OXFORDSHIRE’S George Tait frustrated defending champions Berkshire as the 2021 National Counties Championship winners held out for a tense draw at Thame.

Visiting captain Dan Lincoln opened up another rain-affected contest by declaring their second innings at 117 for five, which set Oxon a target of 227 on day three of the Western Division One clash.

Tait followed up his career best 83 in Oxon’s first innings with 77 from 64 balls, and with support from Jared Warner, they got the hosts to within 18 of their target.

Both Warner and Tait perished in quick succession trying to clear the ropes, with the ninth wicket pair of Callum Russell and Max Mannering happy to play out the final over for the draw, with Oxon on 211 for eight.

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Rain had delayed the start of day one, yet there was enough time for Berkshire to make 314 all out in their 90 overs.

Tait took four for 64 to go alongside the six he took in the draw with Herefordshire.

Rain prevented play until mid-afternoon on the second day, but seamer Tom Nugent quickly reduced Oxon to 15 for three. 

Tait came to the rescue though making 71 not out, while skipper Ollie Clarke (48 not out) and Tom Hinley (35) gave excellent support. 

Tait and Clarke’s unbroken fifth wicket partnership of 106 took Oxon to 175 for four at the close, 139 adrift of Berkshire.

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