Tuesday 30 May at Great Alne CC
Having been inserted, the hosts got off to a good start against some accurate bowling by Oxon’s openers Nigel Walker and Graham Nelson, reaching 42-1 from the first ten overs. Accurate spells from Ran De Silva and Nick Warry pegged Warks back before two quick wickets from Hugo Ritson-Thomas left them on 99-5. Some lusty leg-side blows in a 50 run partnership put the home side back on course and they closed on 180-7 from their 45 overs with Nelson taking 3-37 and Ritson-Thomas 3-51.
Warwickshire’s tall opening bowler Paton found some steep bounce and his three early wickets left Oxon reeling at 9-3. Derek Watts and Chris Butcher shared a stand of 59 before both were out in consecutive overs leaving the visitors 68-5 at the halfway point. Graham Nelson shared two 40 run partnerships with Hugo Ritson-Thomas and Ran De Silva before a run-out left Oxon needing 17 to win from the last four overs with the last pair at the wicket. The 42nd over was a maiden, adding to the tension, and the final over started with four needed and last man Nigel Walker facing. He lofted the first ball into the leg-side and his watching teammates assumed he would take a single and leave Graham Nelson on strike. But no! Nigel scampered a second run and took the responsibility of hitting the winning runs which he did off the third ball to leave Oxfordshire victors by 1 wicket with half an over to spare.
An excellent team effort ensured a nail-biting finish and keep Oxon in second place in the table; they host leaders Wales at East & West Hendred CC next Tuesday.