SHERBORNE 134-6 (19pts) beat MARTINSTOWN 133 (5pts) by four wickets

MARTINSTOWN suffered another batting migraine at Sherborne as the hosts claimed a four-wicket win in the Dorset Funeral Plan Premier League.

Since 2014, Town have not scored more than 162 at the Terrace – although two of their six innings resulted in victories in that period.

However, in the context of this season Martinstown’s already slim hopes of becoming Dorset champions now look extinguished with a 45-point gap to leaders Dorchester.

Sherborne won without runs from captain Josh Lawrence, leading runscorer in the county with 727, who did not bat with just 134 needed for victory.

Stand-in Town skipper Will Maltby won the toss and batted first but the visitors were reduced to 60-5 as Lawrence (2-30) and Andy Nurton (2-22) caused early damage.

George Pope (21) and Fraser Hill (30) shared 42 for the sixth wicket as the latter crunched two big sixes and a four.

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When Roger Parfitt (3-24) bowled both men, Town were grateful to John Stewart (13) and Nathan McNab (12) for getting them past 125 and another batting point.

Martinstown were then dismissed for 133 before making a good fist of the defence.

John Stewart (2-17) struck early to oust Mark Roca (1) leg before but a fluent knock from Craig Jones threatened to finish the game quickly.

Sherborne had cruised to 92-1 until Marc Lock (28) was run out by Hill.

Jones notched his half-century but Stewart bowled Mike Kennedy (7) soon after.

Three wickets then fell for just nine runs with Sherborne still five runs short of victory, Jamie Stewart (2-25) removing Jones for a well-crafted 68 including nine fours and two sixes.

It was left to Parfitt (5no) to hit the winning runs as Sherborne moved above Town into third place, 11 points the gap.

Speaking to Echosport, Maltby said: “We didn’t start very well up top and we never really recovered.

“Fraser and George had a little partnership in the middle but it didn’t really get us to where we needed to be.

“Our starts from batting to bowling were just not good enough if we wanted to win the game.”

On the bowling display, Maltby added: “Their opener and number three had a good partnership but, as soon as we broke that, wickets just kept coming.

“At the end of the day, 133 isn’t enough on quite a good deck and fast outfield.”

Martinstown Seconds beat Sherborne Seconds by 99 runs in County Division Three.