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Champs make satisfactory start to championship campaign

By Dave Wright

First day's play at Wargrave

Berkshire enjoyed a good first day's play when they opened their defence of the Unicorns Championship against Oxfordshire at Wargrave on Sunday.
On a good batting strip, they restricted their visitors to 299-8 in their 90 overs before replying with 152-2 from 35 overs.
Oxon, electing to bat first, made a tremendous start with a useful opening stand of 111 with 60 coming from Harry Smith and 59 by Tom Condon.
Chris Peploe secured the breakthrough in the 28th over and followed up with two more as the visitors slipped to 124-3.
Fellow spinners Ollie Birts and Ali Raja also got among the wickets and the eighth wicket went down at 193 in the 61st over.
However, skipper Jon Cater and Joe Thomas (there's one in each team) stopped the slide with an unbroken partnership of 106, taking Oxon to 299 from their 90 overs.
Gater finished unbeaten on 114 and Thomas 25.
Bowling figures: Callum Gregory 5-0-29-0, Andy Rishton 10-2-34-0, Ollie Birts 21-2-92-1, Chris Peploe 40-14-114-4, Waqas Hussain 4-0-20-0, Ali Raja 10-5-9-2.
There were three catches for keeper Joe Thomas, while the Morris brothers, James and Richard, each took two catches. There was also a run-out by Andy Rishton.
Berkshire made a useful start in reply through Hussain and Brandon Gilmour, the pair blasting 95 in 14.2 overs before Gilmour, having played some excellent attacking shots, was trapped lbw, the ball going under his bat. when just one short of his century.
Hussain, who had hammered a century for Berkshire 2nds against the Isle of Wight in midweek, and Andy Rishton continued to push the score along nicely before the latter was dismissed for 44, leaving the hosts 152-2.
By the end of the first day, Berkshire had moved on to 155-2 from 35 overs with Hussain 58 as they look to build up a useful first-innings lead.
Of the l0 wickets to fall, nine were taken by spin bowlers.

Updated 13:00 - 2 Jan 2019 by Dave Wright

Where next?

Rishton and keeper Thomas shine as Berks take control Day 2 ends with Oxon 20 runs ahead with four wickets down
Several changes for opening championship game Former Finchampstead paceman Gregory returns


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Sun 2 Sep
League 186 – 148/1

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