CRANBORNE 84 (2pts) lost to BEAMINSTER 85-4 (18pts) by six wickets

BEAMINSTER continued their charge at the summit of County Division Two with a superb six-wicket victory at Cranborne.

The manner of the win for Ross Baker’s men was nearly symmetrical with that of the eight-wicket loss to Witchampton last weekend, with the Witches bowling Beaminster out for 71.

Beaminster, who bowled first to capitalise on the uncontested toss rule, initially tied the Cranes down with tight bowling from the in-form Daniel Swift (2-11) and fellow seamer Nick Hollely (0-6).

First change bowler Baker maintained the squeeze before Simon Jones (4-17) removed openers Oliver Hand (19) and David Dawkins (5) with a quick double strike as the hosts reached 29-2.

Jones went on to claim a further two victims, while Baker (3-37) also eroded the Cranes’ batting line-up.

Only the big-hitting Marc Harris (31), who bludgeoned two sixes and two fours, provided any resistance as Swift mopped up the tail, Cranborne having lost all 10 wickets in the space of 56 runs, closing on 84 all out.

In reply, Beaminster had a brief scare as the impressive Hand (4-16) threatened to take the game to the wire in reducing the away side to 43-4.

However, Swift (16no) and Jones (16no) steadied the visitors and constructed an unbeaten 42-run stand to guide Beaminster to their seventh win of the season.

Beaminster now lead Witchampton by two points, with Puddletown eight points behind in third.

Speaking to Echosport, Baker praised his bowlers for setting up the win.

He said: “I think having the uncontested toss gives the away team a bit of an advantage sometimes. We knew the conditions weren’t going to be easy for batting, particularly with the new ball.

“I thought our bowling was spot on, all four bowlers didn’t give them anything easy to hit, there were hardly any loose deliveries.

“We didn’t want to be chasing too many and I thought we chased well. It was a good all-round performance and a good way to bounce back after that defeat last week.”

In the build-up to the victory, Beaminster held their cricket week and defeated North Perrott and Wye Rustics but lost to touring side Big Hammer and Beaminster FC either side of the Cranborne win.

Beaminster Ladies also enjoyed success at the week-long event, winning their tournament in which a softer ball was used.

Beaminster host Parley Seconds on Saturday (1.30pm).


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