A FINE innings from Jonny Cater could not prevent a depleted Oxfordshire side from struggling on the opening day in their Unicorns County Championship Western Division match against Wiltshire at Banbury yesterday.
Cater hammered 92 as the hosts were bowled out for 228. By the close Wiltshire had raced to 151-2, only 77 runs behind.
Oxon had been hoping to include 14 year-old Jordan Garrett, who would have become their youngest-ever player in the Championship.
But the Great & Little Tew batsman was not released by Gloucestershire for the game.
After choosing to bat first, Oxon were soon in big trouble a 42-4.
The makeshift opening pair of Vishane Perera and Michael Beard, did not last long, while Shabaz Alam and youngster Curtly Slatter also fell cheaply.
It was left to Cater and Jasper Davies to rescue the innings.
They took the score to 94-4 at lunch and extended their fifth- wicket partnership to 100 before Davies fell for 13, made off 86 balls.
He played second fiddle to Cater, who contributed 86 of that partnership.
Cater was seventh out at 163, having made 92 from 114 balls with 14 fours.
Ashley Blanchard and debutant Faisal Khalid, from Leamington Spa, added 48 the for the eighth wicket to help Oxon past 200.
Wiltshire’s reply got off to a flier, with openers Jayden Levitt and Henry Langford putting on 101 in 17.3 overs as they punished Oxon’s inexperienced seam attack.
The hosts took two wickets before the close, but ended the day very much on the back foot.
Latest Sport news
9:42pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
KEMAR Roofe etched his name into derby folklore with two goals as Oxford United stretched their winning run against Swindon Town to five matches.
11:15pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
6:40pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
Vlae of White Horse beat Swindon 1-0 at Highworth Town FC in the ESFA Under 15 Inter Association Trophy to earn a second-round tie next month at home to Coventry or Cheltenham.
6:35pm Tuesday 6th October 2015
All the news from Oxford United's derby clash with Swindon Town in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy.
11:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
MICHAEL Appleton is looking forward to his first experience of an Oxford-Swindon clash, but has made it clear the priority is on ensuring it is a fixture in Sky Bet League One next season.
9:30am Tuesday 6th October 2015
KEEPING a cool head will be key if Oxford United are going to beat fierce rivals Swindon Town tonight, according to skipper Jake Wright.
9:20am Tuesday 6th October 2015
CALLUM O’Dowda cannot wait for his first taste of a game against Swindon Town after getting permission to delay his trip to meet up with the Ireland Under 21 squad.
9:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
JORDAN Graham is in line to make his first Oxford United start as injury looks likely to rule Danny Rose out of their clash with Swindon Town.
8:30am Tuesday 6th October 2015
ALTHOUGH Oxford United have won fewer derby matches than rivals Swindon Town, who lead 21-13, they go into tonight’s game looking for an unprecedented fifth straight victory.
8:00am Tuesday 6th October 2015
Oxfordshire are still looking for their first win in this season's BDO Inter-Counties Championship after losing 20-16 away to Surrey at Worcester Park at the weekend The visitors never recovered after losing the opening Ladies’ B match 5-1.