DORCHESTER 184-8 (20pts) beat PORTLAND RT 121 (6pts) by 63 runs

DORCHESTER continued their unbeaten streak in Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One with a 63-run victory over Portland Red Triangle at Dorch Rec.

While Dorchester’s win was not without a degree of discomfort, the way in which the reigning Premier League champions sealed the maximum 20 points was ominous.

With Portland well-placed on 85-4 chasing 185, all-rounder Simon Mitchem destroyed the islanders’ lower order with a stunning 5-10 from four overs.

Before succumbing to a fourth straight defeat of the shortened season – and a third major batting collapse – Portland had given Dorchester a genuine scare.

Wickets for Matt Randell (1-24) and Jon Cameron (2-33) sandwiched a Sam Mihell brace as only Eral Anderson (11) broke double figures in Dorchester’s top order.

With his side reeling at 39-4, James Caldwell came in, fresh from winning a call-up to the Dorset T20 squad.

He shared 47 with Will McKay (16) and later escorted the county town to 141-7 before he fell to Kiwi seamer Mihell (3-33) soon after reaching 50.

Dorchester scrapped away and scored valuable late runs via Josh Richardson (19), Ben Thompson (16no) and Nick Roe (15no).

However, Portland conceded a monster 44 extras to inadvertently help dig their opponents out of trouble.

Caldwell earned his county call with impressive bowling, and the former Sherborne School man displayed his growing reputation as a seamer once more.

He took 9-2 from six overs, ousting Dave Adkins (7) and Ryan Price (6) as Portland reached 22-2.

When Jamie Barrett (1-31) bowled the watchful Ollie Whisker (15) and Richardson (1-27) removed the attacking Cameron Midgley, Portland were 43-4.

Chris Theakstone (27) and Randell (29) batted in typically positive fashion but once the former was bowled by Thompson (1-25) the visitors were vulnerable to the pace of Mitchem.

Mitchem had Samuel (7) caught behind and bowled Matt Barrett (0) two balls later.

He then castled Randell and Mihell (0) in successive balls before claiming a rapid five-wicket haul as Simon Barrett (12) was pouched by Anderson to wrap up the victory.

Dorchester captain James Dunham praised Portland for their gutsy display.

He told Echosport: “To be fair, they played well. They were 85-4 and I guess they did what they’ve done the last few times.

“Simon came on at the end, went through their tail and James got 50.

“When you look at the threat of the other side, you obviously try to counter that to quieten their day down as much as possible so you can attack at the other end or target other bowlers.

“That’s exactly what we did. We were 39-4 batting first – we’d not batted first all year and we wanted to change it up a bit.

“It showed a lot of character and depth with our number 10 putting it on the bowlers – 185 was a good score.

“We took the tenth wicket on the last ball, so they couldn’t have taken it any deeper.

“Credit to Portland, they made us work hard for our wickets and it didn’t just happen.

“We had to work hard, field well and take our catches – they didn’t throw any wickets away. It was a really good game.”

Portland skipper Randell, who was hampered by a minor injury, said: “It was a much better all-round performance.

“Other weeks we’ve bowled OK and our batting’s really let us down but we certainly held our own in all three disciplines.

“We spoke at the start about trying to manufacture (chances). It was making sure we really capitalised on the moments we had.

“(Mitchem) bowled really well, he just bowled wicket to wicket. We were just trying to chase it from there and were a little behind on the rate. When you’re chasing it, if you miss, he’s going to hit.

“Ollie batted well at the top and tried to push our ones and twos as much as possible.”