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Boys become men in one-run Bucks Cup Final win
HIGH Wycombe won a spectacular Bucks Cup final against Burnham by a single run at the weekend.
They appeared to be crashing to defeat, but teenage spinners Uzair Amjaid and Saif Zaib won the game with some nerveless bowling at the death.
Burnham needed 13 runs off the final two overs, and a six at the start of the penultimate over appeared to have done the business.
But they were the only runs to come off Zaid’s over, leaving 14-year-old Amjaid with seven runs to protect in the final six balls of the match.
That equation became four off four and then three off two following an lbw decision, and the dramatic victory was wrapped up when Burnham’s last man was run out trying to sneak a second run after hitting the ball to the boundary.
Director of cricket Keith Newell said: “The pitch was offering a bit of turn so if you were able to get the ball in the right place the spinners were the hardest to get away.
“We could have kept James Benning back, but we kept three overs back for the spinners and it just so happened that our spinners were the youngsters.
“I told them they’d be bowling at the death and they said, oh really? Are you sure?
“Uzair looked a bit worried, but that’s what they’ve got to be prepared to do. If you protect them from these situations they won’t ever get used to it.
“And they did very well. They held their nerve.”
U15 bowler Zaib (2-24) and U14s Amjaid (3-23) weren’t the only youngsters involved though.
The winning stumping was completed by 18-year-old George Russell, 16-year-old Sam Buckfield scored 21 at the top of the order and Jonathan Burden, 17, was also among the wicket takers.
Newell said: “The youngsters are good players, they’re not just fill-ins. They’re all of county level and warrant their place in the team.
“They’re more than capable.”
Wycombe batted first in the rain-reduced match, with John Stevens (19) and Buckfield getting the side off to a decent start.
Russell kept the momentum going with a top score of 23, but the Burnham spinners put a lid on things and Wycombe needed Newell’s unbeaten 18 to reach 132.
George Harper and Burden both struck early in Burnham’s reply, but they broke the shackles with a string of boundaries and needed just 17 runs off the final three overs.
However, the return of Zaib and Amjaid did the job for Wycombe in thrilling fashion.
Newell said: “It was a fantastic game of cricket to end the year.
“The youngsters celebrated with lucozade and coke in the dressing room but we were more than happy to make up for it with a few beers.”
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