Oxford University batsman Sam Agarwal has set a Varsity match record by scoring 313 at Fenner’s, a score which guided the Blues to an innings and 186 run victory inside just 3 days. Agarwal’s innings beats the previous best Varsity match individual score of 247, which was made by Oxford’s Salil Oberoi at the same venue in 2005. It also surpasses the highest score for any Oxford University batsman of 281, set by KJ Key in 1877.
Agarwal also shared a record 4th wicket partnership with Matt Winter (51) to lead Oxford to a first innings total of 550-7 declared, on a pitch that many found difficult to score on.
Agarwal said, “It was quite a sticky pitch and I thought getting in was the hardest part but after that it was quite easy to score. I just wanted to break the innings down into blocks so 50 then 100 and just carrying on batting, in the past I’ve been a culprit of giving it away too easily once I get to three figures.”
Agarwal’s match winning innings was comprised of 41 fours and three maximums after an incredible 7 hours and 3 minutes at the crease.
“It’s a fantastic feeling,” Agarwal said afterwards. “It doesn’t hit you until you realise what other people say and all their messages and kind words, the good thing is the team is in a good position too.”
In reply, Cambridge could only manage 119, with just four batsmen reaching double figures. Oxford’s Mylavarapu and Williams took 5-23 and 5-34 respectively, as the batsmen managed less than half of Agarwal’s score between them.
Oxford then enforced the follow-on and resistance from Tom Elliot (101) and Philip Hughes (92) carried Cambridge to 169-4, after Tom Williams had reduced them to 7-3. However, once Elliott departed shortly after reaching his century (to the bowling of Agarwal), the Cambridge innings fell apart. Johny Marsden took two quick wickets, and Cambridge never recovered. When Hughes was dismissed 8 runs short of his century the tail quickly followed, and Oxford claimed victory with 4 sessions to spare.