CRICKET: Manley's spell makes it four out of four for Oxon

Liam Manley took five wickets in six overs

Liam Manley took five wickets in six overs

First published in Sport

Oxfordshire maintained their all-conquering form when beating Herefordshire by six wickets at Eastnor yesterday to top Group 4 in the Unicorns Trophy.

In the clash between the two unbeaten teams, it was the visitors who prevailed to make it four wins out of four thanks to a deadly spell from Liam Manley.

The Banbury left-arm seamer claimed five wickets in his last six overs as Herefordshire, who seemed on target to reach 300, collapsed to 200 all out.

Oxon eased home with more than six overs to spare.

Herefordshire attacked from the start after winning the toss, scoring at six runs per over.

Opener Mike O’Shea smashed two sixes before succumbing to Chad Keegan, but their main man was Liam Gwynne, who made light of the Oxon attack, striking 106 off 104 balls with two sixes and 13 fours.

One of his sixes punched a hole in the plastic sightscreen.

With good support from Bradley Wadlan, the home side seemed set for a majestic total on a ground overlooked by Eastnor Castle.

They were 185-4 after 32 overs, before Manley brought a sudden end to their innings.

Having been hit for 20 from his first two overs, the seamer returned to take 5-29 in his last six overs as Herefordshire lost their last six wickets for just 15 runs, to leave 12.3 of their 50-over allocation unbowled.

Despite losing Damian Shirazi, who shouldered arms to his third ball, Oxon progressed towards victory thanks to a second-wicket stand of 81 between Richard Kaufman and Lloyd Sabin, who hit ten fours in his 64.

After both fell to O’Shea, Jonny Cater’s 45 took them to the brink of a victory, which will give them a home tie in the last eight on June 15.

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