JAMIL Faruq starred with 6-35 as Horspath got their Home Counties Premier League Division 2 title bid back on track with a comfortable five-wicket win at Chesham, who are relegated.
Will Eason’s side remain four points clear of Reading at the top, and now need just five points from their last two games to secure promotion.
Chesham made a solid start after electing to bat first, with openers Matthew Rance and Australian James Day putting on 81 for the first wicket off 17 overs.
But the introduction of spin brought an end to the partnership as Dean Conradie had Day stumped by Joey Todd for 37, with the ball rebounding off the wicket-keeper’s chest onto the stumps.
Left-arm spinner Lloyd Belcher then trapped Rance lbw for 41, before Conradie bowled Barnaby Atkins with a quicker delivery to make it 87-3.
Chesham rallied to take the score to 131, before Faruq made an explosive impact with three wickets in four balls.
He bowled Andy Goddard with a cracking delivery and then had Jack Maciver caught by Kit Cutter at second slip first ball.
His attempted hat-trick ball went down the legside for a wide, before his next delivery was edged behind by David Hughes-D-Aeth.
Jason Rance (45) and Jason Gardiner (34) then took Chesham to 189 before both fell to Faruq, who was on a hat-trick for the second time in the match.
Again it wasn’t to be, but Mohson Rana trapped Matthew Yeabsley lbw, before Faruq completed his six-wicket haul by having Christopher Royals caught by Robbie Eason at extra cover.
Horspath were then reduced to 8-2 with Robbie Eason playing on after shouldering arms to the impressive Day, whose ten overs cost just 11 runs, and Jimmy Phillips being adjudged lbw to Maciver.
But Joey Todd (49) led the recovery, firstly with support from Kit Cutter, and then in a good stand with Mark Skelton, who made his first Home Counties half-century with 54, which contained eight fours.
It was then left to Will Eason (33no) and Conradie to steer Horspath home with 2.1 overs to spare.
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