BUCKS v STAFFS PREVIEW 160717
Staffordshire’s cricketers will have to quickly put behind them the blow in losing their Unicorns Knock-Out Trophy semi-final to Berkshire last Sunday as they switch their attention to three day championship cricket staring this Sunday when they make the trip to High Wycombe to take on Buckinghamshire.
After their dramatic one wicket success over Bedfordshire in their last three day match, Staffs have put themselves back into contention for the title as they sit in fourth place in the Eastern Division, just six points behind current table toppers Suffolk. However, it is likely they may have to win all three of their remaining championship matches if they are to end the campaign top of the pile.
Opponents Buckinghamshire have made a poor start to the season and after drawing their opening rain affected match against Suffolk they have been beaten in their last two outings, going down to Norfolk before crashing to a nine wicket defeat by Lincolnshire in their last game. Captained by Michael Payne they include former Burslem player Shelvin Gumbs along with former Derbyshire all-rounder Gary Park.
For the game Staffs have made one change to their line-up from their success over Bedfordshire with the inclusion of Leek’s opening bowler Mitchell Spencer, who has just spent the summer with Warwickshire. Captain Kadeer Ali will be looking for a positive reaction from his players as they look to keep their season alive commenting after their semi-final defeat, “It’s gutting not to get through to the final but we still have plenty to play for. We had a very good win against Bedfordshire and are in a good position in the league. We will now go to Bucks and turn our attention to the three-day format.”
Staffs squad: Kadeer Ali (West Bromwich Dartmouth), Sam Kelsall (Moddershall & Oulton), Tom Steele (Longton), Ross Coates (Wood Lane), Tim Maxfield (Whitmore), Peter Wilshaw (Meakins), Michael Hill (Whitmore), Brinder Phagura (West Bromwich Dartmouth), Mitchell Spencer (Leek), Dan Richardson (Leek), Paul Byrne (Walsall), Greg Willott (Bagnall/Norton).
By Allan Smith