CRICKET: Oxfordshire denied by downpour after record stand

Oxfordshire openers Richard Kaufman and Lloyd Sabin broke the the county’s first-wicket record partnership, but rain cruelly denied them a Western Division victory over Cornwall at Great Tew.

Kaufman hit 24 fours in his 160, while Sabin finished with 145, including 14 fours and three sixes as they put on 280.

It eclipsed the 264 set by Jack Mendl and John Bush against Bucks at Christ Church in 1949, but fell some way short of Oxon’s all-time Minor Counties record partnership of 331 set by Cyril Walters and M Burrows for the second wicket against Bedfordshire in 1924.

Some lusty blows from Chad Keegan, with 52 off 42 balls and David Smith gave Oxon, who had resumed on 208-0, a total of 458-6 dec, which was 49 runs short of their best of 497-5 against Devon in 1996.

When Keegan ripped out the first three Cornwall batsmen with only 14 runs on the board, Oxon looked odds-on for victory, and it didn’t get any better for the visitors.

Keegan struck twice more while Smith and Luke Ryan chipped in with two wickets apiece as Cornwall reached tea on a perilous 94-9.

Then the rain arrived and caused a delay of an hour and 40 minutes.

Sterling work by the Tew groundstaff meant play was able to restart at 6.10pm, leaving Oxon six overs at last pair Rob Harrison and No 11 Sam Hockin.

Despite the best efforts of the bowlers, the batsmen refused to budge and did not give a chance as the innings closed on 97-9.

Keegan finished with 5-30.

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