BERKSHIRE 219 beat DORSET 131 by 88 runs

DORSET’S dream of reaching the NCCA Trophy final must wait for another year after an 88-run semi-final defeat to reigning champions Berkshire at Finchampstead.

Contesting their second white-ball semi-final of the summer, Dorset had bowled out six-time winners Berkshire for 219.

And they were well in the game at 107-4 in the chase until a sudden collapse saw them rolled out for 131.

After winning the toss and batting first, Berkshire were in a spot of bother at 30-3 following a piercing start by Dorset’s seamers.

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Ollie Breckon (1-33) took the opening wicket of Johnny Cornell (2) before Ben Ladd Gibbon removed the dangerous pairing of Archie Carter (5) and Euan Woods (17).

Rhodri Lewis added 22 before the economical Simon Woodruff (1-14) had him caught behind as a chink in Berkshire’s armour appeared at 66-4.

However, captain Dan Lincoln (73) was at his belligerent best to wrestle the momentum away from Dorset.

Lincoln, who skippered England to victory in the European Championship last winter, smashed four maximums and five boundaries in his 85-ball knock.

Left-arm spinner Rob Pack (2-51) hit back by dismissing Lincoln after he had also sent Andy Rishton (22) back to the pavilion.

Berkshire were now 157-6 but scrambled over the 200 mark thanks to excellent contributions from the lower order, chief among them Jafer Chohan (22).

But the returning Jacob Gordon bowled tidily for his 2-18 as Dorset finally bowled Berkshire out for 219, setting an achievable target of 220.

Dorset made a similar start to Berkshire in their innings, falling to 28-2 as Oli Soames (8) and Joseph Eckland (1) went cheaply.

Away skipper Luke Webb (31) scored the majority of Dorset’s runs up to that point with his best innings for the county for some time.

Berkshire dealt Dorset a blow, though, when Chohan (2-23) trapped Webb lbw and Lewis (4-36) had David Scott (5) caught.

Sam Young (38) top-scored for Dorset but Lewis went bang-bang as he removed the Bath opener and Gordon (0) in quick succession.

Their wickets sparked the collapse as Chohan and Woods (3-18) mopped up the tail speedily to keep Berkshire’s title defence alive.

Dorset return to red ball action on Sunday as Oxfordshire host Webb’s men at Banbury in the NCCA Championship Western Division One (11am).