OXFORDSHIRE’S Western Division encounter against Cornwall is finely poised after an even opening day at Banbury.

Jonny Cater’s side, looking for their fourth victory in the

three-day format, were dismissed in the 84th over for 246, Richard Kaufman top-scoring with 64.

Third-placed Oxon then restricted their visitors to 90-3 at the close of play to set up an interesting second day.

The home side elected to bat and made a strong start with Harry Smith (39) and Tom Condon (31) putting on an opening stand of 67.

But Matthew Rowe soon played a major part as the hosts were restricted to 85-3.

After dismissing Condon and Smith, he capitalised on Olly Clarke’s hesitation to run out the Banbury youngster.

Kaufman and captain Jonny Cater (45) steadied the ship with a fourth-wicket partnership of 77.

Even when the Oxon skipper was caught at cover by Scott Harvey off the bowling of Tom Dinnis, Kaufman, whose knock came off 170 balls and included six boundaries, led the hosts to 236-6.

But Oxfordshire’s tail crumbled, their last four wickets falling for just ten runs.

Owyn Tong-Jones was trapped by Andrew Libby (4-51) for a first-ball duck, before Kaufman, Joe Thomas and Brad Taylor quickly followed.

Oxon made an early breakthrough with the ball, Gareth Andrew trapping Matthew Robins leg before wicket to restrict Cornwall to 29-1.

The home side then claimed two wickets for five runs as the visitors slipped from 60-1 to 65-3.

Former Worcestershire seamer Andrew bowled opener Sam Wyatt, before James Turpin quickly followed, when he was caught at cover by Clarke off the bowling of Matthew Warner.

But Cornwall finished the first day without losing any further wickets.

Thomas Rowe (31no) and Sam Wood led the visitors to 90-3 at the close to leave the match evenly poised.