OXFORDSHIRE suffered two contrasting defeats when they opened their Unicorns Counties T20 campaign against Herefordshire at Bicester & North Oxford.

After suffering an agonising two-run loss in the first match of the double-header, the host county went down by a convincing 65 runs in the second, taking only one wicket in the process.

A superb all-round display by Harvey Eltham could not prevent Oxon coming up short in the first clash.

The off-spinner took 3-12 from his four overs to restrict the visitors, who had chosen to bat first, to just 128-6 from their 20 overs.

This was a small target, but Oxon soon slumped to 54-6 in reply.

They were back in the hunt after a seventh-wicket stand of 55 by Eltham and Leo Bethell, which looked like snatching a dramatic victory.

With five runs to win off seven balls and three wickets standing, Joe Thomas was bowled by the last delivery of the 19th over.

Then, from the third ball of the final over, Eltham was run out backing up, having made a superb 50 from 31 balls.

Lawrence Brock was bowled off the next delivery to leave Oxon all out for 126 from 19.4 overs.

The second game was a cakewalk for Herefordshire, who rattled up 203-1, Matt Pardoe scoring a brilliant 111 not out from 62 balls. The hosts mustered just 138-9 in reply.

They will be hoping for better luck in two games against Shropshire at Shrewsbury today.