ENGLAND international Samit Patel debuted for Oxfordshire as they enjoyed mixed fortunes at the start of the defence of their National Counties T20 crown.

Patel has joined the Oxon squad for the NCCA T20 campaign, which began with a win and a loss in their Group Four double-header against Buckinghamshire.

Patel, who plays professionally for Nottinghamshire, batted at three on both occasions, chasing Bucks’ set totals of 145 and 141.

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After conceding 31 runs for no reward from his four overs in the opening match, the 38-year-old all-rounder failed to add to the scoreline in the run chase, departing for a two-ball duck.

Oxon came up 10 runs short in the first match of the day, while captain Jonny Cater led by example with 47 although it wasn’t enough to lead his side to two points on the league table.

Patel’s signing was justified in the second game at Wormsley with figures of four-for-10 from four overs, supported by Sussex’s Tom Hinley who picked up two-for-22, including the key wicket of Northamptonshire’s professional Saif Zaib for 50 from 24 balls.

Chasing 142, Patel’s entrance at the crease only required a steady approach with the run rate required under a-run-a-ball, thanks to Harrison Ward (57) and Jamie Harrison (36) putting on an opening stand of 78.

A short cameo of 10 from eight balls, including a six, started a mini collapse but eventually Oxon got over the line by four wickets with 11 balls to spare to even the winning honours.