OXFORDSHIRE’S hopes of making a second National Counties Championship final in three seasons were scuppered by a 73-run loss to Cheshire.

At Banbury, slow left-armer Steve Green was the visitors’ hero as he took a career best innings and match figures to dismiss Oxon for 227.

Green took six for 73 in the second innings to finish with match figures of 10 for 150, which helped send Oxon from 104 without loss to 126 for five.

He made the breakthrough when he had Jamie Harrison taken at long-off, and although Oxon captain Ollie Clarke tried to revive the chase, the damage had already been done.

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During the first day, Oxon strengthened their claims to win the Western Division One title by bowling out Cheshire for 170.

It would have been worse for Cheshire – who were 27 for four at one stage – had Joe Cooke not rescued them with a Championship-best 96.

Seamer Prav Chahal (four for 31) and left-arm spinner Tom Hinley (three for 57) were mainly responsible for Cheshire’s struggles.

On day two, Oxon squandered their strong position as they slipped from 181 for one, then 204 for four, to 233 all out.

It meant they dropped two batting bonus points, which would have taken them ahead of Berkshire at the top of the table.

Green (four for 47) and David Wainwright (three for 31) caused the damage after Dylan Driscoll had fallen two short of a maiden century.

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