DORSET have drafted in Somerset academy prospect Ben Wells for their second Unicorns Championship Western Division clash of the season.

The 17-year-old is set to open the batting when the county takes on Oxfordshire in a three-day battle at Banbury, starting on Sunday (11am).

Wells plays his club cricket for reigning West of England Premier Division champions Bath.

He has totalled 256 runs at an average of just more than 42 this season, including three half-centuries.

The youngster featured for Dorset against a star-studded Somerset line-up during Tuesday’s T20 friendly at North Perrott.

Dorset skipper Chris Park told the Daily Echo: “Having met Ben on Tuesday for the first time, I was very impressed with his character, as well as his cricketing ability. I am looking forward to seeing more of him.

“We have built up a good relationship with Somerset over the past 12 months.

“We have fathomed a deal about having one of their young players play for us in our Championship cricket.

“Ben has played quite a lot of second team cricket for them. He is available for the remaining five Championship games and with Ben Walker and Sam Collins injured, it seemed silly not to take them up on their offer.

“He looks organised and a very good young player. We look forward to seeing him over the next five games.”

Josh Digby returns to the Dorset team to face an Oxfordshire outfit which lost its three-day opener against Berkshire by nine wickets last month.

The visitors have also made the decision to drop seamer Mark Wolstenholme with Bournemouth left-arm spinner Dom Clutterbuck named as 12th man.

Wolstenholme, 38, has taken 103 Championship wickets for Dorset at an average of just more than 30.

“Hopefully, Mark understands,” added Park. “What we are trying to do is bring through young Dorset players and give them the chance to play Minor Counties cricket.

“The door is still open and he will still be part of the squad moving forward. Mark is a key player for us in one-day and T20 cricket.

“In three-day cricket, James Hayman becomes available and only so many fast bowlers can play.”

Oxfordshire beat Dorset by seven wickets when the teams met at Chapel Gate 12 months ago.

“They are a side we know well and have several good players,” added the county skipper.

“They have recently changed their philosophy in selection policy with trying to play as many local league players as possible – which I think is a positive step.”

Dorset (from): Wells, Arnold, Webb, Digby, Ellis, Eckland, S Currie, McCoy, Park, Naik, Hayman, Clutterbuck.