WEYMOUTH 136-6 beat CORFE MULLEN 134-8 by two runs

WEYMOUTH took glory in the Dorset T20 Trophy final with a tense two-run victory over Corfe Mullen at Hamworthy Club.

The Seasiders were grateful for star turns from big-hitting batter Manoj Somaratne (25no) and in-form off-spinner Harry Mitchell (3-12), defending a low total to lift the silverware.

Weymouth’s T20 skipper Lloyd Beals won the toss and chose to bat first on what looked a superb batting surface.

However, Corfe’s bowlers quickly exploited bounce and turn using the pink ball to make life difficult for the Weymouth batters, Brett Custard bowling beautifully for his 1-15 from four overs.

READ MORE: Weymouth score 151 in 15 overs to beat Shillingstone

Beals (7) and Neil Walton (12) both departed without scoring a boundary, either side of a valuable knock at the top of the order from Jack Sapsworth (24).

When he departed to Ben Bolt (2-24), Weymouth were stuck at five-an-over and needed a gritty innings from Jonny Armfield (31) to boost them through the middle overs.

With Corfe continuing to deploy their slow bowlers, Weymouth lost two further wickets including the crucial scalp of Armfield plus Mitchell (13) to Nigel Stannard (2-26).

The aggressive Tim Guyett (6) also fell cheaply but a sensational late innings from Somaratne, featuring three enormous sixes, pushed Weymouth to a competitive 136-6 from 20 overs.

In a dramatic start to Corfe’s chase, opening batter Chris Blake (8) was summoned to hospital after a family emergency and retired, causing a brief delay.

Weymouth bowler Adam Hoyes then conceded 23 from his only over but Beals (1-16) claimed the huge wicket of Sam Stroud (2) – the all-rounder having plundered 147 against Weymouth in June.

Corfe were effectively 30-2 as Weymouth began their fightback, turning to their slower bowlers to stem the tide of runs.

Walton and leg-spinner Shafeek Urumancheri (both 1-30) mixed their pace and length to good effect amid a barrage of fierce shots, before Mitchell steamed through Corfe’s middle order.

He collected the wickets of Dan Flooks (20) and Michael Jordan (27) as the duo looked set to take the game away from the Seasiders.

And Toby Shortland only lasted one ball as he fended off sharp turn from man-of-the-match Mitchell to an agile reaction catch from wicketkeeper Marco Nott.

Armfield (2-22) continued to squeeze Corfe’s batters with a superb spell, until the last-wicket pairing of Stannard and Custard (both 11no) threatened to claim a dramatic win.

Needing ten from Beals’ final over, a top edge flew over Nott, who claimed three catches in the match, and sailed for four after a single and a dot ball.

Corfe now required five from three balls but could only manage one, a dot and a leg bye as Beals held his nerve to clinch the trophy for Weymouth in a thrilling finale.

Speaking to Echosport, Beals said: “The collective effort from the squad for all fixtures and the respect I was shown by them, for an inexperienced captain, was humbling.

“It’s a very proud moment for me to be a small part of history for this club.

“Our batting was mature, big boundaries meant we had to pick gaps and ran hard.

“I was the only batsman that failed, the rest all contributed something to go home and tell their parents.

“Especially Jonny in the middle overs, he really demonstrated his pedigree and his innings dragged us out of a hole.

“Then Manoj came in and hit three huge sixes, which took us from posting 110-120, to a competitive 136.

“The finish from Manoj really lifted the atmosphere of the balcony and the fielding was exceptional and intense throughout. I can’t remember us giving away a run.

“Harry deserved his man of the match, the game was in the balance and he very quickly turned the game in our favour.

“Lastly, I’ve bowled a lot of final overs in tight matches and rarely got us over the line, so to finally do it means I can look my partner in the eye and say it isn’t all a complete waste of time.”

In the upper-tier T20 Cup, Chalke Valley then defeated Portland Red Triangle by 25 runs and will represent Dorset in the national finals.