BANBURY maintained their position at the top of the Division 1 table with a sensational two-wicket victory over lowly Gerrards Cross on Saturday.
Going into the final over, both sides could have won the game with Banbury needing 12 runs and Gerrards Cross two wickets for victory.
But No 10 Liam Manley ensured there was only going to be one outcome, hitting the first ball for four, and then smashing the next for six.
He then took a single off the third, before Ashley Blanchard nudged another single to see his side home in a thrilling finish.
It looked a tough ask for Banbury as the visitors defied their lowly position in the table with a fine batting display.
Opener Matthew Watson led the way with 77 from 125 balls, before an unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 100 between Daniel Hampton (81no) and Sam Westaway saw Gerrards Cross post 257-4.
Hampton’s knock came off 77 deliveries and contained ten fours and sixes.
Luke Ryan was the pick of the Banbury bowlers with 3-70 from 21 overs.
Dan Harris and Craig Haupt got Banbury off to a flying start in reply, putting on 124 before Harris was bowled by Izhan Khan for 61.
Haupt fell two runs later for 63 and when Nathan Hawkes, Jonny Cater and Richard West were all dismissed in quick succession, Banbury were up against it at 158-5.
However, Ryan and Ian Tew put on 46 for the sixth wicket to give them hope.
Ryan went on to plunder 51 from 26 balls, with six fours and two sixes, before being bowled by Vikram Banerjee with the score on 235.
When Ollie Wright was out for a second-ball duck, victory looked unlikely.
But Blanchard and Manley came together to produce their heroics and seal a thrilling victory and maintain Banbury’s 14-point lead over High Wycombe.
Latest Sport news
- Phil Edwards: Oxford United must beat Bury tonight or they can forget play-off push
- Michael Appleton urges Oxford United players to seize final chance against Bury to push Wembley claims
- RUGBY UNION: Chinnor’s National League 2 South title bid suffers huge blow but Henley Hawks win
- GOLF: Champions Frilford Heath are whitewashed
- HOCKEY: Mixed emotions as Abingdon Pilgrims bow out with a victory before disbanding
- RUGBY UNION: Defeats for Oxford Harlequins, Witney and Banbury, but Grove triumph
- RUGBY UNION: Gosford All Blacks, Bicester and Wallingford all triumph in Southern Counties North
- RUGBY UNION: Littlemore beat Wheatley as Oxford and Chipping Norton are also victorious
- RUGBY LEAGUE: Oxford are no match for Whitehaven in cup
- DARTS: Oxfordshire chasing promotion