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CRICKET: It's agony as Oxfordshire fall just short
9:50am Wednesday 21st August 2013 in Sport
OXFORDSHIRE fell agonisingly short of pulling off a great escape in their final Western Division match of the season at Sidmouth yesterday.
Having been set 522 for victory, Oxon resumed the final day on 89-1.
But after an heroic effort, they were finally dismissed for 393 with just four overs remaining.
The 128-run loss means Luke Ryan’s side ended their campaign with one win, one draw and four defeats.
Lloyd Sabin and Richard Kaufman got the day off to a fine start for Oxfordshire, sharing a second-wicket stand of 126.
Kaufman was the first to fall, David Lye dismissing the opener for 74 with a superb diving catch in the covers.
Sabin was joined by Michael Beard and the young pair put on 55 before the former fell eight runs short of a deserved century.
Sabin’s three-hour stay at the crease ended when he got an inside edge off left-arm seamer Robert Woodman which dislodged his bails when on 92.
Jonny Cater lasted just four balls before he was trapped leg before by slow left-armer Will Squire for a duck.
Beard and Richard West then gave Oxon more hope of securing an unlikely draw by sharing a 101-run fifth-wicket partnership that took their side past the 300-mark.
West was out one run short of a half-century, edging a Woodman delivery to third slip where Josh Bess took the catch.
Chad Keegan was the next to fall, falling lbw to Squire.
And the next ball the writing looked on the wall for Oxfordshire when skipper Ryan was also trapped in front on his first ball to leave his side staring down the barrel at 323-7.
Beard’s brave effort finally ended when he was caught behind byAlexander Allen off Woodman for 62.
His marathon innings saw him at the crease for 247 minutes, where he faced 214 deliveries.
Francois Vainker and Karl Penhale tried to fend off the remaining overs and shared a 55-run ninth-wicket partnership to give Oxon more hope.
When Penhale was caught by Allen off Matthew Kidd, just 5.5 overs remained.
That meant that Richard Cook, who broke a finger the previous day, was asked to bat through the pain to try and save the game.
He successfully saw off the five balls left in the 125th over, but after Vainker kept out five from the next, he played on when looking to grab a single from the final delivery to seal Oxon’s fate.
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