OXFORDSHIRE lost by 18 runs to Dorset in their rain-affected Unicorns Counties Trophy at Bashley.

The match was decided on the DLS system after two rain delays took out large chunks of the game.

Asked to bat first, Dorset openers Tom Arnold and Ed Ellis put on 142 for the first wicket in 30 overs, despite a tidy opening spell from Will Eason.

Both departed just before the first break for rain, Arnold being bowled by spinner Harvey Eltham for 67, before Ellis was run out by Luke Ryan for 62.

The players came off the field for rain with the score at 147-2 after 33 overs.

Following a prolonged delay, they returned for 3.3 overs during which the score proceeded to 167-2.

Following another long stoppage, Oxon’s target became a tough 232 from 36 overs under the DLS system.

Despite fine efforts from Lloyd Sabin, Jordan Garrett and Jonny Cater, who made 30 off 23 balls before becoming one of two run-out victims, Oxon had slipped to 174-7 from 30 overs when the rain returned, leaving the hosts winners by 18 runs.