CRICKET: Portland on top to see off Sturminster

Dorset Echo: STEADIED THE SHIP: Elliott Sawyer STEADIED THE SHIP: Elliott Sawyer

PORTLAND RED TRIANGLE SECONDS 170-7 (19pts) beat STURMINSTER & HINTON 109 (5pts) by 61 runs

Portland Red Triangle Seconds completed a comprehensive victory over Sturminster & Hinton in County Division Four to throw the league standings wide open.

Asked to bat on an extremely soft wicket, Triangle were dealt a massive blow early on as they lost the prolific Laurie West without scoring in the third over, as runs were hard to come by.

But Simon Barrett alongside Elliott Sawyer (26) steadied the ship with a fine second-wicket partnership, which contained some excellent stroke play against a bowling attack that gave very little away.

With the loss of Sawyer, Cameron Midgely (28) joined Barrett and they both punished anything wayward as Portland, despite losing late wickets, posted a challenging score of 170-7.

Sturminster, who were top of the pile going into the game, then started solidly and just about kept their team up with the rate in a fine opening stand.

But Portland skipper Grant Neven then made changes to his attack bringing on Matt Barrett and Mark Charles and Triangle were quickly rewarded.

The introduction of Simon Barrett then caused chaos for the remaining batsmen and, in tandem with Charles, they tore through the rest of the order as Portland produced an outstanding display in the field taking six smart catches in the process.

Neven had plenty to be happy about, he said: “To bounce back after our defeat at the hands of Swanage in such a convincing manner was awesome.

“The whole team produced the goods in every department and kept the pressure on the opposition from ball one. Mark and Simon bowled well in conditions that were testing and, as a team, we were 100 per cent on the game.

“If we can repeat this kind of performance week in, week out, we will be more than a match for most.”

Portland now sit fourth in the league standings as just four points separate the top five.

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