OXFORDSHIRE’S bowlers were victims of a Berkshire blitz on the second day of their Unicorns Counties Championship match at Challow.

The home county seemed well in the Western Division game when they made 207 and then reduced their opponents to 72-4.

But, led a bludgeoning century from Chris Peploe, Berkshire took the game by the scruff of the neck to rattle up 391-9 and take a commanding first-innings lead of 184.

By the close Oxfordshire had scored 55-2 in their second innings, still trailing by 129 runs.

Resuming their first innings on 166-7 following a rain-shortened first day, Oxon were indebted to skipper Jonny Cater’s 59 from 123 balls for taking them past 200.

Then opening bowlers Brad Taylor and Leo Bethell took two wickets each as Berkshire’s top order struggled, two of them falling for ducks.

But Peploe, who plays for Datchet in the Home Counties Premier League, and Andy Rishton changed the game in sixth-wicket stand of 118.

Peploe made 103 from 121 balls with a six and ten fours, while Rishton’s 89 came from 136 deliveries.

Joe Thomas added to Oxon misery by striking 57 from 21 balls as Berkshire’s score mounted to 391-9, with 68 runs coming off the last five overs.

Taylor and Richard Kaufman went for 20 and 23 respectively in their last overs.

Despite the onslaught, Bethell finished with a creditable 4-94 from 22 overs.

Oxon soon lost Lloyd Sabin in their second innings, while first-innings hero Delray Rawling fell to an acrobatic catch at mid-off just before the close.