BANBURY captain Richard Kaufman thinks his side have a realistic chance of finishing third in the league after Paul Taylor’s outstanding performance earned them a 134-run win over Reading.
The former England test star scored a century and took six wickets as Banbury inflicted a first defeat of the season on Reading.
Banbury’s next three games are against sides below them in the table and Kaufman knows three wins can help them achieve their target.
“We need to put a run together and have a good chance because it is one of those leagues where everyone is capable of beating each other,” he said.
“There was a confidence and buzz in the dressing room after the game and we were all talking about a top three place.”
In his relatively new position of opening batsman, Taylor was on the field for all but five balls of the match on his way to making 122.
“It was a superb and mature innings that helped us post a good total of 260,” said Kaufman.
Taylor shared two major partnerships. The first was with Craig Haupt, as they added 102 in 22 overs for the second wicket. Haupt hit 52 from 66 balls with nine fours.
The middle order came, scored a few and departed as Taylor stood firm before finding an ally in namesake Calum Taylor.
The pair added 62 in 11 overs for the seventh wicket before the former England man fell to the first ball of the last over. His 122 took 187 balls and contained 18 boundaries.
Kaufman changed from his usual tactics of operating spinner Jimmy Phillips with the old ball and opted instead to use seamers Ian Adams and Ollie Murrey with the new ball.
It worked as the visitors were soon in trouble in reply as Adams (2-27) and Murrey (1-39) reduced them to 39-3 inside ten overs.
Kaufman likened Taylor’s bowling performance to his form in 1992, which earned him his England call-up.
He said: “I then turned to Paul and asked him how he was feeling. He said he was a bit tired after his century but I felt he would be relaxed enough to bowl well.
“He had nothing to prove and the concentration he had from his batting helped him find his rhythm.
“It was a vintage Taylor ’92 performance. You expected him to take a wicket with every ball.”
Neil Winspear, who hit 166 against Banbury earlier in the season, and Tod Fray were in the process of rebuilding the innings when Taylor struck after tea.
The left-arm seamer, who has bowled well with little luck recently, picked up 3-2 in 13 balls on his way to final figures of 6-21 in 11.2 overs.
Kaufamn said: “It was so pleasing to see Paul do well. He knows he hasn’t bowled well and being the club professional he has been feeling the pressure.
“But he is always there for the team when he’s not been playing well. He’s a good person to have at the club.”
Ian Adams is due to have a fitness test tonight (Thursday) in the nets but Kaufman is hopeful of fielding the same team for Saturday’s home game against bottom side Potters Bar.