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Tue 15 August 2017

Josh Bowers
Josh Bowers

59 runs, 3 catches
& 2 stumpings

Scorecard

Cambridgeshire 381-5 dec & 273-8 drew with Staffordshire 364-7 dec & 372-6 dec

Cambs ended the season in sixth spot in the Eastern Division table with one win, four draws and the Hertfordshire defat the only blemish.

Forced into a late change as Paul McMahon damaged the knee that had kept him out of the side for over twelve months in a club game on the Saturday, James Williams took over the skippers duties. The visitors took first use of a benign Wisbech pitch which favoured the batsmen throughout and rattled up 364-7 from their 90 overs.

There were plenty of positives to take from the county reply, highlighted by maiden Minor County hundreds for youngsters Callum Guest (101) and Ben Seabrook (107) including a partnership of 173 for the third wicket. A cameo 57 from Lewis Bruce in what could well be his final championship appearance and stand in captain James Williams continued his run of form hitting an unbeaten 57, Cambs finished up a few runs in front.

With the pitch as it a was some manipulation was necessary to try and engineer a positive result. After some generous bowling featuring Nesan Jeyaratnam bagging an unlikely maiden five wichet haul (albeit whilst conceding 150 runs), Cambs were set an unlikely 356 to win in 75 overs. Guest added another 86 to his first innings hundred but it took a 75-run unbeaten ninth-wicket stand between wicket-keeper Josh Bowers (58*) and Joe Dawborn (39*) to ensure the County avoided defeat at 273-8.

Cambridgeshire 11 points, Staffordshire 10 points

 
Tue 1 August 2017

Asim Butt
Asim Butt
50 & 4 catches

Scorecard

Buckinghamshire 201 & 357-2 dec drew with Cambridgeshire 282-9 dec

A bore draw broke out at Chesham where the only people to benefit were the critics of Minor Counties Cricket.

After heavy rain, only 16 overs were possible on the first day where the County reduced the hosts to 32 for 5. On the second morning Bucks recovered and inched their way to 201 with Ricky Gordon returning his best figures for the County with 5 for 59 and the returning Sam Rippington bagging 2 for 19. An unusual feature of the innings was four catches for Butt, three for Guest and two for Bowers.

James Williams was again in fine form with the bat, unbeaten on 86, and Asim Butt made a solid fifty as Cambridgeshire eventually closed their innings early on Day 3 on 282-9 and a lead of 81.

With the Captains unable or unwilling to engineer a target, the hosts batted for the remainder of the day and eventually the game was brought to pointless conclusion. Only wicketkeeper Josh Bowers and Ben Seabrook (bad back) were not by used as bowlers by Captain Paul McMahon in an increasingly farcial day.

Buckinghamshire 9 points, Cambridgeshire 11 points

 
Tue 18 July 2017

James Williams
James Williams
50 & 85

Scorecard

Cambridgeshire 209 & 284 lost to Hertfordshire 309-8 dec & 185-5 by five wickets

Cambridgeshire lost their unbeaten 2017 record despite the best efforts of of James Williams and Callum Guest. Electing to bat first on a good looking Long Marston pitch, the County fell well short in their first innings; all out for just 205 with Williams 50 and Guest 44 the only innings of real note. The bowlers made inroads into the hosts response but two centurions, Gale and Hussein, enabled Hertfordshire to get up to 309 and a lead of exactly 100.

Williams followed his first innings score with a superb second innings knock of 85, Guest giving him good support with 72, and Josh Bowers (36) also battled hard as the county were finally all out for 284 in their second innings.

Herts were left chasing 185 and not many overs to get them in; a three-wicket burst from Paul McMahon and Lewis Bruce prompted a slump from 82-0 to 89-3, but Herts limped home with a couple of overs to spare.

Hertfordshire 23 points, Cambridgeshire 4 points

 
Tue 4 July 2017

Ben Smith
Ben Smith
Off to coach Ireland

Scorecard

Cambridgeshire 354-7 dec & 231-8 dec drew with Northumberland 261 & 280-8

Cambridgeshire couldn’t quite press home their advantage in their Championship clash with Northumberland, after being ahead of the eight ball for much of the game. Batting first on a largely flat March pitch, the County picked up full batting points as they imposed a challenging total of 354-7 dec on the visitors.

A century for Ben Smith was a fitting finale in what is likely to be his final game for Cambridgeshire having signed a coaching deal with Cricket Ireland on their promotion to full Test Status. Smith added a 101 for the fourth wicket with Ben Seabrook who produced his best innings for Cambridgeshire with 66 and then 123 with James Williams who ended with 52 on his return to the side.

The visitors got off to a flyer with 126 for the first wicket before Ben Smith ran out opener Hewison for 54. Once the breakthrough was effected, the county spin duo of Lewis Bruce and returning Paul McMahon got to work and Northumberland lost their last nine wickets for 135, four wickets for Bruce three for McMahon.

With a lead of 93 the county pressed on and when the second innings reached 232 the declaration came and set Northumberland 326 in a minimum of 76 overs. The visitors took up the challenge and with 12 overs let all three results were possible but despite the efforts of the Paul McMahon who finished with five wickets and eight for the match, Northumberland held on for the draw. Cambridgeshire stay third in the table but now just five points behind leaders Suffolk,

Cambridgeshire 12 points, Northumberland 9 points

 
Sun 18 - Tue 20 June

Lewis Bruce
Lewis Bruce
10 wickets &
85 runs
in the match

Scorecard

Bedfordshire 334-9 dec & 94 lost to Cambridgeshire 267 & 167-8 by two wickets

Sam Rippington and Harrison Craig combined to deliver a terrific win for Cambridgeshire, as they came together with Cambs requiring 33 with two wickets in hand in a tense ending, as they were facing possible defeat as ex-England slow bowler Monty Panesar was rampant with five wickets already that day. However, the two Cambs bowlers showed tremendous patience and technique to grind their way to victory. Rippington, who is usually a bit of a dasher, finished unbeaten on 22 from 45 balls, while Craig faced 36 balls for his 11.

Cambs skipper Lewis Bruce completed an outstanding match by making 51 after Cambs had been set 167 to win. The foundations for the victory were laid on the second day with Burwell skipper Joe Tetley hitting a patient century on his debut which enabled Cambridgeshire to get within 72 of the hosts total of 329, which was built largely around former county opener Ben Howgego's fine century.

Trailing on first Innings, it was important to make inroads into Bedfordshire batting second time around before the close of day two, and the County bowlers certainly did those with four wickets for Joe Dawborn and four for Lewis Bruce (making ten for him in the match) as Beds were skittled out for just 94 and the tense last day finish was set up.

Bedfordshire 8 points, Cambridgeshire 22 points

BBC Radio Report

 
Sun 4 - Tue 6 June

Joe Dawborn
Joe Dawborn

4 wickets & 53 runs

Scorecard

Cambridgeshire 203 drew with Lincolnshire 340 & 240-5 dec

The county will count themselves fortunate to come out of their opening Championship game against favourites Lincolnshire with a draw and seven points. Forced for varying reasons to field a largely inexperienced side, three players were making their first appearance in a Cambridgeshire shirt: Kieron Judd (Peterborough Town), Connor Craig (Nassington) and Jay Ghelani (Burwell); plus Riccordo Gordon was making his Championship debut. Club Captain Paul McMahon was still injured, so his Peterborough team mate Lewis Bruce carried on with the coin after his one-day efforts.

Unsurprisingly, after winning the toss the visitors took first use of the normal Saffron Walden batsmen friendly road. Ricardo Gordon finally impressed with the ball with 3-46 from twenty one overs. There were four more wickets for Josh Arksey, albeit expensive ones, as Lincolnshire were dismissed for 340.

The County batting looked brittle. Connor Craig did show promise with 31 and a last wicket partnership of 70 between Joe Dawborn (who completed a half century) and Jay Ghelani (unbeaten on 20) gave the final total of 203 an air of some respectability, avoiding a day one follow-on.

Lincolnshire showed their strength in their second innings, romping to 240 for 5, a lead of 377. Cambridgeshire were staring defeat in the face but firstly bad light and then the rain came to their rescue, washing out the final day. The County need to take a long hard look at the tempo of their game especially in the field, as once again a slow over rate cost them two points.

Cambridgeshire 7 points, Lincolnshire 12 points