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Lawrence helps Old Bucks to draw against champions

STAR BOWLER: Jonny Lee took three wickets for 30 runs from his 11 overs in Old Buckenham's losing draw against Downham Town on Saturday
STAR BOWLER: Jonny Lee took three wickets for 30 runs from his 11 overs in Old Buckenham's losing draw against Downham Town on Saturday


Old Buckenham 244-7

drew with Downham Town 269-7

Old Buckenham fell 25 runs short of replicating their early season victory over Downham Town on Saturday, with only a losing draw secured.

Stand-in skipper, Andy Lawrence, lost the toss and his opposite number elected to bat on the flat surface with the sun beating down.

Duncan Lanchester’s openers started well as Angus Stuart and Bucks old boy Ian Harrison put away any loose deliveries from the opening bowlers.

As the Downham openers raced off to a good start, the only silver lining for Bucks was Harrison (11 off 34 balls) nicking a wide delivery from Jonny Lee to leave the away side 30-1 in the 10th over.

Even when Pat Yates (30 off 39 balls) was eventually dismissed by Trent Crittenden (1-35) in the 24th over with the score on 102, the runs kept coming as the away side’s overseas player, Nick Kelly, hit the ground running.

Old Buckenham finally dismissed Stuart for a well made 60 from 90 balls but with Kelly going well and Harwood joining him at the crease, Bucks were staring down the barrel looking at a chase of well over 300 runs.

But Andy Austin (2-68) finally had his man and dismissed Kelly for 68 off 54 balls, spelling the end of Downham’s assault on the home side’s bowling with the score on 220 in the 39th over.

Lee (3-30) and Lawrence (1-55) returned for some tight overs and although Harwood (47 off 42 balls) found the boundary regularly, the steady flow of wickets restricted the current league champions to 269-7 from their 50 overs.

Bucks started well in their reply with James Alexander and Ben Askew cashing in on any loose deliveries along with some extras to fly to 38-0 in the first 10 overs.

But the change in bowling of Peter Barnard and Joss Stuart regained the initiative for the away side with Askew (26 from 73 balls) going in the 23rd over to Barnard and two overs later Alexander (32 from 39 balls) fell lbw to the same bowler for 80-2.

The pairing of Trent Crittenden and Matt Long started well and pushed the away side’s field back as they increased the scoring rate; reaching the 30-over mark needing 160 from the last 20 overs to win the game.

But as Crittenden unselfishly looked to push for the win, he succumbed and was out for 31 off 26 balls.

This brought skipper Lawrence to the crease at a perfect time and the in-form all rounder soon went about his business, keeping his side up within touching distance of the rate and dispatching the dangerous Kelly to all parts.

But with the scoring rate still climbing, Long (29 off 36 balls) departed stumped when the score was on 180-4 in the 40th over, meaning Bucks required 90 from the last 10 overs to complete the victory.

James Heaney looked like he may help take the game to the final overs until he fell for 11 after being caught, which spelt the end of the Bucks chase.

Bucks held on to wickets after Rob Thurley and Ryan Thompson left and Lee hit the vital four in the penultimate over which allowed Lawrence, with his valiant 63 not out from 74 balls, to guide his side to an unlikely losing draw, to split the points 14-12 in the away side’s favour.

Tomorrow, Bucks will be looking to return to winning ways when they host Cromer (1pm).

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