PORTLAND RT 266-6 (20pts) beat STALBRIDGE 175 (8pts) by 91 runs

CHRIS Theakstone cracked a magnificent maiden century as Portland Red Triangle thumped Stalbridge at Reforne.

Theakstone helped Portland deal a huge blow to Stalbridge in their pursuit of County Division One leaders Puddletown.

The victory was based on Portland’s blueprint of aggressive batting in the first innings followed by tight bowling in the second.

Portland were reduced to 54-3 early on as Steve Forshaw (2-33) showed his experience.

But Dave Adkins (61) batted beautifully alongside Theakstone to take the game away from the visitors.

Adkins crashed eight fours and a six before he offered a return catch to Neil Ford (2-49).

Theakstone (104no) was the star, though, leaving it late to reach triple figures off 99 balls, his stunning innings containing 11 fours and three sixes.

READ MORE: Portland set for Beaminster clash - match preview

Ryan Price also added 30 runs from 24 balls as Portland posted 266-6 from 40 overs.

In reply, Portland used their spinners to good effect in the middle overs.

Portland skipper Matt Randell (3-19) was the pick, working around Chris Warne’s 42 before he pouched a return catch.

Portland’s discipline reduced Stalbridge to 95-6, with lower order batsmen Forshaw (36no), Toby Jeanes (21) and Kevin Forsey (14) proving resistant.

However, George Munro (2-46) picked up the latter two as Portland wrapped up a fourth straight win.

Randell told Echosport: “We know the pitch is going to be harder to bat on second up. The toss is always quite important.

“From there, batting-wise, it was making sure we applied ourselves. We went hard at them.”

On Theakstone, Randell added: “He batted really nicely. At one point I didn’t think he was going to get there.

“He went into his shell when he got close, but he’s shown his class over the last couple of seasons.

“It was really nice for him to kick on and get that first hundred under his belt.”

Portland visit Beaminster in league action today (1.30pm).