Minor Counties Championship

RICHARD Kaufman says Oxfordshire have still got it all to play for, despite an indifferent start to their Western Division campaign.

Oxon host Wales Minor Counties in their third match at Challow & Childrey, starting on Sunday, with captain Kaufman stressing victory will put them in contention.

“Looking at the league table, everyone is still really bunched together,” said Kaufman.

“A couple of wins and we will be up there. Everybody has had the same problems with the weather.

“We get stronger as the season goes on. If we could happen to get a win against Wales and some bonus points, we will be right in the mix.

“It is only 12 points from us in sixth to the top.”

Oxon have largely been up against in their two draws so far, but Kaufman is urging his players to stay positive.

“We have not played great cricket or had the strongest of teams out, but no-one is getting away from us in the table,” he said.

Banbury’s Jonny Cater comes in for his first appearance of the season and will keep wicket, while strike bowler Chad Keegan returns.

Gloucestershire seamer David Wade keeps his place after making his debut against Dorset, but spinners Luke Ryan, Francois Vainker and Jimmy Phillips are all unavailable.

Kaufman said: “Jonny Cater has been doing a teaching qualification and has not been available until now.

“He did really well against Dorset last year and is a quality player.

“Jamie Perkin is also pleased to be getting rid of the gloves.

“Chad Keegan is a massive player for us. He is the best bowler in the competition.

“We are lacking a front-line spinner.

“We have decided to use me and Richard West as back-up.”

The weather forecast is not great for the match, but victory is perfectly possible in two days.

Kaufman said: “We can’t really think about the weather too much.

“This year we have just been trying to bat for as long as we can.

“Everyone has been struggling.”

Oxfordshire: Sabin (Banbury), Kaufman (Old Northamptonians, capt), Watling (Aston Rowant), West (Banbury), Perkin (Oxford), Cater (Banbury), Keegan (Worksop), Blanchard (Banbury), Smith (Bromley), M Taylor (Great & Little Tew), Wade (Gloucestershire).