Warwicks Delayed by Byrne's Best
Warwickshire were made to work unexpectedly hard for a 129-run victory by a brave Oxford University rearguard action in The Parks yesterday.
After Neil Smith declared at the overnight 222 for six, a target of 402 was always beyond the students who, however, took the game into the final session after being 42 for five in 69 minutes.
They recovered thanks to a career-best 94 by Byron Byrne, an English-qualified Australian who played for Stourbridge in 1995 and 1996. It was only the second half-century of his first-class career and the third by an Oxford batsman this season.
The 27-year-old, in the final year of an engineering science degree at Balliol College, easily looked the most competent and organised of Oxford's batsmen and deserved a century.
But he fell to his former university captain Mark Wagh's off-spin six short of the landmark when he edged to slip after striking 14 fours in an attractive 164-ball innings.
Byrne put on 127 in 34 overs with his captain John Claughton, who was run out by David Hemp from mid-on, shortly after he completed his half-century.
Oxford's last three wickets took some time to winkle out, Wagh taking four for 33 in Warwickshire's third consecutive first-class victory. …