AMIN Rafiq smashed a brilliant century as Oxford Downs got off to a flying start with a crushing 184-run victory at home to Buckingham Town 2nd in Division 1 of the Cherwell League.

Rafiq finished on 102 not out in a knock containing nine fours and five sixes as Downs racked up a massive 317-3 in their 50 overs.

George Sandbach also hit 72 and James Ellwood 70, while Buckingham had two young bowlers fall foul of the new law on no balls.

They were both removed from the attack after bowling two no balls above waist height, which certainly did not help their cause.

In reply, Buckingham were never in the hunt as they fell to 133 all out.

Left-arm spinner Paul White took 4-22 from ten overs to help Abingdon Vale to a four-wicket win against visitors Tiddington.

Vale restricted Tiddington to 149-9 in their 50 overs, before making light work of the run chase.

Arthur Jones led the way with a superb 63, with Will Barker chipping in with a more sedate 32 as they comfortably reached 153-6.

Banbury 2nd convincingly thrashed visitors Twyford by eight wickets.

Twyford were shot out for 109, their cause not helped by three run outs.

James Mokler (44) and George Tait (31) saw Banbury home at 110-2 in the 34th over.

Challow & Childrey’s first game back in the top flight ended in a heavy defeat at Great Brickhill.

Batting first, the home side posted 242-9 as Doug Aris hit 70, while Conor Jones took 4-45 for Challow.

In their reply, Challow fell for 165 as Garth Davson took 4-41, Tom Heath hitting 47 and Hugh Atkinson 44.

Cumnor fell to a five-wicket loss at Long Marston.

They were bowled out for 148 as Peter Toovey took 6-41, Joe Dale top-scoring with 46.

Chris De Verteuil claimed 3-22 for Cumnor, but the home side secured victory at 151-5.or 7

In Division 2, Arthur Muir scored an unbeaten century to help Oxford 2nd to a resounding eight-wicket win at Aston Rowant 2nd.

Rowant opted to bat first, posting 196-4 as Paul Plumridge top-scored with 61 not out.

But Muir’s 101, containing 11 fours and two sixes, plus 62 for Adam Hall, saw Oxford to 197-2 with more than eight overs to spare.

Didcot kicked off their campaign with a seven-wicket win at Cropredy.

Jordan Morrison’s 4-46 helped to dismiss the home side for only 138 in 43.2


And visitors Didcot made light work of their run chase, Vishane Perera hitting 55 to steer his side to 139-3 in the 25th over.

Dominic O’Connor’s 90 was all in vain for Horspath 2nd

as they fell to a 27-run defeat at home to Leighton Buzzard.

Batting first, Buzzard posted 255-6, Phil Whatmore hitting 64 and Greg Proudfoot 61, Jehan Mohammed taking 3-36.

O’Connor’s knock, which contained 16 fours, got Horspath close, but it was not quite enough as no other batsman passed 30 as they were bowled out for 228.

Westbury’s first game in the higher league ended with a

seven-wicket win at Sandford St Martin.

Steve Dobson (61) saw Sandford to 197-8, Charlie Williams taking 3-32 and Charlie Harper 3-45.

Westbury reached 201-3 in the 41st over, William Gurney hitting 79 and Ollie Tice 49 as they made the perfect start to life after promotion last season.

Wolverton beat visitors Bledlow Village by six wickets.

After bowling out their opponents for 160, Wolverton were given few worries on their way to a four-wicket victory.