Skipper plays it safe against strugglers

BANBURY GUARDIAN: BANBURY’S rookie skipper Richard Kaufman admitted he batted bottom-placed Oxford out of the game rather than give them a scent of victory.

On a belting batting track, Banbury piled up 307-4 in 66 overs with a second century of the season for former captain Craig Haupt.

Oxford never attempted a run chase but also never looked like being bowled out, although five bowlers did manage to get them seven down.

“If we had won our first three matches I would probably have been more adventurous,” said former Northamptonshire Colt Kaufman. “I would probably have called a halt at 280/290 to give them a sniff of a run chase.
“In those circumstances it would have been worth the gamble.”
Kaufman is enjoying his first taste of captaincy at senior level, although he had some opportunities to lead his former club Old Northamptonians in the Northamptonshire County League.
“I tend to consult with Paul Taylor and we usually agree on the best strategy, although occasionally I will throw in a little surprise.”
That came on Saturday when he brought himself on to toss up an over of off-spin in the hope of buying a wicket. Nine runs later he changed his mind.
Banbury keep the same side for the trip to Basingstoke on Saturday with several batsmen in form. Chris Smith made 65 and set up the later frenetic hitting with a solid opening stand of 42 with Andy Sabin (15).
“Andy didn’t make many runs but the openers gave us the platform to let rip later on,” said Kaufman.
Haupt weighed in with a magnificent 124 and Kaufman ended unbeatenn on 62.
The most successful bowlers were Paul Hill, 2-21 off eight overs and Taylor (2-37).
n Oxfordshire’s bowlers toiled in the sun at Banbury on Sunday as Wales wreaked havoc in the Minor Counties Trophy first round.
Allan Evans (125no) and Nicky Swetman (114no) posted a record third-wicket partnership for the competition of 247 in 30 overs as Wales totalled 335-2.
Oxon mounnted a spirited reply with Rob Cunliffe making 72 off 79 balls and Adam Cook 75 from only 54 balls in a score of 289-8.

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