NEIL SHARDLOW: It’s another ‘first’ in a super start
I’VE BEEN down to Oxfordshire a number of times and never come away with a win – until this week.
They were missing a couple of batsmen but you can only beat what’s in front of you and we did that quite convincingly.
We were keen to bat first but we didn’t win the toss. But we made sure that we imposed ourselves on the game straight away by taking four or five early wickets.
Once we’d done that, we were able to keep nibbling away at their order and we thought that 228 was an average score on a wicket that had a lot more runs in it.
Jayden Levitt then came in and had a tremendous innings.
We ended the first day at 152-2 but we did have a bit of a wobble towards the end – we still ended with a lead of 150 runs but I felt we could have pushed on towards the 400 mark.
We produced another very good bowling performance on the second day and if we hadn’t let them put together a couple of late partnerships, we could have had it all wrapped up with a day to spare.
But we still decimated them and it’s a fantastic win.
The first innings performance wasn’t too different to a few games last year – Cornwall at Corsham springs to mind – but we followed it up and pressed home the advantage this time.
We’ve got a quarter-final that the players are really looking forward too now and there have been some really difficult selection problems because everyone is playing so well.
Jayden Levitt came in for Ed Kilbee and has to open the batting this weekend after his 150-odd and Tom Morton comes back in after scoring a century against Wales at Warminster.
James Hayward has performed well but he hasn’t even made the 12 and then we’ve got to think a sixth bowling option because Mike Coles isn’t fit to bowl – that means that Henry Langford will probably be involved because he gives us that.
We’ll be looking to impose ourselves on Norfolk and carry on expressing ourselves.