DORCHESTER Cricket Club has had a big upgrade, as they unveiled their new electronic scoreboard with a T20 ‘friendly’ against their oldest rivals.

Dorchester, the reigning Dorset Premier League champions, hosted Weymouth to mark the occasion, as the club aims to host future Dorset county fixtures.

Weymouth dismissed their hosts for 60, winning by eight wickets, to prove party poopers.

The scoreboard was funded thanks to donations from sponsors, supporters and other local businesses.

Club captain James Dunham said: “This is something we felt we needed to improve our facilities. We want to attract more Dorset County Cricket to Dorchester Cricket Club and this will definitely help.

“A big thank you to all our sponsors and everyone who helped raise money, especially Mark Adams, who raised £600.

“It just shows how much of a community club this is. You only have to look at the pictures to see how many of our All Stars and sponsors were involved, it was brilliant to see.”

On the fact that cricket was now returning like many other sports, Mr Dunham added: “Yeah, it’s great to be back. To all the boys and spectators and everything it’s obvious how much it means to you when it is taken away for so long.

“We have just focused on safety and making sure we get it right because that’s the most important thing for us.”

The evening started with an address by the club chairman, followed by words from Dorchester Mayor, Cllr Richard Biggs.

Cllr Biggs said: “It was great to do an outdoor event and doing something positive, visiting a championship-winning club, it’s been so long since we had much to smile about.

“The club has some really enthusiastic people behind the scenes and it was great to see the new electronic scoreboard bringing them to the county-level tier.

“I’m sure it will put them in good stead for years to come.

“What was great to see was the young players there and the girl players, always the sport has been seen as white male dominated but it was great to see the youngsters and to see how positive and inclusive it was.”

In front of a crowd well into triple figures, the hosts batted first with Will Caldwell clipping off-spinner Harry Mitchell past mid-wicket to get the new display ticking.

But Dorchester, the reigning Dorset Premier League champions, soon struggled as Weymouth dominated the T20 friendly.

Tight bowling from captain Lloyd Beals (0-3) and Sami Rathnayake (0-17) created pressure on the top order as the run rate stuttered.

Caldwell (5), busy at the crease, slapped an attempted quick single to mid-off, only for Neil Walton to fire a direct run-out.

On a spin-friendly pitch, Beals then opted for leg-spinner Shafeek Urumancheri (3-17), who further asphyxiated the Dorchester batsmen.

Bowling one of his best spells for the Seasiders, the Indian used dip, flight and considerable turn to have Rhys Cole (1) stumped by Dave Blackman.

Urumancheri’s quicker ball then accounted for new signing Seb Carty (10), who chipped a poor ramp shot straight to Rathnayake on the 45.

Weymouth then thought their star leg-spinner had Simon Mitchem (22) caught behind, but loud appeals were turned down by the umpires.

Mitchem went on to smash four boundaries until Mitchell (4-20) returned to tempt the all-rounder into a slog sweep to Walton at cow corner for 41-4.

Weymouth’s fielding was superb throughout and Walton pouched a powerful drive at mid-off from Jamie Barrett (3) as Urumancheri struck again.

Wickets tumbled as Mitchell clean bowled Nick Roe (3) before Walton (2-3) castled Josh Richardson (8) for 54-7.

Josh Foot (1) and former Bournemouth youngster Ben Thompson (0) fell to Mitchell before Beals caught Joe Power (1) off Walton to dismiss Dorchester for a tiny 60 all out.

Weymouth openers Joe James and Blackman batted fluently in reply, as off-spinners Thompson (0-13) and Barrett (0-9) failed to match the significant role the visitors’ slow bowlers had played.

James (26) impressed with a series of crunching cover drives, while Blackman (19no) lofted a gorgeous six over deep cover as Weymouth cruised to 58-0.

James was then stumped attempting to seal victory, while Kevin Tissera (0) was well caught by a retreating Thompson at mid-wicket, Power (2-14) claiming both scalps.

Power then sent down a wide to fine leg, Weymouth running through to complete a stunning win.


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