Bucks on the brink of Minor Counties title

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Bucks made themselves firm favourites to win the Minor Counties Championship Eastern Diviison title with a commanding eight-wicket victory over bedfordshire at Slough on Tuesday.

A spectacular innings of 179 by former England one-day international Mal Loye turned the game Bucks’s way on the second day, and a clinical bowling display on the final day secured their third victory in five matches.

The result puts Bucks a provisional 11 points clear at the top of the table with just one game - away to Nortumberland at Jesmond from August 19-21 - to play,

With 24 points to play for in each game, Bucks will need to win to reach their second championship play-off in four seasons. They were champions in 2009.

A century from Steve Stubbings took Beds to 252-9 dec in their first innings, Gerrards Cross left-arm spinner Vikram Banerjee taking 5-69 off 33.3 overs.

This was eclipsed by a brilliant knock from Loye, whose 179 came off 248 balls with 17 fours and two sixes.

He shared a fourth wicket stand of 216 with Michael Payne(83) to help Bucks to 335-8dec, a lead of 83 at the end of the second day.

Bedfordshire collapsed on the final morning, with seamer Faisal Ali making the breakthrough with four wickets and Banerjee taking another three as Beds were all out for 170.

This left Bucks 88 for victory which they achieved in 12.1 overs for the loss of two wickets, before the threatened rain arrived.