PUDDLETOWN 191 (6pts) lost to POOLE TOWN 323-4 (20pts) by 132 runs

PUDDLETOWN slid to their heaviest defeat of the Dorset Premier League season with a 132-run reverse to title-chasing Poole Town at Plush.

With the Plush wicket showing up invitingly for batting, it was no surprise when Poole opted to bat when winning the toss.

Young seamer James Morris (1-37) made an early breakthrough for Puddletown by bowling Jamie Bennett (2) but Poole’s batting unit soon took over.

Dorset Over-50s opener Alex Allum contributed 42 to the score before his stumps were disturbed by left-arm spinner Rob Snow (1-49).

READ MORE: Puddletown break Premier League duck by beating Cattistock & Symene

However, Poole’s third wicket stand proved a mighty force in the game as Badrul Alam and Jordan Betts cut loose on a small ground.

Despite few of Poole’s players having experienced Plush, they were unfazed by their surroundings and duly piled on the pressure to Puddletown’s bowlers.

Betts eventually fell for a well-made 86 and he was followed after Danny van Niekerk’s rapid 31 – although both batters were dismissed by Ryan Norman (2-75).

There was no doubt as to the innings of the day, though, as Alam charged to a scintillating unbeaten 129, ensuring Poole scored an enormous 323-4 from their 50 overs.

Puddletown have been happy to steadily accumulate runs in their first foray into Premier League life and unsurprisingly here they found the going tough against Poole’s quality bowling attack.

Openers Snow (17) and Reegan Norman (20) gave the hosts a solid platform to build on, while new signing Gordon Wint (4) went cheaply as Poole made inroads.

Puddle skipper Adam Barrett and all-rounder Adam Weir (43) proved irritating for Poole with a sizeable stand for the fourth wicket until the latter fell to Rich Armstrong (2-38).

Barrett did manage to reach his half-century but he ran out of partners as the Puddletown lower order collapsed, Joe Wilson snaring 2-32.

Barrett (63) was the last man to depart, caught off Scott Bellamy (2-27) as Poole completed an ominous maximum-point win to strengthen their third spot in the table.

Speaking to Echosport, Barrett said: “They chose to bat on a really firm Plush pitch. The sun they’ve had benefitted the wicket and it was a good toss to win.

“They’ve really taken advantage of that by piling on a big score. I don’t think we necessarily bowled too badly, just credit to their batters.

“Wherever we seemed to bowl, they found ways to score runs. Badrul finished 129 not out and I don’t think he gave us a chance, either.

“Obviously, when you’re playing these top teams they’ve got batters at that level. We’ve tried our best but they were good value for that score.”

Barrett added: “The reality is that to score 320 against any team is going to take some doing, let alone Poole who are the best bowling unit in the league.

“It was a case of scoring as many as we could and pick up points along the way. We were delighted to finish on 191 which is four of the five batting points.

“So, to walk away with six points from a game that in all honesty we never looked like winning, is not too bad a return.

“Unfortunately, there are going to be times where playing for points is going to definitely be a factor and that was the case this weekend.”

On new signing Wint, Barrett said: “It happened last week when I away, he just fancied a change (from Martinstown).

“He’s a good player and we’re delighted to have him at Puddletown. Hopefully he can score lots of runs for us for the rest of the season.”