CRICKET: Oxfordshire reach final in nerve-jangling finish

Oxfordshire Under 17s at Wormsley

Oxfordshire Under 17s at Wormsley

First published in Sport

ROYAL LONDON UNDER 17 B DIVISION COUNTY CUP

OXFORDSHIRE Under 17s booked their place in Sunday’s final with a thrilling one-wicket win over Leicestershire at Wormsley on Thursday.

They will now play Wiltshire in the final at Kibworth CC, having won the match on the Duckworth Lewis Method after a rain delay saw them chase down a revised target of 263 for the narrowest of victories.

They were helped by 24 penalty runs after the visitors failed to complete their overs by the allotted finish time of 6.45pm, but this was a remarkable run chase as they needed 180 to win in the final 20 overs.

Winning the toss, Oxon elected to field first, but the visitors got off to a flying start.

They were 40-0 after only five overs helped by some wayward bowling.

Ravi Chopra top-scored with exactly 100 and at one stage, Leicestershire looked as though they would post well over 300 as they reached the second drinks break at 34 overs on 220-3.

But Oxon fought back superbly as Alex Davies took 5-48 and Hendrick Robyns 4-60 to dismiss Leicestershire for 289.

In reply Oxon were 9-0 when rain forced the players off.

When play resumed after an hour’s delay, Oxon’s revised Duckworth Lewis target of 263 in 42 overs looked a tall order.

But, led by Tom Condon’s excellent 77, they remained in the hunt.

Needing 180 from the last 20 overs, Oxon attacked the spinners and continued to chip away at the target.

With Leicestershire’s pedestrian over rate, they were four overs short by the cut off time, meaning Oxon were awarded 24 penalty runs.

This left them needing 14 to win from these final overs, and although wickets fell, Adam Spears and Jonny Meardon sneaked them over the winning line with one ball to spare.

SCORES

Leicestershire 289 (49.4 ovs, R Chopra 100, W Wright 35no, J Kendall 32, A Kent 32, S Evans 31, A Davies 5-48, H Robyns 4-60), Oxfordshire 263-9 (41.5 ovs, T Condon 77, J Fitzjohn 34, S Mir 4-70). Oxon win by one wicket D/L Method.

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