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CRICKET: Crosby bans title talk
HOME COUNTIES PREMIER LEAGUE
IAN Crosby insists Oxford will not be thinking about the title tomorrow, despite being a win away from clinching Division 2 West.
The leaders visit Aston Rowant for what Crosby views as their toughest game of the season, with the skipper stressing the need for focus.
“We are not really thinking about the title or winning the league,” he said.
“If we do that, it will have a detrimental effect.
“We have got to play the game and keep up the momentum we have with four wins on the bounce.
“We have won seven out of eight games in the short format and we are confident we can do it.”
All-rounder Stefan Van Dyk replaces spinner Ian Evans (holiday).
Seamer Brad Sutherland is expected to recover from the bruised wrist that forced him off in last week’s victory over Harefield.
Crosby added: “Everyone is raring to go. The pressure is off Rowant a little bit. They can just go out and play.”
Rowant need to win their remaining two fixtures and hope Oxford lose both to wrestle the title away from them.
Their only change sees Ash Haw replace the unavailable Josh Smith.
“All we can do is win two games,” said captain Wesley Morrick.
“Oxford have lost fewer games than anyone else and have taken their chance. We have lost a few that we shouldn’t have.” Great & Little Tew are unchanged for their trip to basement boys Falkland, where victory would ensure their survival.
Tew lost to Reading by 76 runs last week after Praful Waghela hit 153 and took four catches.
“If it hadn’t had been for that one chap last week, we would have beaten Reading,” said captain Andy Harris.
“That took the game away from us.
“But it is still positive to be testing ourselves against top players.”
Banbury will juggle their resources as they visit Burnham in Division 1.
Jimmy Phillips’s side can finish no higher than second, but want to ensure their second and third teams survive in Cherwell League Division 1 and 3 respectively.
Ian Tew (wedding) and Ashley Blanchard (work) miss out, but young guns Justin Lambden, Adam Wirth, Charlie Hill, Saim Hussain, Jamie Coles and Will Briggs come in.
Banbury (v Burnham, away): from L Sabin, Haupt, Hawkes, West, Cater, Ryan, Barends, Wright, J Phillips (capt), Lambden, Wirth, Hill, Hussain, Coles, Briggs.
Aston Rowant (v Oxford, home): Shirazi, Ferraby, Hammond, Haw, Morgan, Watling, Tolson, Morrick (capt), Muttitt, Penhale, Harris.
Oxford (v Aston Rowant, away): Clough, Perera, Laudat, Perkin, Vainker, Crosby (capt), Mendis, Davies, Godsell, Sutherland, Van Dyk.
Great & Little Tew (v Falkland, away): Smith, Megson, White, Gross, Hubbert, Slatter, Brock, Shurmer, Woods, Harris (capt), Manley.
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