A sparkling century from young Buckingham batsman Michael Wells inspired Bucks to a two-day victory over Northumberland at Jesmond which gives them a great chance of promotion in National Counties Eastern Division 2.
Wells, who turned 20 the previous week, scored a spectacular 179 not out in only his second Championship outing to lead Bucks to a first innings score of 362-9 from their 90 overs after choosing to bat first. Bucks bowlers then followed his lead, dismissing the host county for 96 and 237 to secure a massive victory by an innings and 29 runs.
With Hertfordshire only drawing against Cumbria in a rain-affected match, it means Bucks need to secure only a maximum of three bonus points from their final match against closest rivals Cambridgeshire at Tring Park, starting this Sunday to secure the Division 2 title and promotion to Eastern Division 1.
So barring a disastrous performance, Bucks should be home and dry.
Wells's score is one of the highest in Bucks's history. His unbeaten 179 came from 241 balls and included two sixes and 23 fours. Other main contributors were Michael Payne (64), with whom Wells shared a fifth-wicket stand of 114, and Ed Bragg, who made 34.
After fielding in the heat on the first day, Northumberland slumped to 41-4 in reply by the close, Cameron Parsons and Bragg each taking two wickets.
The hosts' first-innings decline continued on the second day, with Bucks skipper Tom Hampton taking two wickets, before AJ Woodland wrapped the innings with a stunning spell of 4-12 from seven overs as the home side were shot out for 96 in 39 overs.
Bucks enforced the follow on and Northumberland batted better second time around, although no batsman reached fifty. After an opening stand of 52, wickets fell steadily, with Mo Choudhry taking 2-18 from 11 impressive overs. This time it was left-arm spinner Conner Haddow, who wrapped up the two-day victory with 4-81 from 19.3 overs as the hosts' second innings closed on 237 in 70.3 overs.
The three-day game against Cambridgeshire at Tring Park, starts at 11am on Sunday. Bucks make one change to their squad, with Ross Richardson, who missed the Northumberland game due to a one-match ban, replacing Jack Rodnight.
Bucks squad (to face Cambridgeshire): T Hampton (High Wycombe, capt), A Woodland (High Wycombe), M Wells (Buckingham), M Choudhry (Tring Park), C Marrow (Gerrards Cross), A Kervezee (Halesowen), M Payne (Amersham), R Richardson (Blackheath), E Bragg (Halesowen), C Parsons (High Wycombe),C Haddow (High Wycombe), T Weymes (Tring Park).