DORCHESTER 234-5 (18pts) beat SHERBORNE 228-7 (7pts) by five wickets

A LOFTED six from stand-in captain Dan Belt saw Dorchester cross the line in spectacular fashion to beat Sherborne by five wickets in the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League.

With usual captain James Dunham absent, Belt stepped in and guided his team to a satisfying victory that saw them chase down a solid 229 target set by Sherborne.

As a result, Dorchester now sit fifth in the table during the early stages of the season after the victory that was sealed with just one ball left.

Eral Anderson was the highest scorer for the home side, hitting 73 and was only run out in the dying stages of the game, while Simon Mitchem went close to a half-century with a knock of 46.

The home side won the toss, elected to field first and had almost immediate success when opener Ryan Monk (2) went with just two runs on the board after being caught by Rob Nobbs off a Belt (1-15) delivery.

However, Sherborne responded well to the early setback.

Adam Smith (44) and Marc Lock (97) then put together a fruitful partnership before the former went, this time with Belt catching from a Nobbs (1-38) delivery.

Lock, who was not out despite coming to the crease with just two runs on the board, had a superb run with the bat and fell just three runs short of a century.

It was not until Emlyn Kuhn (35) was dismissed with 149 runs on the board, from a Jack Owens catch, that Sherborne began to stutter in their order, as the home side began to whittle through their order more effectively.

Craig Jones was soon bowled by Jamie Barrett (1-58) just six runs later, as the visitors failed to find another, truly effective partnership.

Shane Pulling (5) was run out to make it 166-5, before Charlie Taylor (5) and Tim Durston (22) fell as the visitors ended their innings at 228-7.

Dorchester got off to a good start, with Jim Ryall (22) and Owens (36) lifting the score to 56-0 before the latter was stumped by Richard Carter from a Paul Hancock (2-24) delivery.

Ryall went soon after, trapped lbw by Hancock as Dorchester began to stumble at 65-2.

Mike Peak (7) then went six runs later, bowled by Kuhn.

However, this brought into play the partnership of Anderson and Mitchem who put victory in sight for the county town team.

Mitchem secured his knock of 46 before he was trapped lbw by Durston (1-49), with the score a much-healthier 175-4.

With time running out, overeagerness by Anderson saw him run out in the very late stages of the match.

However, Belt ensured any worries were firmly dismissed with a centrally lofted six to secure the victory in style.

After the match, Belt said it was good to have chased down a 200-plus target and praised his squad for everyone doing their job.

He said: “With last week’s disappointment (a 45-run loss to Broadstone) to chase down over 200, with wickets in hand as well, I know there was only one ball left.

“Everyone did their job, we won the toss and elected to bowl first on an overcast kind of humid, lunch time and we got off to a great start. I think they were 38-1 off 19 or 20 overs.

“For them to get to 228 was a little bit disappointing, the spinners probably did not bowl as well as they have done. Again, dropped catches probably cost us a few runs.

“But it is a very good wicket and teams are going to hit runs against us, but we were confident to chase down a total.”

Discussing standing in as captain for the day, Belt said: “It is alright, I have had the experience before. It is an easy bunch to captain, everyone knows their role so it is nice to come in to that kind of role.

“Even when Dunham is here I kind of give him a helping hand.

“I think we have got a good balance of experience and some youngsters and having to captain that kind of team is quite an easy job.”

When asked if there were some nerves when Anderson got out late on, Belt replied: “No, the over before we had got 10 or 11 off it so it left us with six or eight to win off the last over. It was probably an unnecessary run to take to run himself out but we back ourselves to do the job.

“Eral and Simon did a great partnership in the middle and got us into the game.

“We were in the game anyway but they got us through into a position where we could push on if need be with wickets in hand.”

Dorchester travel to rock-bottom Stalbridge, who have taken just 10 points, on Saturday.


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