Biddenham Cricket Club secured the Bedfordshire League Premier Division play off spot by a single point on Sunday afternoon after a dramatic final day of action across the cricket pitches of Bedford Borough.
Biggleswade CC have made an immediate return to the Premier Division after winning the league last week, but the real fight was in second with Biddenham having to beat Potton and hope Bedford didn’t gain seven points.
That was exactly what transpired, as Bedford could only get six bonus points in a losing effort against Eggington Foresters with Biddenham leapfrogging their rivals into second place.
Biddenham cruised past Potton with consummate ease at The Hollow, winning by eight wickets and chasing down a target of 100 inside 11 overs.
Ross Cunningham (3-20) and Matthew Cannon (2-21) have been dependable with the ball this season and made light work of Potton’s top order before Gary Linton-Walls (4-12) cleaned up the tail.
Tom Mills’ half century off just 39 balls set Biddenham well on their way to a maximum point win that would prove crucial as the evening drew to a close.
Bedford CC fall short
Just down the road at The Bury, Bedford were creeping their way up to 177-9 against Eggington Foresters; Vedant Somal top scoring with 45.
Eggington, knowing they were safe from relegation by the time they batted as Potton had already lost, began their chase at a rate of knots, reaching 42-0 in quick time.
Soon however it was 47-3 and then 61-5 at the interval, with Bedford well on top and seemingly staring down the barrel of a play-off against Caldecote for a Premier Division spot.
Atif Ali (55 not out) and captain, Nazakat Khan had other ideas however as a century stand broke Bedford hearts, and despite a late run out, Bedford could not reach the eight wickets required to gain enough bonus points.
Eggington won by 4 wickets, and with that left Bedford stranded on 267 points against Biddenham’s 268 in what has been a yo-yo battle at the top of Division One.
Biddenham go on to face Caldecote this coming Sunday at The Hollow, with the winner securing their place in the top tier next season.
Manku leads epic chase in Wellingborough
The Saturday league season is over for Bedford, who finished 5th in Division Four and comfortably evading relegation with a concession victory against already-relegated Irchester on the final day.
Attention turned to the season-ending knockout cup, where Bedford travelled to Wellingborough Old Grammarians in the quarter final.
Wellingborough, batting first, amassed an impressive 244-8 with opener Faz Shah top scoring with 56 but Bedford managed to chase that target down with a little under five overs remaining.
That chase was made possible by a stunning 59 from 30 balls for Arjun Manku who provided a platform for the top order to knock the rest off, with all the batsmen contributing to a comfortable victory and a semi-final spot.
Rohan Mehmi (47), Jonny Dove (43) and Reece Gascoyne (38 not out) were all impressive and composed to take Bedford through to the semi-finals where they will travel to Brixworth.
Flitwick Cricket Club are the Under 15 Bedfordshire champions after beating Bedford’s Under 15 ‘A’ side on Bank Holiday Monday.
Monty Crannis (31 not out) and Jonah Wilson (26) were the main stays in Flitwick’s chase as they managed to surpass Bedford’s 110 with four balls remaining.