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Holders beaten twice by Oxfordshire

By Dave Wright

Berkshire crash out of the competition

UNICORNS Twenty20 holders Berkshire bowed out of this season's competition following two defeats by Oxfordshire at Banbury Twenty CC on Sunday, June 9th,
They were without Chris Peploe, Jack Davies and Tom Nugent with Ollie Birts, Joe Thomas and Toby Greatwood their replacements.
In the opening match, they had their hosts struggling at 10-2 before Shabaaz Alam with 48, Jordan Garrett (38), skipper Jon Cater (44) and Tom Condon (21) saw them finish up with a respectable total of 165-6.
Of the seven bowlers used by Berkshire, Ali Raja was the most successful with 2-23 off four overs.
Berkshire's reply was largely dominated by Dan Lincoln, who smashed 81 off 51 balls, with 21 runs coming in one over. His thoroughly entertaining 52-minute innings included three sixes and 10 fours.
Next highest was Tom Scriven, who hit 30 and featured in a third-wicket stand of 84 in eight overs with Lincoln.
Both were dismissed in quick succession and despite the best efforts of captain James Morris (14no), Berkshire fell agonisingly just four runs short, finishing on 161-5.
In the second game, the visitors batted first and this time it was Scriven who took centre stage, blasting 75 off 49 balls in just 49 minutes. Richard Morris weighed in with 31 off 21 balls as Berkshire posted 156-8. Lincoln made only three before being bowled by paceman Gareth Andrew, who finished with excellent figures of 3-18 from his four overs.
Oxon got off to a flying start, taking 17 runs off the opening over bowled by Greatwood.
Fellow seamer Andy Rishton also came in for some punishment, conceding 40 runs in four overs. But he bowled Alam for 29 to end an opening partnership of 57 in just four and a half overs and three balls later Rishton deflected a return ball from Will Sutcliffe onto the stumps at the non-striker's end to run out Tom Cosford for one. It wasn't Cosford's day as he had earlier been run out in the first match by Euan Woods without facing a ball.
Sutcliffe batted throughout the whole 20 overs to finish on 65 from 60 balls, while 24 from Jordan Garrett, who was caught by Rishton off the bowling of Luke Beaven, and an unbeaten 22 from Cater saw Oxon reach their target with an over to spare at 158-3.
So it was a rare disappointing day for Berkshire, who finish their Twenty20 fixtures against Herefordshire, who have lost five of their six Twenty20 games, at Falkland CC next Sunday, the 16th.
Despite their double over Berkshire, Oxon look set to finish runners-up in Group 2 as they have now completed their games with 10 points, while leaders Bucks, also on 10, face Shropshire twice at Gerrards Cross and currently boast a better net run rate than Oxon.

Updated 21:38 - 9 Jun 2019 by Dave Wright

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