DORCHESTER 236-8 (19pts) beat SHERBORNE 225-9 (12pts) by 11 runs

DORCHESTER squeezed past Sherborne by 11 runs in a high-quality Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League encounter at the Rec.

Victory over a previously unbeaten Sherborne helped Dorchester extend their lead at the top of the table to 16 points after Martinstown lost at Poole Town.

However, Sherborne could close the gap to Dorchester to just seven points should they win their game in hand over the reigning champions.

Following a rare loss against Bere Regis, Dorchester have now recorded two successive wins over in-form Martinstown and Sherborne.

And, with fixtures against struggling Christchurch and Cattistock & Symene to come, the county town outfit look well-placed to end the first half of the season at the league’s summit.

READ MORE: Dorchester beat Martinstown in derby to go top

Amid warm conditions ideal for batting, Dunham won the toss and chose to bat but lost Jim Ryall (8) to a corking delivery from Dorset seamer Rob Wigley (2-59).

Wigley, who had helped Dorset beat Cornwall last Sunday, was surprisingly off-key during the contest.

His pace bowling proved erratic with six wides and five no-balls and went at well above six-an-over as the Dorchester batsmen tucked into the many short balls he offered up.

Instead it was his captain and teammate Josh Lawrence – tipped for a Dorset call-up – who hampered Dorchester.

The former Somerset Seconds man, more renowned for his batting, recorded economical figures of 2-18 and accounted for Jon Legg (16) and Eral Anderson (20).

At 73-3, Dorchester needed a strong partnership to help get them towards a par score of around 220.

They duly found one as Dorset all-rounder James Caldwell (51) and Simon Mitchem (41) constructed a crucial 101-stand.

Mitchem played patiently in his 82-ball knock as Caldwell proved the more fluent scorer, reaching fifty off 51 balls.

However, his innings was ended by a run-out two balls later and Mitchem’s wicket shortly afterwards left Dorchester on 193-5.

Late contributions from Jack Owens (10), Dan Belt (12) and Dan Morris (14no) helped Dorchester set a competitive 236-8, including a mammoth 55 extras.

Lawrence, in reply, had Dorchester worried as he dominated the visitors’ scoring.

While the normally aggressive Emyln Kuhn struggled for two runs off 27 balls, Lawrence crashed the ball to all parts and was on 42 by the time Kuhn departed, trapped lbw by Belt (2-44).

Caldwell (2-34) removed Marc Lock (12) and Mark Roca (19) in an effective spell but Lawrence had long since raced to his half-century.

His supreme knock included 11 fours and three sixes, reaching a stunning century in the 31st over from just 95 balls.

However, after Mitchem (1-37) ousted Mike Kennedy (18), Lawrence charged down the wicket to Legg (1-49) and was stumped to leave Sherborne on 164-5.

With nine overs still remaining to score 73 runs, the chase was still very much on.

Shane Pulling (38) smeared six fours in 29 balls and was ably assisted by Craig Jones (17) as the duo took the visitors to within 17 runs of victory with two overs left.

However, when Jones was run out, Pulling was snaffled by Ryall off Belt – a wicket that broke Sherborne’s resistance.

Dunham (2-25) picked up two wickets in the final over as Sherborne ultimately fell 11 runs short on 225-9.

Speaking to Echosport, Dunham said: “After last week we built that platform again, all of our batsmen scored runs and we ticked over.

“220 would’ve been a good score, so getting mid-230s we were happy with that midway.

“We knew that we needed to take early wickets and that Josh Lawrence was really important.

“Josh batting amazingly, he’s a great player. Credit to Josh but as soon as we got him out the game changed.

“They were always there or thereabouts for the whole 45 overs, it was just a good game of cricket.”

Dorchester will now look to extend their league lead in their next two games against the current two bottom sides.

He said: “We’re really happy, we’re going into our last two games of the first half of the season top of the league.

“May was a hard month but we’ve had a chance to show our ability with bat and ball.

“We’ve come up against good players and shown our ability – James Caldwell batted very well and Dan Belt bowled very well.

“We’re a happy club at the moment.”

Elsewhere, Dorchester Seconds lost their top-of the-table County Division Two clash at Blandford by 52 runs.

There was better news for Dorchy’s third team as a sublime 130 from Devon Derrien helped sink Cattistock & Symene Thirds by 132 runs.


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