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CRICKET: Big collapse has Oxon in real trouble
10:00am Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
Minor Counties Championship
A DISMAL batting collapse put paid to a promising first day of Oxfordshire’s Western Division clash with Devon at Sidmouth.
Oxfordshire lost six wickets for 39 runs to leave themselves on a perilous 49-6 overnight.
The visitors had earlier dismissed Devon for 233, but then failed to build on a promising bowling effort.
Oxon have yet to bat out their allotted 90 overs this season and it seems all but certain that they will not halt that run today.
Captain Josh Bess proved Oxfordshire’s destroyer in chief, taking 4-9 in just eight overs, while his opening bowling partner Trevor Anning claimed 2-10.
Only Jonny Cater, who made a brisk 21 off 25 balls, was able to take the fight to Devon.
Oxon inserted Devon after winning the toss, but then the start was delayed by rain until 12.30pm.
Aside from Matthew Thompson, who made an excellent 120 not out, it was very much a bowlers’ day.
Thompson’s runs came off 198 balls, featuring 12 fours and three sixes, while Devon’s next highest scorer was Rob Holman with 21.
The majority of the wickets fell to close catches, with wicket-keeper Cater claiming four of them.
Aston Rowant seamer Karl Penhale was definitely Oxon’s star man, taking 4-50 in 15.3 overs.
Penhale also did well to catch Robert Woodman at deep fine leg and ran out No 11 Will Squire to end the Devon innings.
The experienced Chad Keegan also snared four victims, although he was more expensive than his younger teammate.
Oxon must have been happy with their efforts in bowling Devon out for 233, but what followed put a considerable dampener on their day.
The rot started when Joe Barrett mistimed a hook to be caught at square leg.
Lloyd Sabin and Richard Kaufman soon followed, but Cater led a mini recovery.
Finishing the day around 48-3 would not have been a disaster, but Cater’s wicket was quickly followed by nightwatchman Francois Vainker.
Richard West was bowled by a Bess yorker from the final ball of the day, having made one from 28 balls.
Play will resume at 10.30am to catch up the overs lost to the rain on day one.