Liam Gwynne’s century proved in vain as Group Four leaders Oxfordshire despatched Herefordshire by four wickets to maintain their perfect start to the Unicorns Knockout Trophy at Clenchers Mill Lane.
The 22-year-old opener, with 106 from 104 balls, struck over half of his side’s 200 all out, with Liam Manley’s 5-49 ensuring Herefordshire’s decision to bat first had backfired.
Former Glamorgan player Michael O’Shea took 3-48 to hamper Oxfordshire’s chase, but scores of 48 and 62 from Richard Kaufman and Lloyd Sabin respectively proved enough as the visitors won with 39 balls remaining.
Defending champions Berkshire finally got off the mark this term courtesy of a resounding 151-run triumph over Buckinghamshire at Dinton Cricket Club.
The hosts piled on 303 for nine after winning the toss, ex-Hampshire batsman Michael Roberts, Waqas Hussain and Richard and James Morris compiling half-centuries.
Thomas Nugent then returned figures of 4-24 to help dismiss Buckinghamshire for just 152 with eight overs unused.
Devon and Wiltshire, who have played a game less, are locked on six points at the top of Group One following victories over Wales Minor Counties and Dorset respectively.
After losing the toss, James Burke led the way with 109 of Devon’s 274 for nine at Usk Cricket Club, which proved 50 runs too many for Wales Minor Counties, who were restricted to 224 for nine.
Fifties from Neil Clark and James Hayward as well as Ashur Morrison’s five-wicket haul helped Wiltshire maintain their unbeaten record, defending 294 for seven to win by 37 runs at Dean Park.
Norfolk edged out Suffolk by two wickets to condemn the Group Two leaders to their first defeat of the season at Manor Park.
Harry Bush’s top-scored with 51 as the home side chased down 203 with eight wickets down and two balls unused.
Justin Bishop and Tom Rash hit 56 and 47 not out respectively to lift Suffolk to 202 for eight.
Despite a century from Northamptonshire opener James Kettleborough, Bedfordshire are without a win this campaign after a narrow one-wicket loss to Hertfordshire at Grange Lane.
The 21-year-old paired up with county team-mate Rob Keogh to add 130 for the second wicket, the duo contributing 114 and 64 respectively, before skipper Andrew Reynoldson hit an unbeaten 81.
However, they could not defend 325 for five as Nesan Jeyaratnam’s 91, added to by half-centuries from Eddie Ballard and James Southgate, the latter’s unbeaten, saw Hertfordshire home with three balls to spare.
Cheshire are one point clear at the top of Group Three after a second successive victory, hammering Shropshire by 127 runs at Morda Road.
Richard Moore and Warren Goodwin starred with centuries in Cheshire’s 312 for seven.
The latter then produced stunning figures of 3-1 off two overs to hurry Shropshire out for 185 inside 40 overs, with fifties from Omar Ali and Edwards Foster in vain.
Conrad Louth’s unbeaten 94 powered Lincolnshire to a four-wicket win over Northumberland at Cross O’Cliff Court, a result which leaves the visitors rooted to the bottom.
Louth and Karanjit Bansal, who was run out for 73, combined to add 121 for the fourth wicket in a successful pursuit of 239 which ended in the 48th over, helping them collect their first two points of the campaign.
Daniel Young top-scored with 64 in Northumberland’s 238 all out after they won the toss.