Oxford MCCU 1st Innings
220 all out (80.4 overs)
Worcestershire 2nd Innings
210 for 2 declared (43.4 overs)
Oxford MCCU 2nd Innings
208 all out (59.3 overs)
A spirited Oxford MCCU display failed to replicate their near-heroics against Warwickshire in this three-day tie with Worcestershire, falling to a 130-run defeat against their professional opponents. Bowling against a strong batting line-up that included former Dutch international Alexei Kervezee and captain Daryl Mitchell proved difficult for Oxford, who could only manage to take six wickets in the match as Worcestershire twice declared.
The second declaration, coming early on the final day with Worcestershire on 210 for 2, left Oxford with an imposing 339 run target. That was always going to be a hard ask, and was made even more so with the dismissal of university captain Sam Agarwal for a duck after just three balls.
The task was not made any easier by Oxford’s habit of conceding consecutive wickets, and after both Sabin and Jones had fallen with the score on 48, an encouraging partnership from Coleman and Fell was ended when both men were out with the score on 124.
Facing an intense Worcestershire pace attack proved too much for the Oxford bottom order, and left-armer Jack Shantry took his seventh wicket to bowl Oxford out for a disappointing 208.
Oxford coach Graham Charlesworth was quick to pay his respects to his County Championship opponents, singling out their bowlers for particular praise: ‘Worcestershire have lost the last couple of games coming into this match so they were eager to get a win under their belts, and they’ve dominated the game from the first day.
‘They bowled really well – they’ve got a four-man pace attack that really put us under pressure.’
There were some positives to be taken from the game however, and Charlesworth singled out Marriot and Coleman for their innings of 81 and 46 respectively. Coleman, a Warwickshire academy player, is due to appear for Scotland in their upcoming YB40 match against Hampshire, and is viewed as a bright prospect for the future.
Overall, however, Charlesworth felt that the performance did not reflect the true potential of his team: ‘We’re disappointed. We were hoping to give a good account of ourselves and we’ve lost in three days. It’s not gone according to plan.’
The Worcestership player Richarc Jones was also had praise for their opponents: “We looked after the ball well, which is important on a day like today on a flat pitch, so it has been a good effort from us to dismiss Oxford for just above 200. They’ve got some good players. We’ve come up against Sam (Agarwal) a few times now and he looks a good player and we know Felly (William Fell) from the Academy at Worcestershire.”
Despite the result, though, with such a focused and determined attitude driving them forward Oxford MCCU have every reason to be confident going into the MCCU league, and will have another opportunity to test themselves against professional opposition when they face Surrey on the 24th May.
PHOTO / Oxford University Sport