Shropshire make three changes for Unicorns Championship trip to Oxfordshire

Shropshire make three changes for the Unicorns Championship match against Oxfordshire which starts at Banbury on Sunday.

Shrewsbury duo Will Parton and Sam Ellis, along with Bridgnorth leg spinner Sam Whitney, are drafted into the side which drew with Dorset in the opening three-day fixture of the season.

They replace unavailable trio Ollie Westbury and George Garrett – ruled out through Worcestershire and Warwickshire commitments respectively – while Oswestry allrounder Warrick Fynn is also unable to play.

It will be a Championship debut for promising Shrewsbury allrounder Ellis after representing the county in the Twenty20 competition, while batsman Parton, his captain at London Road, returns to the Shropshire side in good form.

Shrewsbury are second in the Birmingham League’s top division, with Parton hitting an unbeaten 74 in last weekend’s win at Smethwick and 155 against Walsall at the end of May.

Whitney, the Bridgnorth skipper, was a regular in Shropshire’s Championship side last season, playing all six matches, but was unavailable for this season’s opener against Dorset.

Bryan Jones, Shropshire’s chairman of selectors, said: “It’s a good, strong side and we are happy with it.

“Will has been in good form and has justified his selection, Sam Whitney was unavailable for the first game and it’s good to have him back, while it will be a Championship debut for Sam Ellis, who has been doing well for Shrewsbury and has taken a few wickets.

“Warrick is unavailable to play in this game but will be able to play in the other Championship fixtures. Ollie and George are also unavailable for this one, but hopefully they will be able to play in some of the other matches.”

While Shropshire picked up 11 points against Dorset last month after the final day was washed out at London Road, Oxfordshire opened their Championship season with a heavy defeat against Cornwall at Truro.

“We couldn’t do anything about the rain in the Dorset game,” added Jones. “There were some good performances and we need to do that again against Oxfordshire and look to get a win.

“Oxfordshire were pretty strong last year as we finished third and they were just above us in second. They will be very competitive as they always are.”

The three-day match at Banbury starts on Sunday (11am).

Shropshire: Joe Carrasco (captain), Alex Phillips, Will Parton, Alexei Kervezee, Ross Aucott, Ryan Lockley, Jack Edwards, Sam Whitney, Jack Twigger, Sam Ellis, Ben Roberts. 12th man: Ben Lees.

Pictured: Sam Whitney returns to the Shropshire side for the Unicorns Championship match against Oxfordshire at Banbury.