DORCHESTER 112-2 (20pts) beat BROADSTONE 110 (2pts) by eight wickets

DORCHESTER continued their stay at the summit of the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League with a simple eight-wicket win over Broadstone at a sun-baked Dorchester Rec.

After Poole Town also collected 20 points in an identical win at Christchurch, the gap between the two title-chasers remains seven points with five games remaining.

For Dorchester, their eighth league win of the season was never in doubt after stand-in captain Dan Belt – covering for the self-isolating James Dunham – claimed three quick wickets.

Ex-Dorset all-rounder Belt bowled superbly, taking 3-11 from his nine overs including six maidens, to remove Tom Brookes (0), Charlie Groves (4) and Ed Jack (21).

James Caldwell (1-26) had earlier bowled Simon Leadbeater (2) as Broadstone were reduced to 47-4.

Worse was to follow as Dorset left-arm spinner Jon Legg (4-24) breezed through the middle order, cutting the visitors down to 68-8.

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Owen Parkin (27no) and Matty Whittle (18) did provide a sting in the tail but off-spinner Jamie Barrett (2-21) scooped the last two wickets up as Broadstone were dismissed for 110.

In reply, Dorchester knew they could afford to lose three wickets in chasing their target down as Dan Morris and Jim Ryall took the hosts to 46-0.

Morris (22) offered a catch off Parkin (1-24) but new batsman Eral Anderson cashed in on some wayward bowling, crunching eight boundaries to move Dorchester close to victory.

Ryall lofted leg-spinner Tommy Jack (1-18) to mid-off but Dorchester were never seriously troubled as the hosts closed out a regulation win.

Speaking to Echosport, Belt said: “We weren’t worried about losing the toss and bowling.

“We knew with our bowling attack we had the chance to bowl a team out low anyway, we back ourselves to bowl teams out in those conditions.

“We didn’t give anything away. I had 3-11 with six maidens and Jon Legg had 4-24, he bowled really well and there was a bit of turn for him.

“The same with Rob Nobbs, he bowled nice and tidy.

“It was a good all-round performance taking the heat into consideration. We stuck to the task and got the job done.”

On the batting, Belt added: “It was a little bonus they got to 100 runs because it meant we could lose three wickets without losing any points.

“Dan and Jim had a steady little partnership, Dan got a decent ball off Owen and then Eral punished the bad balls to get us over the line.”

Dorchester Seconds lost by 20 runs at Broadstone Seconds in County Division Two, while Dorchester Thirds went down by seven wickets at Blandford Seconds in County Division Five North & West.