BRIDPORT 170 (6pts) lost to STURMINSTER MARSHALL 171-2 (20pts) by 8 wickets

BRIDPORT slipped to back-to-back defeats in Division Three as Sturminster Marshall strolled to victory at the Brewery Ground.

Having been denied the chance to bounce back immediately from the defeat to Wareham, Bridport were looking to put that blip behind them by overcoming the league leaders.

Mindful of how the pitch played against Wareham and having won the toss, Bridport captain Duane Gay decided to bat first in sunny conditions.

Opener Mark Smith constructed a controlled 26 to see off the new ball but lost batting partners at regular intervals.

Sturminster threatened to take complete control when Smith was trapped leg before, but Ollie Lee came to the crease and refused to surrender his wicket.

The young all-rounder batted maturely considering the circumstances and with the occasional flash of aggression he helped steer Bridport towards a respectable total.

On his measured innings of 46 not out, Lee said: “I played my innings according to how I saw the situation. I thought that if I was there with five overs to go I would be able to kick on and accelerate the scoring rate.

“I felt good towards the end so I played some more expansive shots to go for the boundaries.”

Defending a reasonable total of 170, Bridport made a steady start in the field, with the Sturminster batsmen playing conservatively against a swinging ball.

Opening bowler Liam Toohill found early success by clean bowling one batsman, but the Sturminster top order remained watchful and punished any wayward deliveries.

That, plus a more even pitch, took its toll on the Bridport unit with bowling and fielding errors becoming more frequent.

Rodney Gay managed to snag a second Sturminster wicket late in their innings to gain his team an extra point, though this was a rare positive in what was an uncharacteristically lacklustre fielding performance.

Captain Duane Gay has called for more fight from his men when they travel to Hamworthy Recreation Seconds on Saturday.