CRICKET: Perera stars as Oxford make it two in a row

7:10am Monday 23rd June 2014

Vishane Perera hit a splendid 97 as Oxford made it back-to-back Division 1 wins in the Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League on Saturday with a 70-run triumph over Harefield.

Captain Ian Crosby elected to make first use of a green-looking pitch.

That decision was vindicated as openers Perera and Francois Vainker batted throughout the morning session to take Oxford to lunch at 75-0.

Vainker fell in the first over after the break, but the arrival of Stewart Laudat to the crease saw a dramatic increase in the rate of scoring.

The former England Amateurs supremo hit eight fours of the highest quality on his way to 49 off 65 balls.

At the other end, Perera remained unflustered.

The diminutive left hander, who recently made his senior Oxfordshire debut, batted for exactly 200 balls, hitting 13 fours and a six for 97.

His innings came to an end as he selflessly attempted a quick single at the end of the innings.

Cameos from Dan Bowyer (18 off 21 balls) and Shami Mendis (23 off just 12 balls including two mammoth sixes) lifted Oxford to an above par score of 250-4.

Youngster Freddie Simon made early inroads by taking two Harefield wickets in his second over, the first of which was courtesy of a sharp slip catch from John Barrett.

New Zealander Mark Beer soon got in on the act to leave the hosts reeling at 11-3.

Harefield recovered thanks to Zimbabwean Chomumorwa Chibhabha, who made 56 off 79 balls.

He received good support from Dhavalkumar Norotam and Luc Baldwin.

Oxford’s triumvirate of spinners, Francois Vain-ker (3-59), Shami Mendis (2-39) and Ian Evans (1-14) all got in on the act and Harefield were finally dismissed – courtesy of a sensational one-handed diving catch by Simon – for 180.

The result lifts Oxford to fourth in the table, 13 points off top spot.

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