NORTH Maidenhead returned to winning form in Division One of the Thames Valley League after a three-wicket victory at High Wycombe 2s on Saturday, writes Rob Stevens.

The Summerleaze-based club had been beaten in their three previous league matches, but star performances with the bat from captain Imran Butt and Usman Ilyas ensure the team remains top of the division.

North Maidenhead

won the coin toss and elected to field first at London Road, with

High Wycombe

reaching 306-5 in 52 overs.

Number three Simon Janes was the leading runs scorer with 116 from 135 balls. He hit 15 boundaries before being ran out by Fahim Qureshi, with his innings lasting 160 minutes.

It is his first century and highest score of the season, taking his average for the summer to 33.33.

Tom Gray, batting at number four, managed 82 runs from 99 balls, with eight boundaries, for a first half-century for the High Wycombe second team. He has previously made three 50s for the third team this season.

Janes and Gray put on 195 runs for the third wicket as their side recovered from 43-2 to 238-3.

Faaez Shamsi was the pick of the North Maidenhead bowling attack with his figures of 2-33 from nine overs, which included the wicket of opening batsman Callum Stay for a fourth ball duck.

The imposing target did not faze the visitors who managed an impressive 310-7 in 47.2 overs for a win that keeps them six points clear of the chasing pack in the league table.

Number four Butt top-scored with 92 runs from just 84 balls in an innings that lasted 90 minutes and included 12 boundaries plus four maximum hits.

It is his second half-century and highest score of the season, taking his average for the summer to 26.50.

Ilyas, batting at number three, managed 81 runs from 95 balls, with six boundaries and two maximums, for a second half-century and new highest score in this campaign. He now averages 23.08 for the season.

Butt and Ilyas put on 160 runs for the third wicket, after opening batsman Qureshi (23) and Shafiq Khan (38) made an opening stand of 57.

Xavier Owen led the High Wycombe bowling attack from the front with his figures of 4-103 from 17.2 overs.

There is just 10 points between the top four teams in Division One with five matches remaining this season. North Maidenhead continue their title chase with a visit to Summerleaze from rivals Boyne Hill this Saturday (1pm).

Defeat for High Wycombe sees them drop into the two relegation spots and 22 points from safety. Captain John Stevens will now prepare his side for a short trip to rivals and title chasing Gerrards Cross this Saturday.