Anupam Sanklecha starred for Shipton-under-Wychwood, but just failed to save them from an agonising one-wicket defeat at home to Cove in Saturday’s tense Serious Cricket Home Counties League Division 2 encounter.

The Indian medium-pacer captured 6-39 as Cove chased a victory target of 137, but Shipton could not prevent the visitors’ last pair adding the final nine runs for victory.

The hosts made an inauspicious start, losing both openers Joe Barrett and Charlie Brain for nought after being put in to bat.

Batting was never easy, but Craig Wood and and wicket-keeper Calvin Dickinson then produced the highest stand of the match – 63 for the third wicket – to get the innings back on its feet.

Dickinson was eventually run out for 51, but any hopes of Shipton reaching a healthy total evaporated when they lost five wickets for four runs on the way to being all out for 136 in the 52nd over.

Najeeb Bashir Malik captured 5-38 for Cove.

Sanklecha then brought Shipton back into the match by single-handedly reducing Cove to 35-4.

Sanklecha and left-arm spinner Shaun Miller bowled in tandem for most of the innings and together they had Cove really struggling at 100-8.

The hosts were favourites now, but visiting skipper Andrew Short held firm.

Miller, who returned 3-46, trapped James Sharrod lbw with nine runs still needed for victory.

But the last pair, aided by Saklecha putting down a hard caught and bowled chance, eked out the winning runs in four overs.

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