DORSET were left staring down the barrel of defeat after Oxfordshire seized the initiative on the second day of their Minor Counties Championship clash at Chapel Gate.

Resuming on 126 for five – in reply to Dorset’s 136 – the visitors established a lead of 91 after their first innings closed on 227 for nine after 90 overs.

And although Sam Collins (38) and Michael Porter (36) both showed some resistance, Dorset ended day two on 128 for six – just 37 ahead with only four second innings wickets remaining.

Jordan Garrett (61) and James Fitzjohn (25) frustrated Dorset during the morning session, the pair sharing 68 for the sixth wicket as Oxfordshire reached 182 for six.

Garrett also put on 34 for the ninth wicket with Joe Thomas (26*) before becoming Jigar Naik’s (6-58) sixth victim. Josh Digby (2-19) and James Hayman (1-19) were Dorset’s two other wicket-takers.

Dorset’s second innings got off to a disastrous start when Digby was run out attempting a suicidal single before Parley’s Collins put on 45 for the second wicket with Lymington’s Ed Ellis (16).

Once they had departed, a defiant partnership of 49 between Bashley skipper Porter and captain Chris Park (21) blunted Oxfordshire, only for the pair to fall victim to lightning leg before decisions.

Alex Eckland was then judged to have been caught behind off the bowling of Joe Butcher with Naik and Sam Thomson dropping anchor until stumps.