ALEX Davies scored a fluent 69 as Oxfordshire Under 17s posted their third successive ECB Cup victory with a 63-run success away to Bedfordshire at Southill Park.
Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire’s players and officials held a minute’s silence before the game in memory of under 14 player Felix Byam-Shaw, who died last weekend, and wore black arm bands as a mark of respect.
This victory means Oxon go into next week’s crunch game with Buckinghamshire knowing a win would secure a semi-final spot for the second year in a row, although defeat would almost certainly mean they fail to qualify as Bucks are also unbeaten so far.
Winning the toss, Oxon batted first and although losing Harry Ackland cheaply, they got off to a flying start.
Under 15 George Reid player, who was making his Under 17 debut, hit a fluent 39.
Davies, batting at No 3, looked in fine form with his 69 including three sixes and four fours.
Davies shared a partnership of 101 with Reid, before Hendrick Robyns (39no) and Leo Bethell (36) continued Oxfordshire’s momentum.
Callum Russell chipped in with a quickfire 20 not out at the end as Oxon posted a useful total of 268-5 from their 50 overs.
On a small ground, however, Oxfordshire knew they had to bowl and field well to defend their total, but the home side got off to a strong start with a 51-run opening partnership.
Rob Baxter led the way with an excellent 80, while Callum Riches hit 30 in just 19 balls.
But Saim Hussain, who took seven wickets against the same opposition last week in their championship match, returned fine figures of 3-37 from his ten overs to put Oxon in control.
Bethell claimed 3-28 and Adam Spears 2-24 as Bedfordshire fell to 205 all out with five overs remaining.
It leaves Oxon’s destiny very much in their own hands, but Buckinghamshire will provide an altogether sterner challenge in their next match at Radley College on Thursday.
Latest Sport news
6:10am Saturday 31st January 2015
HOLTON B made it three wins out of three to reach the quarter-finals of the Oxford & District League’s Aubrey Hughes Handicap Shield, by the narrowest of margins.
7:40pm Friday 30th January 2015
OXFORD University’s highly-rated welterweight Harley Mace tops the bill for this year’s Town v Gown show at the Oxford Union on Wednesday.
6:59pm Friday 30th January 2015
FIONA Bunn recorded a fourth successive win at the Vale of White Horse Schools’ Cross Country Championships by retaining her under 17 girls’ title at Radley College.
2:00pm Friday 30th January 2015
DANNY Hylton is reluctant to make predictions about his scoring tally but acknowledged he would be disappointed if this season was not the best of his career in front of goal.
12:40pm Friday 30th January 2015
Oxford United travel to Stevenage tomorrow and here are all our stories previewing the match in an interactive graphic.
9:30am Friday 30th January 2015
RICHARD Brindley is raring to make his Oxford United debut at Stevenage tomorrow after joining on loan yesterday.
9:10am Friday 30th January 2015
AS hard as Oxford United have worked to avoid doing business on transfer deadline day, head coach Michael Appleton is preparing to be involved in Monday night’s rush.
9:00am Friday 30th January 2015
JAMES Roberts is aiming to reach double figures for goals before the end of his first season as a professional.
8:40am Friday 30th January 2015
JOHN Campbell’s career at Oxford United rests on whether Jarrow Roofing are willing to agree a delay over receiving a fee for the striker.
8:20am Friday 30th January 2015
STEVENAGE boss Graham Westley says Oxford United’s movements in the January transfer window show they “mean business”.