STEWART Laudat’s quickfire 80 proved in vain for Oxford, who lost by four runs under the Duckworth-Lewis Method to relegation candidates Harefield in Division 1 of the Home Counties Premier League at Roman Way.
Facing Harefield’s challenging 255-9 from 50 overs after the visitors had elected to bat, Oxford made a strong start.
Laudat dominated the opening stand to such an extent that Vishane Perera had made just two when the first wicket fell at 37.
But when Oxford reached 52-1 in the tenth over, the ground was hit by heavy rain.
Oxford’s victory target was revised to 168 off 26 overs when play resumed.
Laudat continued his assault on the Harefield attack, receiving good support from Jamie Perkin as the pair took the score to 120.
But then Perkin fell for 34 and seven runs later, Laudat’s entertaining innings came to an end, with Lee Tyrell claiming both wickets.
His runs came off just 59 deliveries with 13 fours and one towering six.
With the exception of Joe Porter, who made 18 on his seasonal debut, no other batsman reached double figures as Oxford collapsed in the desperate rush for runs to finish on 163-9.
Earlier, Harefield’s total had been built around a third-wicket stand of 154 between George Shiel, who made 95 off 101 balls with nine fours and two sixes, and Chomunorwa Chibhabha, who hit 75 from 86 deliveries with eight fours.
Left-arm spinner Francois Vainker (3-49) was the pick of the Oxford attack.
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