put on 111 for the first wicket.

Leighton Buzzars vs Sandford

Leighton Buzzars vs Sandford

But an extraordinary collapse saw seven wickets fall for just 15 runs, bringing down the curtains on their first match back at Bell Close this season.

Leighton skipper Jack Kempster lost the toss and Leighton were asked to bowl first in idea batting conditions. But after Dan Scott struck early to remove Kris Jones, Sandford got stuck in.

Sandford then continued steady progress to push the score along with opener Steven Dobson bringing up his half century in the process.

When he fell for 53, Leighton began to get into their stride, and there was little the visitors could do to contain them. Sandford’s remaining eight wickets would fall for just 61 runs, with some excellent spells of bowling and good fielding.

The wickets were shared around with Scott and Kempster each taking three, with Lee Selfe chipping in with two, while Antony Francis and Alan Priestly took one each.

Given the conditions and the start Sandford got off to Town were pleased with their bowling effort and were confident of chasing the runs in the second half of the game.

Leighton’s reply began well as openers Phil Whatmore and Tom Light got the innings off to a solid start.

Whatmore was the dominant partner and was in typically destructive form as he toyed with the bowling attack apart hitting 12 fours and four maximums on his way to 79.

Whilst the two were at the crease, it looked as though Town would reach their victory target with ease but with the score on 111, a mix-up between the two batsmen cost Whatmore as he was run out.

With things still well in hand though, Leighton looked set to cruise to victory.

But when Light departed soon after for 39 with the score on 128, it sparked a dramatic collapse which saw Town lose their remaining seven wickets for just 15 runs.

Left arm spinner Simon Smith took a sensational hat-trick as no other Leighton batsman reached double figures in the slump.

In the end, Town were bowled out for 151 and they were consigned to their first league defeat of the season.

Leighton will look to bounce back next week when they travel to Didcot.

In Division 5, Leighton Buzzard 2nds are still looking for their first win of the season as they lost by eight wickets to Kingston Bagpuize.

Town batted first and put on a disappointing display as they were bowled out for just 88, with only three batsmen reaching double figures.

In reply Kingston eased to their victory target for the loss of just two wickets. Captain Andy Smith and James Aldridge the wicket takers.