Sensational Cropredy add to Leighton's woes

Leighton's Lee selfe
Leighton's Lee selfe

A swashbuckling Cropredy batting performance heaped more misery on Leighton Buzzard as they slumped sunk to the bottom of Division 2 with their fourth straight defeat.

League leaders Cropredy arrived at Bell Close with the opposite record to that of Leighton, having won all of their games so far this season.

Leighton won the toss and elected to bat, but they made a stuttering start to proceedings. Matthew Gurney was back in the pavilion with four runs to his name and the score at 21-1, and he was shortly joined by Greg Proudfoot, removed for 11 with Leighton two down for 45.

Tom Light though was holding up one end well, and his partnerships with Phil Whatmore and then Antony Francis would put the home side back in contention. Light and Whatmore put on 81 for the third wicket before Whatmore departed for 43.

Light continued to march on though, combining with Francis to put on another 78 for the fourth wicket. He looked destined for a century though, but came up three runs shy as he was stumped by keeper Anthony Vickers off the bowling of Brad Ward.

Light was quickly joined by Bertie Barrett, who walked back to the pavilion with a four-ball duck and the score 204-5. Jack Kempster joined Francis in the middle, and the pair added another 49, before Kempster was dismissed for a 20-ball 28.

With Will Smith run out for a duck, Francis ended the innings when he was caught on the final ball, having racked up 65, guiding Leighton Buzzard to 285-8. Brad Ward was the pick of the bowlers for Cropredy, taking 2-24 in three overs.

Leighton’s response could not have begun in a better manner, when Kempster trapped Michael Amos-Simpson LBW for 1, and Cropredy were 8-1. Their joy though would be short-lived as Joe Fox was joined in the middle by Ward, and the pair would lay the foundations for a comfortable victory.

With Fox in sublime form, the pair piled on 153 for the second wicket, with the opener scoring 122, hitting 13 fours and seven maximums. He would eventually fall to Proudfoot, caught by Tim Leary, with the Cropredy score on 161-2.

Ward was joined at the crease by Ed Somerton, and the runs continued to mount up, with the latter hitting 43 when Light took his wicket, before Ward reached his half century, but was taken out by Barrett for 52.

Muhammad Tareq Jamil would continue the rapid run-rate, firing an unbeaten 47 and scoring the winning runs with 15 overs remaining. Kempster, Selfe, Proudfoot, Light and Barrett ended with a wicket apiece.

Horspath lost to Bledlow Village but picked up enough points to jump above Leighton in the table. And the pair meet next Saturday at Oxford Road.