DORSET desperately clung on to a draw in their Minor Counties clash with Oxfordshire despite a last-gasp slump at Dean Park.
Chris Park’s men had looked like pushing for victory before three quick-fire wickets from James Phillips (3-45) swung the pendulum dramatically in the visitors’ favour.
The final day started with Oxfordshire producing a resolute show with the bat, adding a further 115 runs before declaring on 329 for eight.
Despite Jonny Cater’s last-ball dismissal yesterday, Dorset failed to find the flying start they needed to move into the box seat as Richard Cook (34) and Chad Keegan (46) proved difficult to budge.
James Hayman (2-42) eventually saw off the pair but the hosts were still left with an uphill task in their chase of 312 to win.
Hopes of the required free-scoring performance were dented when Bashley’s Michael Porter, fresh from his call-up to cover 12th-man duties for England’s third test against India, was caught by Cook from a Keegan (3-67) delivery for a meagre seven runs.
Masoor Khan (66) kept chipping away and put on 60 alongside Ryan Scott but Luke Ryan (3-95), who took seven swift wickets during Dorset’s first innings, skittled both to leave the hosts’ second stint delicately poised at 114 for three.
Jake Lintott (49) and Luke Webb (43) produced a 75-run stand for the fourth wicket before captain Chris Park (40), Mark Wolstenholme (26 off 24 balls) and Mike Kitson (19 off 28 balls) went for the throat.
However, the wheels came off when Kitson, Tom Hicks and Park fell in quick succession to Phillips but Hayman stood firm under Keegan’s barrage of deliveries in the final over as Dorset avoided defeat.