A BRILLIANT century by Jonny Cater rescued Oxfordshire from a perilous position on the first day of their Unicorns Counties Championship Western Division match against Berkshire at Wargrave.

After choosing to bat first. Oxon were in danger of frittering away a good start when they slipped to 193-8.

But Cater, who scored 114 not out, shared an unbroken eighth-wicket stand of 109 with Joe Thomas to help Oxon reach 299-8 from their 90 overs.

By the close Berkshire were well-placed at 155-2 in reply.

Oxon got off to a flying start with Harry Smith and Tom Condon putting on 111 for the first wicket.

Smith raced to 60 from 82 balls with a six and 12 fours before falling to Chris Peploe.

Three balls later the left-arm spinner dismissed Harrison Ward – a late replacement for the injured Harvey Eltham – for nought.

Condon fell shortly afterwards for 59 off 93 balls as the innings went into decline.

When Gareth Andrew was run out going for a second, Oxon were in trouble at 193-8.

Cater was in sparkling form, hitting a six and 11 fours in a dominant display, while Thomas batted 88 balls for his unbeaten 25.

Berkshire’s openers Waqas Hussain and Brandon Gilmour also made a brisk start, taking 25 off Leo Bethell’s first two overs, while Andrew also proved expensive as they raced to 95-0.

Ollie Clarke and Thomas, both of whom took a wicket, slowed down the scoring, but the hosts reached 155-2 from 35 overs by the close.