PORTLAND RT 272-3 (18pts) beat STALBRIDGE 271-7 (6pts) by seven wickets

PORTLAND Red Triangle displayed their fearsome batting power by chasing down 272 to beat Stalbridge in a County Division One run-feast at Reforne.

Stalbridge won the toss, chose to bat and were instantly setting a strong pace despite the run out of Will Coleman (5).

Simon Sweatman (43) and Neil Ford (30) pushed Stalbridge on but wickets for Simon Proffitt (2-28), Rich Samuel (2-50) and Jack Marsh (1-36) reduced the visitors to 108-4.

Batting on a good surface, George Coleman then struck a marvellous 113 from 83 balls to cash in on the conditions and help set a challenging total.

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Coleman whacked 18 fours and three maximums, scoring the majority of a 137-run stand with Andy Dike (34).

Portland skipper Matt Randell (1-39) eventually prised Coleman out and further wickets for Proffitt and Samuel helped restrict Stalbridge to 271-7.

However, Portland were in sensational form with the bat themselves, rebuilding and then accelerating after losing Proffitt (13) and Izaak Russell (0) cheaply to Ben Pattle (2-50).

Samuel, promoted to opener, and Randell set upon the Stalbridge attack in a devastating 194-run stand.

Both batters passed 50 but Randell (112) kicked into an extra gear, smearing 13 boundaries and five sixes in his 87-ball century.

He was eventually dismissed lbw by left-arm unorthodox spin from Dike (1-45) to leave Portland well advanced at 228-3.

And Samuel (84no) was able to guide Portland to a first home victory of the season alongside Tim Forshaw (18no) as the hosts impressively cruised home with 25 balls to spare.

Speaking to Echosport, Randell said: “It’s nice to get a home win. We felt quite positive about chasing.

“I don’t think it was really enough on that pitch. The only thoughts we had were that we were a bit light on batting, so let’s make sure we get the job done in that top order.

“It was a good pitch, the outfield was quick and with short boundaries – I don’t think 270 was enough.”

On his stand with Samuel, Randell added: “He was fantastic. We gave him the opportunity to open the batting and he played really well.

“Nice and steady, we just felt confident with him down at that end that he was going to get the job done.

“Even when I got out there was 50 left but we didn’t panic and Rich made sure he saw us home.

“That was nice to get hundred, the boys have been talking for quite a while about it being two, maybe three seasons since I last hit a hundred!

“It was nice to actually get one and make sure it was one that contributed to us winning the game, as well.”

Portland host Swanage at Reforne today (1.30pm).