The Yellows put in one of their worst performances in the last couple of years in going down by 4 runs to a much-improved Oxford MCCU team in the BUCS tie at Weetwood.
The Dark Blues won the toss and elected to bat on a bright & sunny afternoon, making a superb start with stands of 76 & 75 for the 1st (Paternoot & Sabin) & 2nd wickets (Paternott & Hughes) respectively, all three batsmen running well between the wickets and capitalising on some short bowling.
Steve Leach (36) also batted well and a great cameo at the end of the innings by Oxford ‘keeper Ellis (24 from 12) took them to a total of 268 for 8. Liam Watkinson (3-38), Alex Lilley (2-40), Joe Ellis-Grewal (1-38) and Archie Ogden(1-68) were the wicket takers, but overall the bowling and fielding wasn’t up to usual standards.
Chris Wakefield fell early on but Steve Bullen & Billy Root shared a partnership of 72 from 9 overs before Root holed out to Leach at deep extra cover for 38 (23 balls).
Christian Davis was then run out for 15 after a mix-up with Bullen, then the opener himself was out to the third ball after drinks when he pulled McIver straight to midwicket.
At 127-4 the Yellows were up against it and the innings really stalled between the 21st & 30th overs with only 18 runs being added for the loss of 2 wickets. Logan Weston then batted superbly though, finding the gaps, working the ball, running well and capitalising on anything loose. He’d scored 89 at just over a run a ball before he became the 7th wicket to fall, being bowled by a good yorker from Sakande with the total on 254.
That left the Yellows needing 14 to win from 11 deliveries. Lilley went for 2, Ogden & Rouse being unable to manage the 9 required from the last 5 balls as Oxford clung on to win by 4 runs.
Hopefully lessons learned all round and the boys will be determined to come back stronger in the 2-day game against the same opposition on Tues & Weds.