Ben Privett, who top scored with 69 in Devon's win over Oxfordshire<br>credit: Conrad Sutcliffe - no re-use without copyright owner's consent

DEVON can take a massive step towards the last eight of the 50-over NCA Trophy by beating Buckinghamshire at High Wycombe tomorrow (Sunday).

A crushing 160-run win over Oxfordshire at Sidmouth last Sunday, in which Ben Privett top scored with 69, hoisted Devon into second spot in the five-team table.

The manner of that win – achieved with more than  18 overs to go – gave Devon a significant advantage in the net run-rate department. It stands at +1.58

In the event of two teams finishing level on match points, which with just two for a win and no bonus points on offer is a hazard, net run-rate is the determining factor.

The four teams trailing leaders Berkshire are only separated by two points, which is an indicator of how keenly contested the group is.

Devon cannot qualify by beating Buckinghamshire, but would struggle for the top-two finish that guarantees a last-eight place if they do. Victory will leave qualification resting on the defeating Cornwall at Cornwood on June 23.

James Horler, Devon’s white-ball captain, missed the win over Oxfordshire as he was attending a family wedding. He has been looking at the facts and figures and likes what he sees.

"Because of net run rate we have put ourselves in a strong position, which makes this Sunday even more important,” said Horler.

“It feels like any team in our group can still qualify, so we cannot be complacent. The boys did a great job last week and will be looking to replicate that in High Wycombe.”

Red-ball captain Jamie Stephens led the side against Oxfordshire in Horler’s absence. Although work commitments often prevent him playing in the first half of the season, he is available for this game and is in the squad.

Horler for Kazi Szymanski, 12th man against Oxfordshire, is the only change to the squad that assembled at Sidmouth.

Will Christophers – his three-wicket haul against hastened Oxfordshire's demise. The umpire is Paul SmithAfter such a convincing win it is going to be tough leaving anyone out, something Horler accepts he will have to deal with.

“It is a difficult but fortunate position to be in as every player has performed and shown why they deserve to play,” said Horler.

“Trying to squeeze 13 or 14 into 11 every time, means some people are going to miss out.

“Obviously that’s difficult but it's going to drive competition for places and performances, which is great.”

The last time Devon met Buckinghamshire in any format was in the red-ball Championship play-off game between the Eastern and Western Division winners at the end of last season.

It did not go well for Devon, who were thrashed by 550 runs on day three of what should have been a four-day game. Horler, who played in that game, said he did not anticipate any hangover going into this one.

“It was a completely different competition last year and I don’t think the game will have any bearing,” said Horler.

“Obviously we will want to prove a point, but I would be disappointed if we didn't want to do that in every game we play.”

Devon (from): J D Horler, M W Thompson, C J Haggett, C M Sharland, E H Hamilton, B A Beaumont, L S Walker, S O Read, B H Privett, W R Christophers, M B Shepherd, J A Stephens.

Buckinghamshire (from): C W Hemp, G Harvey, S W Mead, A N Kervezee, R A J Richardson, E W H Bragg, M J Payne, H Ramanadanpulle, C P W Haddow. C D R Parsons, M C Uttley, T Weymes, T R G Hampton.Max Shepherd – four wickets that wrapped-up the win over Oxfordshire at Sidmouth