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CRICKET: Oxford lead heading into the final stretch
10:00am Monday 19th August 2013 in Sport
Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League
Oxford took over at the top of Division 2 West with a 66-run victory away to previous leaders Gerrards Cross on Saturday.
Ian Crosby’s side are now 15 points clear in the race for the single promotion spot, with just three matches to go.
All-rounder Shamilal Mendis was the star man for Oxford, his unbeaten 52 from 35 deliveries lifting his side to 218-6 from 50 overs, and then claiming 2-20 with his off-spinners.
There were also fine performances with the bat from Vishane Perera (53) and skipper Crosby (44), while Thomas Godsell was the most successful bowler, the opener claiming 4-41.
The Buckinghamshire side had won the toss and opted to bowl first.
They made an early breakthrough, Andrew Clough falling for just two to Tom Hampton.
Stewart Laudat was next to go, departing for seven to Vikram Banerjee, and when Jamie Perkin and Francois Vainker fell in quick succession, the visitors were 44-4 and struggling.
But, just as he had been last week, captain Crosby proved himself to be the man for a crisis.
He counter-attacked in partnership with Perera, before Mendis and Jasper Davies (27no) piled on the runs at the end.
Wickets fell regularly during the Gerrards Cross reply and they never really looked to be in with a shout at any stage.
Ian Evans picked up 2-28 from eight overs.
The result leaves the destiny of the title – and a quick return to the top flight – completely in Oxford’s hands.
Scores: Oxford 218-6 (50 ovs, V Perera 53, S Mendis 52no, I Crosby 44), Gerrards Cross 152 (41.2 ovs, T Godsell 4-41)
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