CRICKET: Keegan comes to Oxfordshire's rescue

Chad Keegan hammered a rapid 91 not out

Chad Keegan hammered a rapid 91 not out

First published in Sport

Chad Keegan recorded his highest score for Oxfordshire to rescue them from another poor batting display on the first day of their Western Division match against Dorset at Bournemouth yesterday.

The visitors, who were all out for 54 in their 166-run defeat by Shropshire earlier this month, had slipped to 128-6 before the former Middlesex and Sussex player took charge.

Keegan, whose previous best for the county was 52, hammered an unbeaten 91 from 81 balls to lift them to 262 all out.

By the close, Dorset had reached 111-0 in reply.

Oxon won the toss and chose to bat on an easy-paced Dean Park pitch.

Lloyd Sabin departed for duck, caught by wicket-keeper Chris Park, who also snaffled Hugo Darby for a laboured eight off 36 balls Jamie Perkin and Richard Kaufman added 59 for the third wicket before the former, who hit five fours, became another of Park’s victim.

Jonny Cater did not last long, but Kaufman reached 55 76 balls.

However, when he and Richard Cook (27) departed within one run of each other, Oxon were sinking fast.

But Keegan stepped into the breach with his usual aggressive style.

Dropped on the boundary when on 34, Keegan blasted four sixes and ten fours to turn the tide.

He found a good partner in Karl Penhale, with whom he added 78 for the eighth wicket.

Penhale fell stumped for 23 by Park, who claimed a sixth victim in the innings when catching Liam Manley.

Keegan deserved a century, but Jimmy Philips could not stay with him as Oxon were all out for 262 in the 66th over.

Shropshire openers Masoor Khan and Michael Porter raced to 73-0 in 21 overs in reply.

But the introduction of spin slow the innings to a crawl, Oxon captain Luke Ryan conceding just eight runs in 11 overs.

At the close they were 111-0 , but it had taken them 43 overs to do so.

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