Nathan Buck snatched a superb victory for Northamptonshire’s Second XI by smashing the final ball of the day for six, after an impressive all-round batting performance on the final day.
Worcestershire began the day by continuing where they left on Day 3 with Kashif Ali and Balaji forming a solid partnership of 55 before Ali was caught behind off the bowling of Gowler. Balaji added another 30 runs to the total before Worcestershire declared for 227/7 just before lunch.
This left Northamptonshire needing 303 runs from just over 70 overs in the final two sessions.
The opening partnership of James Cronie and Ben Curran provided the perfect foundation for the chase, scoring 102 runs between them in a hard fought and high-pressure opening hour.
Second XI Head Coach Graeme White spoke on how key this opening partnership was to the victory.
“I thought the batting performance today was fantastic, especially up top to build such a good foundation to start the chase”.
“Ben Curran and James Cronie getting a 100 odd partnership there at the top was really key to set us off on the right path”. White said.
Although James Cronie was run out after some miscommunication in the middle, Curran continued to build on the foundation, adding a further 37 runs to finish agonizingly close to his second hundred of the match.
“I was gutted as Ben really deserved a second 100 of the match. He’s been batting fantastic all week, showing real character and leadership. He’s certainly knocking on the door to try and get into that first team”.
Northamptonshire continued to battle on through the afternoon session, entering tea 161/3.
Dickenson seemed to be driving the momentum back in Worcestershire’s favour in the evening session, bowling James Sales soon after tea, and taking Aadi Sharma LBW. Harry Gouldstone batted superbly however, adding 48 across two partnerships but when Dickenson beat his defences, Worcestershire began to eye victory.
Nathan Buck seemed to sense a chance for a Northamptonshire win however and used all of his experience and talent to guide four partners through the rest of innings.
With one ball remaining, Northamptonshire needed five runs to snatch victory. Buck stepped up to the moment, moving across his crease and sending the ball into the gardens of Clarke Road, taking Northamptonshire home by one wicket.
“What a fantastic win”, said White after the match.
“Nathan Buck was ice cold at the end. The experience of him there has won us the game, not only with his runs but by really helping the other lads who came in – giving advice and always being positive”.
“It’s something we always talk about with our cricket, being positive and always looking to win, he did that in abundance today”.
The focus now switches to white ball competitions for the Second XI before returning to four day matches for a friendly against SACA on June 20th.