MARTINSTOWN 97-4 (6pts) v DORCHESTER (7pts) – match abandoned due to rain

RAIN intervened as Martinstown’s derby with Dorchester at Lower Ashton Farm eventually proved to be a washout.

Only 25 overs of the Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One contest were possible.

Martinstown’s stand-in skipper Ed Nichols won the toss and chose to bat despite the threat of inclement weather.

That provided Dorchester with a chance to shine with the ball – and the visitors did so.

Dorchester, who have lost talismanic all-rounder Dan Belt to retirement, seem to have found a capable replacement in James Caldwell.

Tasked with opening the bowling in each of Dorchester’s three games so far, Caldwell’s latest exploits steamrollered Martinstown’s top order.

Bowling with control and finding plenty of movement, Caldwell took a dazzling 4-5 from eight overs, proving almost unplayable as Dorchester strangled their hosts early on.

The weight of dot balls proved too much for Sean Williams, who was castled by Caldwell for a 20-ball duck.

Ed Nichols (6) nicked one behind to wicketkeeper Nick Roe for Caldwell’s second before Tao White and Teddy Andrews (both 0) departed in successive balls.

Caldwell bowled through his overs, Dorchester captain James Dunham (0-12) also bowling tidily as Martinstown limped to 20-4.

However, with drizzle now falling, Martinstown got back into the game as Dorchester’s bowlers struggled to grip an increasingly slippery ball, with off-spinner Ben Thompson hauled off by the umpires for bowling too many dangerous deliveries.

Young debutant Finlay Williams (30no) batted with great maturity and, along with the strokeplay of Tom Pope (45no), the duo put on 77 for the fifth wicket before play was finally halted.

Speaking to Echosport, Nichols said: “Within five overs of starting it was already drizzling, so you were fighting a losing battle.

“It got to the point where the ball was pulling up in the outfield, bowlers can’t grip it, you’ve got bowlers getting dragged off, it just descended to the point where it wasn’t worth pressing on.”

Meanwhile, Dunham praised the superb display from Caldwell.

He said: “James can’t do anything wrong at the minute.

“It feels like he’s on a different field at the moment, he’s class.

“He just makes it look very easy, he makes the ball move and he’s taking wickets. He’s probably enjoying his cricket as much as he ever has.”


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