A DRAMATIC collapse leaves Oxfordshire in serious danger of defeat by Herefordshire in their Western Division match at Brockhampton.

The visitors lost their last five wickets for just two runs in 15 balls – which included a hat-trick – to be all out in their second innings for 165.

This means the home side need just 122 runs on the final day to secure a victory.

After a fine first day when they totalled 302, it was Oxfordshire’s turn to struggle.

Thanks to an unbeaten 156 from David Ball, Herefordshire achieved a first-innings lead of 44 and then shot out the visitors in their second innings.

Ball, who shared a fourth-wicket stand of 178 with Benedict Ellis-Dabrowski, faced 199 balls and scored 21 fours in his mammoth knock.

The visitors regained some lost ground towards the end of the innings when off-spinner Richard Kaufman collected 4-36 from 14 overs, including wickets with his last two balls of the innings to dismiss them for 346 in 90 overs.

In the Oxon second innings, the top three batsmen Tom Condon, Harry Smith and Olly Clarke all got out when set, while the cheap dismissals of Jonny Cater and Callum Russell left them struggling at 110-5.

Leading by only 66, this was a worrying position for Oxfordshire.

But Kaufman, who passed 4,000 Championship runs when on 17, found a reliable partner in Gareth Andrew and together they took the score to 163 before disaster struck.

Kaufman was out for 57 off 67 balls and Andrew departed one run later.

Left-arm seamer Jamie McIlroy then wrapped up the innings by dismissing Matt Warner, Joe Thomas and Harry Startin in successive balls to finish with 6-33 and set up a likely victory for the home side.