CRICKET: Shell-shocked Oxford told "Stand up and be counted"

Stewart Laudat returns to bolster Oxford's batting for their trip to Slough

Stewart Laudat returns to bolster Oxford's batting for their trip to Slough

First published in Sport Oxford Mail: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy Sports Editor. Call me on 01865 425457

Oxford are still shell-shocked after their astonishing collapse at home to Serious Cricket Home Counties Division 1 leaders High Wycombe on Saturday.

Ian Crosby's side lost their first seven wickets for just one run, going from 14-0 to 15-7 on the way to a six-wicket defeat.

“I wish I could put a finger on the problem, but I can’t,” said skipper Crosby, whose side also struggled for runs the previous week in their low-scoring win at Tring Park.

“The collapse was a bit spectacular and not good enough,” he added.

“Now it’s time for us to stand up and be counted.

“You could analyse it until you’re blue in the face, but in the end , it’s down to each player to out it right.

“We may have been without Stewart Laudat, but you can’t rely on just one batsman.”

Laudat returns for tomorrow’s trip to Slough as he and John Barrett replace Andrew Clough and Dan Bowyer.

“Before last Saturday, I was quite content with our season,” said Crosby.

“We’re still in mid-table and I’m confident we can go to Slough and give a strong performance."

Banbury face one of their crunch games of the season when they travel to take on High Wycombe.

And skipper Jimmy Phillips’s side are up for the clash.

“Wycombe are the form team at the moment,” he said.

“But it’s a huge carrot for us to know that if we beat them, we have an easier run-in.”

It looks like a four-horse race with Henley and Slough also in the mix.

“We play Slough the following the week, but for the rest of the season we are playing teams further down the league,”said Phillips.

“In contrast Wycombe, Henley and Slough have all got games against each other in the last few weeks.”

For tomorrow’s game Dean Bartlett and Craig Haupt are added to their squad of 13.

Haupt, a first team fixture for the past 20 years, played for Banbury 2nd last week, having made a speedier recovery than expected from a knee injury.

“Craig originally declared himself unfit, but became available to play late on, and seemed to enjoy himself,” said Phillips.

“He actually took some wickets.”

Like, Oxford, Aston Rowant, also had batting problems last week, succumbing for 84 and losing by nine wickets at home to fellow strugglers Great & Little Tew.

Rowant, who are now in the heart of a relegation battle, make two enforced changes for their home match with Burnham.

Archie Leon and George Storton replace Richard Cook and Chris Leaney, who are both unavailable.

TOMORROW'S SQUADS

Aston Rowant (v Burnham, home): Morgan, Leon, Watling, Ferraby, J Smith, Penhale, Morrick (capt), Bethell, Muttitt, Storton, Harris.
Banbury (v High Wycombe, away): from L Sabin, Harris, West, Hawkes, Cater, Tew, Haupt, Ryan, Blanchard, Wright, Bartlett, Manley, J Phillips (capt).
Oxford (v Slough, away): from Sutherland, Perera, Laudat, A Davies, Perkin, Barrett, Crosby, Mendis, J Davies, Vainker, Beer, Simon.
Horspath (v Great & Little Tew, home): R Eason, Ali, Phillips, J Todd, Wynd, W Eason (capt), Conradie, Foster, Skelton, Rana, Belcher.
Great & Little Tew (v Horspath, away): White, Hubbert, Jordan Garrett, Smith, Catling, Shurmer, Slatter, Harris (capt), Lloyd Brock, Thomas, Bryan.
Shipton-under-Wychwood (v Reading, home): Hole (capt), Dickinson, J Barrett, Davies, Sanklecha, Hunt, Cross, A Hemming, Brain, Miller, Seacole.

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