SHERBORNE 109 (4pts) lost to DORCHESTER 110-6 (18pts) by four wickets

DORCHESTER retaliated to last weekend’s nine-wicket loss to Broadstone with a low-scoring four-wicket dismissal of rivals Sherborne in their top-of-the-table clash at the Terrace.

The Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League leaders will have been hugely satisfied with the win and now sit 10 points above Poole Town in second, Sherborne 24 points off the pace in fourth.

Throughout the season, Dorchester’s ability to bowl quality opposition out cheaply has been a hallmark of their journey to the top of the standings.

And the league’s frontrunners delivered another superb display following stand-in skipper Dan Belt’s decision to bowl first.

A patient start was required as opener Josh Lawrence cracked 26 from 22 balls, however, when James Caldwell (1-25) bowled him, the floodgates opened.

From 34-0, Sherborne stuttered to 43-3 as Belt (2-30) accounted for Luke Hancock (8) and opposing captain Marc Lock (1).

Emlyn Kuhn (20) revived the hosts’ innings but, when he perished to the economical Josh Richardson (3-15), Sherborne again wobbled badly.

Kuhn’s departure at 61-4 sparked a further loss of four more batsmen for 21 runs as spinner Jack Walkett (3-25) reinforced Richardson’s good work.

Despite a defiant 23 not out from Richard Carter, Dorchester wrapped up Sherborne’s innings for 109.

Will Caldwell (21) and Jack Owens (18) guided Dorchester to 41-0 in reply but both openers perished without adding to the county town’s total.

It took gritty knocks from Simon Mitchem (32no off 87) and Eral Anderson (19 off 62) to move Dorchester into a winning position, although Tim Durston (2-32) briefly threatened.

Belt (3) and Mike Peak (0) followed for 105-6, but Dorchester were by that time nearly home and duly clinched an important win with 13.4 overs remaining.

Speaking to Echosport, Belt said: “It didn’t have that feeling of top against second.

“After last week’s loss we had a light-hearted approach and said ‘let’s just go out and enjoy it’.

“We picked up some regular wickets and bowling a team out for 109 you’re going to be happy.

“Will and Jack got us off to a great start and then Eral and Mitchem got us to 90-odd but it was enough to see us over the line and pick up 18 crucial points against second in the league and go further away from them.

“The wicket was not easy at all so to lose six wickets to win (before) the game you’d have been happy.

“I’m very pleased with how everyone reacted to last week.”

Dorchester host bottom side Stalbridge on Saturday (1pm).