CLUB pro Jigar Naik took centre stage for Dorset on the opening day of their Minor Counties Championship clash against Oxfordshire at Chapel Gate yesterday.

The former Leicestershire all-rounder shared a crucial eighth-wicket stand of 87 with Mark Wolstenholme to spare their first innings blushes as they were shot out for 136.

Naik then claimed five quick wickets – taking his haul to 27 in the Western Division – to keep Dorset in the hunt as the visitors were reduced to 126 for five at the close.

The 32-year-old came together with Wolstenholme with Dorset reeling at seven for 41 – with seven of the hosts’ top eight batsmen all dismissed without reaching double figures.

Josh Digby and Sam Collins both fell cheaply to Brad Taylor before Ed Ellis and Michael Porter perished with the score on 21.

Alex Eckland, Chris Park and Sam Thomson soon followed before Wolstenholme and Naik set about trying to repair some of the early damage.

Naik (47) and Wolstenholme (48) dug deep to frustrate the Oxfordshire attack before the former became the first of Olly Clarke’s two victims with the score on 128.

James Hayman lasted just two balls before he also fell to Clarke with Wolstenholme the last man out as Dorset were dismissed for 136.

Naik bowled Clarke (22) after he had put on 73 for the first wicket with Lloyd Sabin and then did likewise to remove Harry Smith.

Dangerman Sabin (66) suffered the same fate with Naik going on to have both Jonathan Cater and Richard Kaufman caught by Eckland and Ellis, respectively.