PORTLAND RT 131 (5pts) lost to MARTINSTOWN 134-4 (20pts) by six wickets

MARTINSTOWN inflicted a six-wicket defeat on Portland Red Triangle as the islanders once more suffered a sudden batting collapse in Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One.

Portland were looking to exploit their home ground Reforne for a return to their aggressive, quick-scoring batting philosophy.

However, after easing to 118-3, Portland lost seven wickets for 13 runs as Martinstown demolished the middle and lower order.

Sam Kershaw’s men then cruised home for the loss of only four wickets.

Portland’s defeat was less severe than the eight-wicket loss at Bere Regis last time out, although it occurred in near identical circumstances.

In that game, Matt Randell’s troops had been 64-4 until Bere blitzed their line-up to dismiss Triangle for 69.

Determined to reverse his team’s fate, Randell (18) smashed four boundaries from 12 balls until Matt Rimmer (3-28) bowled the Portland captain.

When Rimmer also castled fellow dangerman Chris Leake (8) and Callan Laws (0) in two balls, Portland were wobbling at 30-3.

It took a positive 88-run stand between Ryan Price (24) and Chris Theakstone to revive Portland’s innings.

Theakstone was in especially belligerent mood, with 60 of his 64 runs – 12 fours and two maximums – coming in boundaries.

Nathan McNab (2-20) trapped Price lbw to begin the giant collapse, before Cameron Midgley offered a catch off McNab to Will Maltby.

Portland wicketkeeper Theakstone then charged at youngster Charlie Durant (4-43), Ed Nichols completing the stumping, as Portland lost three wickets with the score on 118.

Spin talent Durant had little trouble in sweeping through Portland’s tail as the hosts were dismissed for 131 – their last seven wickets falling in six overs.

Martinstown opener Sean Williams (13) went early in the Villagers’ reply as youngster Tom Hinde (1-26) struck.

The classy Nichols rebuilt with Tao White (28), sharing 48 until Portland took two quick wickets.

Off-spinner Jack Marsh (2-22) made the breakthroughs, snaring White and Teddy Andrews (0) as Martinstown reached 74-3.

Nichols (40) continued to accumulate freely and fell short of what would have been a deserved 50 when Jon Cameron (1-22) bowled him at 122-4.

But Martinstown needed just 10 runs for a victory which was comfortably completed by Maltby (24no) and Fraser Hill (7no).

Speaking to Echosport, winning captain Kershaw said: “Matt took three quick wickets but they had quite a good partnership in the middle which took them up to drinks at 118-3.

“I had a bit of a rant and some choice words because 118-3 after 18 overs you’re staring at potentially 250.

“Then six overs later they were all out for 131 – they just batted like idiots and we only bowled five extras as well, which I was pretty happy with.

“Ed and Sean got us off to a solid start. Ed anchored the innings for 40 and there were a few runs from Tao – Will finished it off.

“It was nice to play at a hard ground. It’s a hard ground to keep teams under big totals.

“It’s enjoyable at the moment. The pressure’s off a little bit and we can try different things. Hopefully carry on for Dorchester.”

Home skipper Randell admitted his team “lost wickets too freely” in adopting their positive approach.

He said: “It was obviously not ideal. We were hoping to pile on the runs playing at home and certainly it felt like we were going to quite early.

“We got off to quite a quick start which is what we’re always looking to do – apply pressure onto the opposition.

“On another day, either myself or Chris (Leake) would’ve stayed in and scored a few more. Unfortunately that didn’t happen and we struggled for a couple of overs from there.

“But then Chris (Theakstone) and Ryan batted really well in the middle and continued the positive style. We just lost wickets too freely.

“That’s the danger when you want to play that positive brand of cricket – sometimes it’s not going to pull off.”

Reflecting on the flurry of dismissals, Randell admitted his team could’ve batted more conservatively.

“There were times when we could’ve put an anchor on and just soaked up pressure rather than trying to apply it to them,” he said.

“That will just come with experience for our middle order batsmen. They’ve been playing a lot but someone like Chris has only just started learning his own game and scoring a volume of runs for us.

“A bit more experience from him and Ryan would’ve made the difference in those middle overs.”

He added: “I thought we bowled really well, hit some good areas and made it difficult for them to chase.

“Our bowling unit is looking really strong at the moment.”