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MCCU round-up: Oxford fall just short

MCCU round-up: Oxford fall just short

Oxford MCC University fell just 21 runs short of recording a famous victory over county champions Warwickshire in the first round of MCCU first-class matches.

A superb second-innings bowling performance from the Oxford attack sparked a Warwickshire collapse from 92/2 to 131 all out and left the students with a gettable target of 155 for victory at The Parks.

They were thwarted by a brilliant match-winning performance by Tom Milnes though, who recorded figures of 7/39, including the key wickets of opener Sam Agarwal, whose first innings century had earlier kept Oxford MCCU in the hunt.

Agarwal also picked up three first-innings wickets with his off-breaks, but fell second ball for a duck in Oxford's chase.

A half century from his partner Lloyd Sabin and 41 from number six Ben Williams in a partnership of 95 for the fifth wicket made Oxford briefly favourites. But only captain Charles Morris also reached double-figures, as his side subsided to a narrow defeat on the final afternoon.

Elsewhere, there were some encouraging individual performances from students in draws for Cardiff MCCU, Cambridge MCCU, Loughborough MCCU and Durham MCCU.

One name which will catch the eye of cricket fans is that of Cardiff MCCU opener Fabien Cowdrey, son of former England captain Chris and grandson of legendary batsman and former MCC President Colin, who made a half century at the top of the order in his first knock in first-class cricket.

Former Cardiff MCCU bowler Mike Reed meanwhile took 6/34 wickets for Glamorgan against Cardiff in a hugely impressive spell - his first five-wicket haul as a first-class cricketer.

The best individual performance of the entire round of matches however came in Leeds/Bradford's convincing 294-run defeat to Yorkshire at Headingley.

Jamie Lee, a 24-year-old seamer from Sheffield, who has played 2nd XI cricket for his home county, tore through the Yorkshire top order on the first morning, taking three wickets as the near full-strength county side were reduced to 10/4 before returning to finish with phenomenal figures of 7/45.

All six teams are back in action over the next few weeks, with one more first-class fixture and another friendly fixture against the counties lined up and also begin their two-day MCCU Championship campaigns against one another this week.

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