JONNY Cater is hoping his Oxfordshire side can benefit from the pressure being off this weekend.

Their double defeat to Buckinghamshire in the Unicorns T20 competition a fortnight ago was a major blow to their hopes of topping Group 2 and reaching the Finals Day in August.

Picking up maximum points at home to Berkshire on Sunday would still keep them in the hunt.

But Cater knows Bucks, who are level on points and have two games in hand, are in pole position.

Oxon recorded a welcome one-day victory over Wales to reach the quarter-finals of the Unicorns Trophy last week.

And the skipper is hoping his players can take heart from that result.

“We just want to continue from the performance last week in the 50-over competition,” said Cater.

“It’s a different format, but with a similar squad we go into this weekend with confidence.

“It’s sort of out of our hands, which will hopefully release the pressure.

“The pressure is on the other teams to perform.”

Cater added: “T20 cricket is unpredictable at times.

“We had an unbelievable weekend against Shropshire and had it thrown straight back in our faces against Bucks. That can happen.”

Cater was Oxon’s stand-out performer a fortnight ago.

The wicket-keeper/batsman top-scored with 72 and 68, but no other player contributed more than 20.

Cater wants to see improvement and is calling on his squad to value their time at the crease.

“I just want them to get in and put a price on their wicket,” he said.

“Even in T20 cricket, you have to make it difficult for the opposition to get your wicket.

“I still want our batters to go in there fearless and relaxed and play their natural game, but you don’t want to give it away too cheaply.

“A couple could hold their hands up against Bucks, they got themselves to 15-20 and some of the dismissals were soft.

“Vice versa with the ball, we need to be tighter with our skills.”

Oxon make one change from the side which played against Bucks, with Jordan Garrett replacing the unavailable George Sandbach.


S Alam (Twyford), G Andrew (Ombersley), L Bethell (Aston Rowant), J Cater (Buckingham Tn), T Condon (Aston Rowant), T Cosford (Horspath), J Garrett (Downend), W Sutcliffe (Thame Tn), J Thomas (Banbury), M Warner (Chesham), R White (Buckingham Tn).