Bedford Cricket Club are celebrating the first of what they hope will be three promotions after a comfortable victory against Elstow at The Bury on a day of fundraising for the Ruth Strauss Foundation.
The club turned red for the charity; set up by former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss in the wake of his wife’s passing in 2018 and helps prepare families for the death of a parent.
Bedford Cricket Club took on the #RedForRuth club challenge, along with many other clubs around the country, with all proceeds from the weekend going to the charity.
On the pitch, Bedford knew a win would give them an insurmountable lead in the promotion places from third-placed Elstow, and secured that promotion with a 37-run victory.
Batting first, Bedford posted 245 with Rohan Mehmi continuing his purple patch with 77, while quickfire cameos from Dominic Mawdsley and Tom Blythman helped boost the total.
Harwinder Singh smashed 101 from 69 balls for the visitors to give them hopes of an unlikely victory, but Jonny Dove’s 6-44 was too much with Elstow eventually posting 208-9.
The win signals an immediate return to Division One of the Bedfordshire County Cricket League for Bedford, with games against Queens Park Westfield and Blunham to come in order to win the title.
The 2nd XI were also victors as they kept up their pursuit of Harrold in Division Five; winning by 160 runs at Great Brickhill.
Ryan Chambers top scored with 61 for Bedford, who posted 268-9 from their forty overs while 13-year old Mustafa Mughal (2-18) impressed with ball in hand as Great Brickhill could only muster 108 in reply.
There is a real title fight on in the Northamptonshire County League with both Bedford and Kempston Hammers going toe-to-toe in Division Five by keeping up impressive winning streaks.
Bedford travelled to far-flung Yelvertoft on Saturday, winning by 53 runs, as they successfully defended 226 thanks in large to Arjun Manku’s 68.
Sam Till’s 3-13 helped finish the job as Bedford won by 53 runs.
Kempston Hammers meanwhile faced a much sterner test at Cogenhoe, winning by just 4 runs in a match that went right down to the wire.
Gavin Howson’s unbeaten 100 and Richard Foot (74) took Kempston to 238-3 but Cogenhoe couldn’t get the boundary they needed off the final ball to tie, giving Kempston a massive victory as they remain two points clear at the top.
Bedford and Kempston Hammers face off at The Bury this Saturday in a game that could be winner takes all with only the league champions promoted due to a league restructure.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer for Bedford Cricket Club