CRICKET: Rowant snap up Kazmir to boost survival hopes

Alex Davies replaces Jasper Davies in the Oxford side to face Aston Rowant tomorrow

Alex Davies replaces Jasper Davies in the Oxford side to face Aston Rowant tomorrow

First published in Sport The Oxford Times: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter specialising in Rugby, Cricket and Athletics. Call me on 01865 425456

ASTON Rowant have signed leg spinner Tahir Kazmir from Henley as they seek to avoid relegation from Division 1.

Kazmir makes his debut in tomorrow’s derby clash at Oxford as one of four changes to the side.

Harrow School batsman George Reid also makes his first-team bow, while Rich-ard Cook and Chris Leaney return.

Chris Watling, Tim Morgan and George Storton are all away, while Gordon Harris drops to the second.

“Tahir has played mainly seconds and a bit of first-team for Henley,” said Watling.

“Hopefully, he will add something for us.”

He added: “Richard Cook made a ton in the seconds so comes back in.

“Although he has played for Oxfordshire this summer, he was short of runs for us and dropping him seems to have done the trick.”

Rowant are four points above the drop zone, while Oxford, for whom Alex Davies replaces Jasper Davies (unavailable), are relatively comfortable in sixth.

Jamie Perkin will keep wicket in the latter’s absence, but should his finger injury not heal in time John Barrett will take the gloves.

Skipper Ian Crosby said: ”If we were on the end of a bad result, we could get dragged down there, but I am confident that we have got enough to stay out of it.

“I will be surprised if Rowant get dragged into a relegation battle as well. They are a good side.

“I am looking the other way up. Hopefully, we can get into the top five and push on.”

Banbury captain Jimmy Phillips says their home clash with Slough is “massive” for their title prospects.

Fourth-placed Banbury lie two points behind Slough and 21 adrift of leaders Henley, who were the only side in the division to win last week.

Phillips has named the same team that played in their abandoned match at High Wycombe.

“Last weekend wasn’t ideal for us or High Wycombe,” said Phillips. “It puts Henley now in the box seat.

“We are now 21 points behind Henley, which means if it stays like that going into the win/lose games, we will be two victories behind them.

“This weekend is massive for us. If we pick up a win and Henley don’t, that puts us back into position.”

Banbury (v Slough, home): Sabin, Haupt, Tew, Hawkes, Cater, West, Ryan, Blanchard, Bartlett, Manley, J Phillips (capt).

Oxford (v Aston Rowant, home): Sutherland, Perera, Laudat, Perkin, Vainker, Crosby (capt), Mendis, Barrett, Beer, A Davies, Simon.

Aston Rowant (v Oxford, away): Morrick (capt), Ferraby, J Smith, Cook, Hammond, Bethell, Penhale, Muttitt, Leaney, Reid, Kazmi.

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