Bucks go top after Staffs win
26 Jul 2023

Bucks are in with a great chance of reaching the National Counties Championship play-off after a convincing eight-wicket victory over Staffordshire at West Bromwich Dartmouth on Tuesday.
The county's second success in two matches puts them 18 points clear at the top of the Eastern Division 1 table with two games to play.
One highlight in the game was the performance of the wicket-keeper Ross Richardson, whose seven catches in the first innings equalled the Bucks record set by Colin Tungate against Wales MC at Bletchley in 1988.
Another Bucks star was High Wycombe left-arm spinner Conner Haddow, who followed his ten wickets in the victory over Norfolk with another nine here.
Staffordshire, put in to bat on the first day, got off to a flying start, but slipped from 77-0 to 208 all out in 56.3 overs. The main damage was done by seamer AJ Woodland, who took 4-21 in 14 overs, and Haddow, who claimed 3-0 in 15 balls. Both were, of course, assisted by Richardson's amazing haul.
On the second day, the start of which was delayed by rain, Bucks amassed 330-8 dec from 88.2 overs to take charge of the game.
Michael Payne led the way with 86 from 157 balls with ten fours, sharing a fourth-wicket stand of 137 with Woodland, who made 65. Other useful contributions came from Alexei Kervezee (47 in 39 balls), Richardson (42) and Ed Bragg (33).
Facing a first-innings deficit  of 122, Staffs seemed in big trouble at 78-5 in their second knock. But a fluent 70 by Derbyshire player Nils Priestley restored the innings, while Liam Hurt's late 52 enabled the last wicket to add 43 before they were 232 all out, Haddow taking 6-97 from 33.3 overs.
Set 111 for victory, Bucks raced home in 24 overs thanks to a sparkling 59 from 37 balls from Kervezee, who hit five fours and four sixes, and an unbeaten 35 from Ewan Cox.
Bucks took a maximum 24 points from the game and are now 18 points clear of Staffordshire at the top.
Going back to last season, this was Bucks's sixth Championship win in a row. They will be attempting to extend that run when they entertain Lincolnshire at Chesham from August 6th-8th. Scorecard

Eastern Division 1
  P W D L Bon Pts
Bucks 2 2 0 0 14 46
Staffs 2 1 0 1 12 28
Suffolk 2 0 1 1 14 18
Lincs 1 0 1 0 4 8
Norfolk 1 0 0 1 5 5