ALEX Davies scored a fluent 69 as Oxfordshire Under 17s posted their third successive ECB Cup victory with a 63-run success away to Bedfordshire at Southill Park.
Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire’s players and officials held a minute’s silence before the game in memory of under 14 player Felix Byam-Shaw, who died last weekend, and wore black arm bands as a mark of respect.
This victory means Oxon go into next week’s crunch game with Buckinghamshire knowing a win would secure a semi-final spot for the second year in a row, although defeat would almost certainly mean they fail to qualify as Bucks are also unbeaten so far.
Winning the toss, Oxon batted first and although losing Harry Ackland cheaply, they got off to a flying start.
Under 15 George Reid player, who was making his Under 17 debut, hit a fluent 39.
Davies, batting at No 3, looked in fine form with his 69 including three sixes and four fours.
Davies shared a partnership of 101 with Reid, before Hendrick Robyns (39no) and Leo Bethell (36) continued Oxfordshire’s momentum.
Callum Russell chipped in with a quickfire 20 not out at the end as Oxon posted a useful total of 268-5 from their 50 overs.
On a small ground, however, Oxfordshire knew they had to bowl and field well to defend their total, but the home side got off to a strong start with a 51-run opening partnership.
Rob Baxter led the way with an excellent 80, while Callum Riches hit 30 in just 19 balls.
But Saim Hussain, who took seven wickets against the same opposition last week in their championship match, returned fine figures of 3-37 from his ten overs to put Oxon in control.
Bethell claimed 3-28 and Adam Spears 2-24 as Bedfordshire fell to 205 all out with five overs remaining.
It leaves Oxon’s destiny very much in their own hands, but Buckinghamshire will provide an altogether sterner challenge in their next match at Radley College on Thursday.
Latest Sport news
9:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
MICKEY Lewis backed James Roberts to come back stronger than ever after Oxford United were boosted by the news the striker’s hamstring injury was not serious.
4:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
CONGRATULATIONS to Lewis Hamilton on winning the Formula 1 drivers’ world championship for the second time in his superb career.
1:00pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
Here's our interactive back page for you to explore today with links to all the stories and latest headlines
12:31pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
OXFORD University hammered Loughborough University 43-0 in their penultimate Varsity Match warm-up at a very wet Iffley Road last night.
12:29pm Wednesday 26th November 2014
BANBURY United exited the Birmingham Senior Cup after losing 6-1 at Coleshill Town.
9:00am Wednesday 26th November 2014
LONDON Welsh could see first-choice half backs Olly Barkley and Piri Weepu return to face Northampton at the Kassam Stadium in the Aviva Premiership on Sunday.
8:50am Wednesday 26th November 2014
With their closest rivals in cup action, Carterton Town A increased their lead at the top of the Witney & District FA Premier Division to eight points with a 3-1 home win over bottom club Brize Norton, writes ANTHONY BARLOW.
8:40am Wednesday 26th November 2014
North Berks League Division 1 leaders Berinsfield made short work of bottom side Saxton Rovers with a comfortable 5-0 home win, writes PHIL ANNETS.
8:30am Wednesday 26th November 2014
DAMINI Bhagat hit a hat-trick for Oxford City in the Under 12 Red League as they ended leaders Tower Hill Vixens’ perfect record with a 6-2 away win.