Devon cricketers cruise into the last eight with convincing victory in Oxfordshire
Devon crushed Oxfordshire by 166 runs to romp into the last eight of the Minor Counties Trophy.
It was all or nothing for both sides at Challow & Chidrey yesterday as the winners would go through as group runners-up behind Cornwall and the losers went out.
Devon looked in a strong position after racking up 277 for nine in their 50 overs – Rob Woodman making a top score of 79 and David Lye adding 73.
Oxfordshire slumped to 59 for five in reply midway through the12th over – Trevor Anning and Chris Bradley doing most of the damage – and it was only a question of time after that.
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Skipper Bradley finished with five for ten as Oxfordshire limped to 111 all out.
Coming next for Devon is a trip to Corsham to play Wiltshire on June 17 in the quarter-finals.
Roger Newman, Devon's director of cricket, said the team had put in a "thoroughly professional" performance with bat and ball and got the result they deserved.
"It started with Rob Holman and Rob Woodman getting us off to a flier as we were 40 for none after five overs and calling the shots," said Newman.
"One or two people in the ground thought we would make 300, but cricket isn't like that.
"The ball went soft, it stuck in the pitch and 277 was a good score on a bitterly cold day.
"I thought David Lye batted particularly well, as did Matt Wood.
"From ball one, when we bowled we were looking for wickets and Oxfordshire knew it.
"The fielding was superb. We took our catches in support of the bowlers and they never stood a chance once we had them four down."
Holman, who had made 21 off 20 balls, was Devon's first casualty when he went airborne and was caught after a long-wait at mid-wicket.
A stand of 131 between Lye and Woodman put Devon in the driving seat as Oxfordshire searched in vain for a breakthrough.
Lye went past Woodman from a standing start to reach his half-century off just 45 balls. Woodman reached his 50 from the very next delivery, having faced 69 to get there.
Lye went caught behind at 172, but Woodman carried on in tandem with Matt Wood to get the score up to 212 for three when Woodman was stumped.
Devon had wickets in hand going into the last ten overs and it was a case of get on or get out.
Wood (40), James Burke (three) and Josh Bess (one) all went close together as Devon slowed to 237 for six.
The last five overs saw Matt Thompson (18) wring another 38 runs out of the tail-enders before he was last out with three balls to go.
It all started to go wrong for Oxfordshire during the two overs when Lloyd Sabin, Richard Kaufman and Craig Haupt went in a running total of 30 for three.
Ryan Bougourd held on out in the country to remove Nathan Hawkes and give Bradley the first of his five scalps.
Bradley took four in a row as Oxfordshire collapsed to 69 for seven.