Bedford Cricket Club’s Sunday 1st XI took a big step towards the Premier League play-off with a nervy 3-wicket win at Biddenham yesterday.
Biddenham sat two points ahead of Bedford in second place before the season-defining encounter, with the winner knowing they would sit in prime position for a play-off spot, with Biggleswade one win away from the Division One title.
The hosts had beaten Bedford in a high-scoring game at The Bury back in June, but the opposite transpired at Biddenham where a low-scoring game jangled nerves for both sides.
Will Bates’ century rescued Biddenham from 8-3 in the reverse encounter, but there was no rescue this time as Biddenham collapsed to 92 all out; talismen Shiv Odedra and Jonny Dove claiming three wickets apiece.
A chase of 92 is usually a simple one, but the nerves told in what was a big game and wickets fell at regular intervals to keep Biddenham alive and interested, but Bedford managed to squeeze home by three wickets.
Biggleswade’s 29-run win against Ickwell leaves them one victory away from an immediate return to Premier Division cricket, while Bedford will hope the league leaders slip up against Potton next week.
Bedford’s 2nd XI are fighting relegation in Division Four, and their chances of survival took a big hit at The Bury yesterday as they fell by 6 wickets to Langford.
Queens Park Westfield remain in second in the Premier Division with a five-wicket win over struggling Dunstable Town on Sunday, but Flitwick have already claimed the Bedfordshire League title.
Saturday XI safe
it’s been a rocky road for Bedford’s Saturday XI as they’ve flirted with relegation in the past month, but they are now mathematically safe despite a four-wicket loss to Podington on Saturday.
Harvir Dhesi’s maiden half-century and a composed 42 from the dependable Kelk dragged Bedford up to 226 and although Podington needed eight runs per over from the half way stage, they managed to chase the target with an over to spare.
James Stephenson’s maiden century (104) and 61 from Ian Hart did the majority of the damage despite three wickets for Sam Till, but Bedford’s six bonus points were enough to see them safe for next season.
They face already relegated Irchester next Saturday in what is effectively a dead rubber, while the Sunday 1st XI have a free week in preparation for a crunch game against Eggington on the first weekend of September.
The 2nd XI must beat Old Warden at The Bury next week to give them any chance of survival, with Offley and Stopsley to follow on the final weekend.
Tom Carr is a player and volunteer for Bedford Cricket Club