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Buckinghamshire CCC into Unicorn Counties Twenty20 finals day after two victories over Shropshire

Conrad Louth.

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Bucks qualified for the Unicorns Counties T20 finals day with two overwhelming victories in their double-header against Shropshire at Gerrards Cross on Sunday.

The hosts needed to win one of the games to top the group table but secured big victories by seven wickets and 70 runs to make it seven out of eight. They will now join other group winners Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire and Dorset on the finals day at Wormsley near Stokenchurch on Sunday, August 25.

After a short delay for rain, Bucks put Shropshire into bat in the first game and restricted them to just 110-7 in their 20 overs, with a tight bowling and outstanding fielding display.

Saif Zaib was the main beneficiary, taking 4-25 in his four overs.

Bucks knocked off the runs in just 14.1 overs thanks to a sparkling 65 not out from 48 balls by Conrad Louth, who hit three sixes and seven fours. Two of the three wickets fell to run-outs. With top place secure, Bucks made changes for the second game and rejigged the batting order after choosing to bat first.

Shelvin Gumbs, with few opportunities to shine in this competition, smashed 82 from just 47 balls, with six sixes, one of which entered the pavilion bar. Bucks rattled up 171-6 in their 20 overs.

Shropshire never got remotely close after another slick fielding display, highlighted by Charlie Macdonell’s direct hit to run out Simon Gregory, restricted them to 100-7.

Bucks will be hoping to take this form and confidence into their three-day Unicorns Counties Championship programme which starts against Hertfordshire at Bishops Stortford on Sunday.

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