PORTLAND RT 265-5 (8pts) lost to MARNHULL 268-6 (17pts) by four wickets

PORTLAND Red Triangle crashed to a four-wicket loss against Marnhull in County Division One – despite piling on more than 200 for the first wicket.

Matt Randell’s men were in total control at 205-0 as Callan Laws struck a magnificent century, supported by 70 from his skipper.

However, Laws followed soon after for 110 and Portland’s eventual total of 265-5 was surpassed by Marnhull’s aggressive batting, getting them home with more than five overs remaining.

Such a result would have been hard to imagine when Portland clocked up a huge opening stand despite losing the toss.

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Randell and Laws serenely made half-centuries, with Laws in particularly good form and able to display his full array of strokeplay.

With Randell safely past 50, Laws built up to 99 where he was made to wait for his century when Henry Dimmack bowled a wide before offering the chance for Laws to scamper a single for his ton.

Marnhull used six bowlers in a bid to break the remarkable double-century stand but their first wicket came courtesy of a run out as Randell fell victim to Edwin Ralph’s throw.

Laws then went for 110 having struck 12 fours and four maximums, holing out off Ashley Young (3-30).

And Young worked around 26 for Dave Adkins in taking two more wickets, while Marnhull claimed another run out as they did a brilliant job of preventing Portland from reaching a score near 300.

Marnhull’s target was set at 266 and Dimmack went off at a blistering pace, supported by sibling Arthur (13).

Although Randell (1-51) bowled the latter, Henry rocketed to 50 and was stumped by Adkins for 71 off just 36 balls as the off-spin of Jack Marsh (1-50) struck.

Rich Samuel (3-44) chipped in with the wickets of Danny Harkin (7) and Paul Woodrow to leave Marnhull on 120-4, but Young was inspired by Henry Dimmack.

The Marnhull skipper blasted his own half-century, scoring ten fours in his 99-run stand with Hein Basson before he was stumped by Adkins off Jon Cameron (1-44).

In an innings akin to a cricketing relay, Basson then picked up the baton and crunched an unbeaten 61 from 63 balls, including six fours and a maximum, as Marnhull sailed to victory with 35 balls remaining.

Speaking to Echosport, Randell said: “We probably should’ve kicked on and made a few more than 265.

“Certainly, when you put on 205 for the first wicket, to only then make 60 on top of that was disappointing.

“We didn’t play with as much freedom as we would like to, probably because past five or six we’re struggling.”

On Laws’ knock, Randell said: “He batted really well. He’s one of those players you don’t often get to see in full flow but when he is in full flow it’s an absolute treat to watch.

“It was nice to be at the other end, I was there for his hundred – he just played a class hand.”

Portland visit Compton House tomorrow (1.30pm).