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Oxford fell agonisingly short of victory in their Division 1 match at Burnham, losing by five runs.

Ultimately, Ian Crosby’s side paid the price for allowing the hosts’ final two wickets to add 81 runs and finish on 213-9.

Oxford took wickets in batches, Francois Vainker the pick of the bowlers with 2-25 off his ten overs.

At 119-7, Burnham were in real trouble, but a 41-run ninth-wicket partnership between Adnan Malik and Muddassar Nawaz, and then an unbroken 40-run last-wicket stand from Nawaz and Azhar Ali ensured Oxford would need to bat well.

Brad Sutherland, Jamie Perkin and Vainker all fell cheaply, but a solid stand between Stewart Laudat and skipper Crosby gave Oxford hope.

Losing middle-order pair Shami Mendis and John Barrett in quick succession dented their bid, but the lower-order chipped in with vital contributions as the match headed towards an exciting conclusion.

The last pair of Ian Evans and Freddie Simon needed 26 runs to win, and although No 11 Simon hit 15 off 13 deliveries, he was caught by Mohammad Fazal off the bowling of Harveer Gandam from the final delivery as Oxford fell just short.

Burnham 20pts, Oxford 8

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