OXFORDSHIRE are eyeing up the second victory of the Unicorns Counties Championship campaign after three late wickets put them in charge against Dorset at Bournemouth.

The home county finished the second day of the Western Division match on 128-6 from 69 overs in their second innings – an overall lead of just 37 with only four wickets standing.

On another day of slow scoring, Oxon established a first-innings lead of 91 thanks to Jordan Garrett’s mature half-century.

They resumed the day on 126-5, just ten runs behind their opponents’ first innings total.

Garrett and James Fitzjohn extended their sixth-wicket partnership to 68, before the latter was caught behind off James Hayman for 25.

This provoked a collapse with both Leo Bethell and debutant Joe Butcher falling to Josh Digby for ducks as three wickets fell for one run.

However, Garrett then found a reliable partner in Joe Thomas.

The pair added 34 valuable runs for the ninth wicket before Garrett’s became off-spinner Jigar Naik’s sixth victim of the innings when bowled for an invaluable 61, made off 141 balls with five fours.

Thomas was on 26 not out when the innings closed on 227-9 at the end of their 90 overs, Naik finishing with 6-58 from 27 overs.

The visitors’ lead of 91 looked even bigger when Butcher ran out opener Digby for nought with a direct hit from mid-on.

Tall spinner Thomas then made his second major contribution of the day by dismissing Edward Ellis and Sam Collins in quick succession to leave Dorset on 65-3.

Michael Porter and Chris Park produced a determined fourth-wicket stand to wipe off the deficit, before the hostile Butcher struck with two quick wickets.

When Olly Clarke’s long accurate spell was eventually rewarded with the wicket of the dogged Porter, Oxon were sensing victory.