CRICKET: Oxford crash after shattering collapse

Oxford’s Mark Beer (above) is trapped lbw when trying to sweep Adam Dobb

Oxford’s Mark Beer (above) is trapped lbw when trying to sweep Adam Dobb

First published in Sport

Oxford lost seven wickets for just one run in an extraordinary collapse at home Serious Cricket Home Counties Premier League Division 1 leaders High Wycombe on Saturday.

The hosts slipped from 14-0 to an ignominious 15-7 and seemed in danger of being bowled out for the lowest total in the league’s history.

That record is held by Bicester & North Oxford, who were dismissed for 25 by Farnham Common in 2006.

But the tail wagged and lifted the hosts to 98 all out.

Wycombe themselves struggled to 33-4, before easing to a six-wicket success.

There was no hint of the disaters to come when Oxford chose to bat first in sunny conditions.

Openers Brad Sutherland and Vishane Perea put on 14 before the latter fell to George Harper.

Former Surrey player Jamie Benning ripped through the top of the order, taking five wickets for no runs in three overs.

Andrew Clough went first ball as did skipper Ian Crosby, while there were also ducks for Dan Bowyer and Jasper Davies.

Without Stewart Laudat, who rescued them from dire straits in their unlikely victory over Tring Park the previous week, Oxford’s batting looks very fragile.

Shamilal Mendis and Mark Beer spared some of their blushes with an eighth-wicket stand of 49.

Beer fell for 19, while Mendis was last out for 56 off 83 balls with eight fours, as Oxford just failed to reach three figures Benning returned 5-30 from 13 of the 40.1 overs the innings lasted.

Beer, the previous week’s bowling hero gave Oxford a glimmer of hope by taking two of the wickets as Wyc-ombe slipped to 33-4 in reply.

But any thoughts of another miraculous win were dashed as Benning (37no) and skipper Matt Eyles (33no) steered the leaders to victory.

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