It was all over bar the shouting for Oxfordshire last night as they stood on the brink of a thrashing by Wiltshire in their opening Unicorns County Championship Western Division match at Banbury.
Oxon’s makeshift side were staring down the barrel as the visitors ended day two needing just 15 runs to secure a thumping victory with all ten wickets standing.
Resuming on 154-2 in reply to Oxfordshire’s first innings total of 228, Wiltshire dominated all aspects of the game.
They were finally bowled out for 377, with Jayden Levitt, 80 not out overnight, making an impressive 152.
His runs came off 194 balls, with 15 fours and two sixes, before he was bowled by Michael Beard.
Michael Coles piled on the agony for Oxon with an aggressive 55 off 62 balls, which included six fours and three sixes, while Oxon skipper Luke Ryan stood alone with 4-78 in trying to stem the flow of runs.
It was only when Beard (3-40) made a late entrance into the attack, that he received any wicket-taking support.
Beard then made a patient 55 off 125 balls with nine fours at the top of the Oxfordshire order.
But wickets fell around him at regular intervals, and with Wiltshire claiming the extra half hour, Oxon were bowled out for 177, leaving Wiltshire 29 to win.
However, there was only time for one over, bowled by Ashley Blanchard, and although Adam Miles blasted 14 off it, Oxon must return today for the last rites to be administered.
Scores: Oxfordshire 228 & 177 (M Beard 55), Wiltshire 377 (J Levitt 152, M Coles 55) & 14-0.
12:10pm Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton says Oxford United are in advanced talks with their top target, but there are no guarantees a deal will be finalised before the deadline closes tonight.
12:00pm Monday 1st September 2014
Have your say on all the main talking points at Oxford United in our 60-minute interactive discussion for supporters.
11:24am Monday 1st September 2014
Oxford United got off the mark in Sky Bet League Two with a 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge on Saturday.
9:30am Monday 1st September 2014
MICHAEL Appleton admitted he had never seen a game so wide open as Oxford United got off the mark with a topsy-turvy 3-3 draw at home to Dagenham & Redbridge.
9:20am Monday 1st September 2014
OXFORD City general manager Justin Merritt said he was proud of his players despite defeat at Harrogate Town on Saturday.
8:40am Monday 1st September 2014
BANBURY United let slip a 2-0 lead as they fell to a seventh straight league defeat this season with a 4-2 loss at Frome Town in the Southern League Premier Division.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
JONATHAN Margetts’ 55th-minute strike inflicted a first defeat of the season on Oxford City in their Vanarama Conference North clash at Harrogate Town on Saturday, writes MATTHEW BRUCE.
8:30am Monday 1st September 2014
THAME United produced a sensational comeback to beat Highmoor Ibis 3-2 with the final kick of their FA Cup preliminary round tie on Saturday.
8:20am Monday 1st September 2014
GREAT Britain’s men’s eight successfully defended their title with a stunning display in Amsterdam yesterday.
8:10am Monday 1st September 2014
DANNY Hylton says the warm welcome he has received at Oxford United has been key to his flying start to the season.