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Rose and Afridi efforts ended by rain

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Rain prevented any chance of a result in Wiltshire’s first Minor Counties’ Championship match against Oxfordshire at Challow and Childrey.

Wiltshire won the toss and on a damp pitch asked Oxford to bat.

Debutants Simon Rose and Tahir Afridi opened the bowling in overcast conditions and quickly reduced Oxford to 42 for five before Jack Taylor, with a half century, led a rearguard action with a partnership of 69 alongside Jamie Perkin, who made 30, for the sixth wicket.

Rose and Afridi both returned to claim five-wicket hauls to bowl the hosts out for 150.

In reply, Wiltshire started steadily with Jayden Levitt and Luke Stoughton putting on 34 for the first wicket. However, when both openers and Joe Breet departed they were reduced to 56 for three.

With conditions starting to become more batsmen-friendly Ed Kilbee hit 60 on debut and shared a partnership of 94 for the fourth wicket with Henry Langford, who made 46.

Wiltshire ended the day on 180 for six with a lead of 30 runs. The visitors continued batting on the third day and were eventually dismissed for 223. Chad Keegan was the pick of the Oxford bowlers with 4-71.

With only 80 overs remaining in the match and Oxford trailing by 73 runs, a draw appeared inevitable, and so it proved.

Rose took an early wicket but a partnership of 121 between Damian Shirazi and Alexander Jewell ensured Oxford batted through the day, reaching 220 for four. Part-time bowler Langford did his best to force a collapse with figures of 3-31.

Wiltshire collect nine points for the draw while Oxfordshire pick up eight.

Wiltshire’s next championship match starts on Sunday June 26, when they take on 2010 champions Dorset at Devizes.