Berkshire fall to three-wicket friendly defeat against Oxfordshire

Euan Woods



Berkshire lost to Oxfordshire by three wickets in a friendly match dominated by spin bowling at Challow & Childrey on Sunday.

Put in to bat on a greenish wicket, they made a steady start, reaching 31, only to lose three wickets for the addition of one run, including that of Archie Carter, whose 22 was to prove the team's highest score of their innings. The next highest was skipper Richard Morris with 18, while Euan Woods and Andy Rishton both contributed 14 runs, and Luke Beaven was left unbeaten on 13 after he had helped raise the total from 89-8 to 123 all out in the 45th over.

The chief destroyer was spinner Joe Thomas who returned excellent figures of 5-22 from his 10 overs.

Berkshire also relied heavily on spin, but they were unable to prevent Oxon from getting off to a flying start with Tom Cosford racing to 54 off 39 balls with four sixes, including three in an over from Euan Woods.

But Berks stuck doggedly to their task and, with Chris Peploe taking a return catch off his own bowling to end Cosford's innings for 66, they sent their hosts tumbling from 81-0 to 108-5. Max Uttley ripped through the middle order, taking 4-24, but despite wickets for Peploe (2-26) and Woods (1-21) Oxon reached 125-7 with skipper Jon Cater (17no) guiding his side home in the 37th over. Berkshire's next fixture is against Wiltshire at Thatcham CC on May 23.



The venue may have been different, but the result was exactly the same as Bucks went down by four wickets in their second 50-over friendly match against Hertfordshire at Amersham on Sunday.

Seven days after their, four-wicket last-over defeat by Herts at High Wycombe, Bucks were again on the wrong end of the result, this time with nearly 12 overs to spare.

On a fast bouncy pitch, Bucks struggled after winning the toss and slipped to 45-4, against some particularly fine swing bowling from Bill Jones, who took 2-15 from his ten overs.

The Bucks recovery was led by Harefield's Dan Ogden, who scored 62 of 76 balls with two sixes and five fours. Shelvin Gumbs added a breezy 30, while a late flourish from Cameron Parsons, with a run-a-ball 20, lifted Bucks to 192 all out from 47 overs.

This appeared to be at least 40 runs short of a challenging total. Herts were always ahead of the game thanks to a classy innings of 61 from 79 balls from skipper Reece Hussain, the nephew of former England captain Nasser Hussain.

A hostile spell of fast bowling down the hill from Cameron Parsons, who took 2-32 from ten overs, gave Bucks a brief hope, but Dominic Chatfield followed his century the previous week with a lively unbeaten 37 as Herts raced home to win.

Bucks's next outing is a 50-over match against Oxfordshire for the Nurton-York Cup on May 23.

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