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Buckinghamshire CCC on the brink of maiden Unicorns T20 final

Saif Zaib.

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Bucks are on the brink of reaching the Unicorns Counties T20 competition finals day for the first time after completing two wins in rain-affected matches against Herefordshire at Colwall on Sunday.

The double-victory means that Bucks need only to win one of their two matches in the final round of games against Shropshire at Gerrards Cross this Sunday to top their group.

And because of their superior net run rate, Bucks can afford to suffer two narrow defeats and still become one of the four group winners to contest the finals day at Wormsley, near Stokenchurch on Sunday, August 25.

In the first match, rain intervened after nine overs of the Herefordshire innings, when their score was 43-3.

Bucks, chasing a revised target of 33 in five overs, scored 33-0 in 4.4 overs to win with two balls ro spare.

The home county batted the full 20 overs in the second match, scoring only 104-9.

In a superb all-round bowling display, spinners Michael Payne (3-19), Saif Zaib (3-22) and Conner Haddow (2-20) took most of the wickets.

Rain intervened again after four overs of the Bucks reply, with their score on 35-0.

One more over needed to be bowled ro constitute a match. Play did resume, with Bucks needing to reach a revised target of 78 in 14 overs.

This they achieved in just 8.5 overs without loss thanks to an astonishing 69 not out off 38 balls by Conrad Louth, who hit four sixes and seven fours.

Bucks have named an unchanged squad for the double-header against Shropshire at Gerrards Cross on Sunday, starting at 11am.

Bucks squad: T Hampton (High Wycombe) capt, C Louth (High Wycombe), R Pritchard (Chesham), M Khan (Clevedon), S Zaib (Slough), G Park (Wickersley Old Village), C Macdonell, S Gumbs, M Payne (Tring Park), G.Russell, C Haddow, J Burden (High Wycombe), A Harris (Tring Park).

Bucks CCC secretary Kevin Beaumont has been awarded the British Empire Medal (BEM) in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for his services to minor counties cricket.

Beaumont, who lives in Little Chalfont, has held the role of secretary for 21 years having previously been an umpire in minor counties cricket for 30 years.

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