Maiden hundred and a call up for OxleyJune 25, 2019
Suffolk batsman Alex Oxley has been called-up as 12th man for Warwickshire’s Specsavers County Championship match versus Kent at Canterbury, starting on Sunday.
The news comes on the back of 18-year-old Oxley scoring his maiden century for Suffolk in their opening Unicorns Championship three-day fixture of the season against Staffordshire at Copdock. The match was abandoned as a draw after heavy rain in the early hours of Tuesday got under the covers and puddles of water formed on the bottom end of the wicket.
Suffolk had been due to resume their second innings on 35 for 1 – an overall lead of 105 – after restricting the visitors to 323 for 8 in their first innings. Bury St Edmunds all-rounder Josh Cantrell took three wickets and Mildenhall skipper Tom Rash one.
That was in response to Suffolk’s 393 for 8 on day one, built around opener Oxley’s 124 compiled from 189 deliveries and containing 15 four and three sixes. Mildenhall’s Ben Shepperson made 91 off just 61 balls with ten fours and three sixes.
However, Culford School student Oxley is not the youngest player to reach three figures for Suffolk in a Minor Counties match. The record is held by James Forrest, who scored 164 on debut versus Lincolnshire at Denes Oval in Lowestoft on May 29 th 1939, aged 17 years and 166 days.
Oxley, who joined the Warwickshire Academy earlier this year, said of his achievement: “I am immensely proud, especially having come through the age groups from nine, ten, eleven and then breaking into the Development side, which is now the 2nd XI, and then the first team.
“It also shows where Suffolk are going with their cricket, pushing youngsters forward and giving them an opportunity. Hopefully it is the first of many hundreds I will score for Suffolk.” Oxley, who was on 91 when he hooked opening bowler James Cox for six to move to within three of his century, said: “Instinct took
over. “It is always in the back of your mind that you are looking to score, so I would not have changed that shot whatever score I was on.”
Oxley, who received a message from Warwickshire first-team coach Jim Troughton asking him if he could do 12th man duties for the match at The Spitfire Ground in Canterbury, said: “It was a big surprise, but one that I was hoping for, and I immediately replied with a big yes. “I can’t wait to get down with the first team to meet everyone and
get to know them and be around the changing room.”
Oxley was dismissed for just ten in Suffolk’s second innings, before the rain put paid to any chance of a result, leaving Suffolk with 11 points and Staffordshire ten from the fixture. He added: “It was hugely disappointing for us because we don’t always tend to be in such a controlling position as we were in this match. “We were in a great position to decide what we wanted to do, but it is not the worst outcome as we know Staffordshire are such a strong
Words and Images – Nick Garnham
Alex Oxley – Alex Oxley batting for Suffolk versus Staffordshire at
Josh Cantrell – Josh Cantrell bowling for Suffolk versus Staffordshire