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CRICKET: Oxon face fight after collapse
A batting collapse undid a tidy bowling effort as Oxfordshire ended day one on the back foot against Cheshire in the Western Division at Great & Little Tew.
Captain Luke Ryan’s five-wicket haul helped Oxon dismiss the visitors for 233.
But the hosts’ reply nosedived from 76-0 to 86-5 to put a dampner on proceedings as they closed on 105-5.
Ryan took 5-52, while debutant seamers Karl Penhale and Matt Woods claimed three and two wickets apiece.
Damian Shirazi and Michael Beard got Oxon’s reply off to a solid start, but once the former squirted one to slip, Cheshire well and truly seized the initiative.
Robbie Eason and Curtly Slatter, the hosts’ third debutant, were both lbw for ducks as panic set in.
But Jonny Cater and Ryan were at least able to bat out the day.
Oxon won the toss and opted to bowl in seamer friendly conditions. Ryan’s decision looked a good one as the hosts made early inroads.
Woods struck first on his debut, with Warren Goodwin falling lbw for 13.
Cheshire were 35-2 when Chris Tipper was caught at third slip by Beard for a duck, again off Woods.
Jonny Kettle and Rick Moore mounted a decent recovery, the former top-scoring with 63, including ten fours.
But Ryan removed them both, reacting well to have Moore caught and bowled from a full toss.
This, and a first wicket for Penhale, saw the visitors slip from 113-2 to 128-5.
Two more from Ryan, the second dismissing Scott Kirwin lbw attempting a sweep, and Cheshire were in trouble on 162-7.
Jack Williams and Danny Cranmer showed good resistance before Penhale got the breakthrough to have Williams caught behind.
Penhale had a stroke of luck to bowl Cranmer with an over-pitched yorker and Ryan wrapped it up on 233.
Oxon’s reply began with the unusual situation of two left-armers, Adam Syddall and Kirwin, bowling to two left-handed batsmen in Beard and Shirazi.
It was the home pair who had the better of the early exchanges, passing 50 in relative comfort.
However, this all changed after Shirazi fell, followed by Eason in the same Williams over.
It got worse when David Smith played on for five and Beard gave a catch to short leg.
Slatter lasted just five balls before Cater and Ryan steadied the ship.
Williams backed up his earlier defiant batting with 3-18.
Oxon have it all to do when they resume this morning.
Oxfordshire 4pts, Cheshire 4
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