DORCHESTER 114-5 (19pts) beat SWANAGE 112 (3pts) by five wickets

DORCHESTER completed a crushing five-wicket win at Swanage in the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League to preserve their perfect start to the season.

Having won the toss and elected to bowl, Dorchester’s bowlers were again in punishing form, fresh from ripping through Stalbridge for 47 in the previous week.

Dan Belt (3-34) was the pick of the visitors’ attack, helping reduce the Swans to 60-4 by accounting for Mike Wells (9), Lewis Kirby (8) and Steve Kent (8).

A steady 43-run stand between Rob Hatchard (20) and skipper Ryan Norman (18) helped Swanage recover to 111-5.

However from there, the hosts were flattened as George Foot (3-0) and Josh Richardson (2-27) bulldozed through the tail, Swanage losing their last five wickets for just one run, closing on 112 all out with 13.5 overs remaining.

Dorchester had little trouble in seeing off the run chase, promoting Mike Peak (45no) to open with Belt, who scored a run-a-ball 21.

Overseas batsman Bharat Popli continued the assault to victory with 35 from 29 balls, including six fours.

Dorchester’s progress was checked slightly as Hatchard (2-30) claimed Eral Anderson (1) and Simon Mitchem (0) cheaply, while Ben Hodder (2-26) also bowled Will McKay (1) as three wickets fell for eight runs.

But, with four runs needed for victory, Peak saw Dorchester home with a mammoth 24 overs to spare, earning 19 points in the process.

Speaking to Echosport after the game, captain James Dunham felt his side had triumphed despite playing far from their capabilities.

He said: “The best thing about it was that we were nowhere near our best but we still came out with a win.

“We dropped a few catches but it’s not all going to be perfect. It will come in time, but we’re getting there.”

Dunham also highlighted several individual performances that had caught his eye.

“Dan bowled very well but unfortunately we bowled 25 extras of a 112 total – that’s quite a big chunk, but we are learning.

“Jack Walklett (1-24) bowled a really good spell and we always looked like we were going to take wickets. To go to Swanage and pick up 19 points, it’s great.

“Mike batted really well and got 45 not out and made it look very easy out there. It was good to see Bharat, he played very well, which was great.”

n The Brewhouse man-of-the-match is Mike Peak.


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