BERKSHIRE 301 lead DORSET 31-2 by 270 runs

DORSET are on the back foot after a testing first day of their NCCA Championship Western Division One meeting at reigning champions Berkshire.

Berkshire won the toss and elected to bat at Finchampstead but soon found themselves 22-3 when left-arm seamers Brad Currie (3-58) and Ben Fletcher (2-33) made early inroads.

Dan Lincoln (59), who signed a pro deal with Middlesex in 2020, took the fight to Dorset with six fours and a six, backed up by the more obdurate Archie Carter (64).

The duo shared 98 before Currie and Fletcher removed the big-hitting Lincoln and relative Josh Lincoln (19) to leave Berkshire on 148-5.

By comparison, Carter dug in for his half-century only to become the only victim for left-arm spinner Rob Pack (1-68).

Andy Rishton then cashed in on the game situation with Berkshire needing to accelerate towards the end of their 90 overs.

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The all-rounder smacked 74 from 94 balls, with seven boundaries and a six, but perished to James Trodd (3-66) who claimed another two late wickets.

Josh Digby (1-32) took the final scalp as Berkshire were dismissed for 301, failing to use 2.2 overs.

Sixteen overs were possible after the change of innings and Dorset lost in-form Oli Soames (4) and Digby (5) to leave the innings in early peril.

Skipper Luke Webb (14no) and Alex Eckland then negotiated 19 consecutive dot balls to limit the damage at 31-2 going into the second day.