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CRICKET: Oxford slump to biggest defeat
10:10am Monday 4th June 2012 in Sport
Oxford are left rock bottom of the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1 table after a crushing 237-run defeat by Henley on Saturday.
The visitors, who were at one stage 0-4, slumped to a disastrous 58 all out to suffer their biggest-ever league loss.
Earlier in an extraordinary match, Henley had recovered from a perilous 170-8 to reach 295-8 from their 66 overs.
The result leaves Oxford, who were already bottom of the table, 13 points adrift.
Oxford were on top early on, as the home side slipped from 75-1 to 129-6, with left-arm spinner Francois Vainker capturing four wickets.
Wicket-keeper Todd Ferguson initiated a recovery, before the loss of two quick wickets left them on 171-8.
Ferguson and Tahir Afridi then added an unbroken partnership of 125 in 20 overs – a league record for the ninth wicket – to put Henley out of reach.
Ferguson slammed 92 not out off 89 balls while Afridi contributed 45 off 47 deliveries.
If Oxford thought that was bad, much worse was to follow, as they lost four wickets in the first three overs of their reply without a run on the board.
John Barrett, Stefan Van Dyk, Stewart Laudat and Jamie Perkin all departed for ducks, three of them to Afridi, who plays Minor Counties cricket for Wiltshire.
When Jaime Noble departed three overs later, Oxford were 7-5.
Watching the carnage at the end was No 4 batsman Chris Sandbach, who batted thro-ughout for 15 not out.
Wickets continued to tumble, with only Crosby and Vainker also reaching double figures as Oxford fell for 58 all out in 26 overs, just beating their previous league low of 47 set in 2003.
Afridi finished with 6-31 and his new-ball partner Dierer Klein 4-17 on a day that Oxford will want to forget.