DORCHESTER 241 (20pts) beat SHROTON 40 (5pts) by 201 runs

DORCHESTER got their Premier League Two season off to the perfect start with a resounding 201-run victory at Shroton, much to the delight of skipper Dan Belt.

Looking for an immediate return to the top flight of the Dorset League following their relegation last summer, the county town side skittled out their hosts for just 40 after posting a very competitive 241.

A first-wicket partnership of 114 between vice-captain Pete Moxom (57) and Will Caldwell (32) helped settle any pre-match nerves and, with debutant Fergus Guppy (34) and Belt (32) also making useful contributions, the visitors took control.

Their total was boosted with a knock of 25 from Sean Fitzgerald and Shroton didn’t do themselves any favours by conceding 44 extras.

Happy to set Shroton a victory target of 242, Dorchester were in fine form in the field as the bowlers hit their strides from the off.

Belt struck with the first delivery of the Shroton innings and wickets fell at regular intervals from then on.

The captain ended with brilliant figures of 4-13, while James Dunham took an equally impressive 4-19 and another new face to the Dorchester squad this season, Australian Eamonn Scott, picked up 2-4 on his debut.

Only one Shroton player reached double figures and four were out for ducks as they were all out for 40 in only 15 overs.

And after a tough campaign in 2013, Belt was thrilled to get this summer up and running in style.

He told Echosport: “I couldn’t have wished for a much better start.

“The ground was soft and wet, and the wicket was green, but we were happy with anything over 200 after losing the toss and being put in.

“Pete Moxom and Will Caldwell batted really well and people made contributions right down the order.

“Some of us gave our wickets away but then again it wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on.

“I took a wicket with the first ball of their innings and we bowled very well, and didn’t give them any free runs.

“It was a very good all-round performance by everyone.

“It was a bit if a surprise it was that comfortable but we were confident we could win going into it.

“We can now go into our next game at home against Blandford with a lot of confidence.”

Elsewhere in Premier League Two, Martinstown won by three wickets at Sherborne but the other two fixtures were cancelled.