Bucks made it two wins out of two in Eastern Division 2 of the National Counties Championship when they defeated Cumbria by 74 runs in three days of fluctuating fortunes at Chesham. The result gives them a great chance of promotion.
The first day was dominated by Bucks, who after winning the toss, made 237 all out, thanks almost entirely to opener AJ Woodland (left), who was last out for 121 - his second Championship century. Left arm-spinner Matthew Siddall took 8-88 in a marathon spell. Cumbria slumped to 93-7 after an inspired spell by seamer Cameron Parsons, who captured the first five wickets.
The visitors recovered on the second day thanks to a stunning innings by Sam Dutton. Dropped twice he made a mammoth 167 and shared a record eighth-wicket partnership of 164 with wicket-keeper Finlay Richardson (76). They helped Cumbria recover to 308 all out - a first innings lead of 71. Parsons finished with 5-70 from 20 overs, his five-wicket Championship haul.
Bucks's second-innings rearguard was led by Ed Casterton (55) and Alexei Kervezee (50) and continued on the final day by Ross Richardson (62) and Conner Haddow (55 not out), who added 73 for the seventh wicket. Bucks were eventually all out for 350 at lunch, leaving Cumbria 281 to win from about 65 overs.
This time it was seamer Ed Bragg who made the breakthrough for Bucks, taking four wickets as Cumbria slipped to 95-6. A stand of 81 by skipper Michael Slack and Finley Richardson gave them hope, but Haddow took three late wickets to dismiss them for 206 with eight overs left amid great celebrations from the home side. Bragg finished with Championship best figures of 5-59.
But spare a thought for Siddall who bowled 81 overs in the match taking 14-208, only to finish on the losing side!
Bucks's remaining Championship games are against Northumberland at Jesmond on August 14-16 and against likely promotion rivals Cambridgeshire at Tring Park on August 22-24.