PORTLAND RED TRIANGLE 174-2 (20pts) beat PUDDLETOWN 169 (4pts) by eight wickets

PORTLAND Red Triangle brushed Puddletown aside by eight wickets in a quick-fire County Division One clash at Reforne.

Just 57.1 overs were bowled in the entire match as both teams batted at a brisk pace, with differing fortunes.

Prior to the match, Portland’s mower broke down and Puddletown were unhappy with the strip.

Puddle skipper Ryan Norman nevertheless chose to bat first after winning the toss, hoping the pitch might deteriorate in the second innings.

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Openers Adam Barrett and Chris Clarke (both 31) set off at a scorching rate, speedily putting on 69 before Joe Adkins and Eddie Moles (1-30) respectively struck to remove the duo.

Adkins was in good form with the ball and picked up three more victims as Regan Norman (4), Callum Chaldecott (1) and Charlie Eccleson (0) departed.

Adam Weir and Ryan Norman (18) hit back, the latter hitting three fours and a six before off-spinner Jack Marsh (2-23) took two wickets in two balls, including Steve Chaldecott for a golden duck.

Weir (36) smashed eight fours in his 28-ball knock before Adkins (6-58) bowled him to complete his fifer and then pinned Dave Morris (8) lbw to dismiss Puddletown for 169 off 25.5 overs.

Play resumed before the tea break and Portland themselves made a strong start, only checked when Weir (1-27) bowled Matt Barrett (15) after he had crunched one six and a boundary.

Portland set about building a platform as opener Callan Laws (47) continued his form with the bat and Dave Adkins once more provided the anchor role.

Adkins survived a strong lbw appeal on his way to making an unbeaten 40 but Laws was the more aggressive, hitting eight boundaries in 57 balls before Ryan Norman (1-26) disturbed his stumps.

At 80-2, Portland still had plenty to do but their task was made easier by skipper Matt Randell’s powerful strokeplay.

Randell (59no) smashed the only half-century of the game, featuring five fours, and hit the winning six of five in his innings from his 38th ball to complete an emphatic victory.

Speaking to Echosport, Randell felt the heavy runscoring proved the pitch was adequate.

He said: “They lost the game before we’d started. They were so negative about the pitch that it got into their heads. It actually played quite nicely.

“It was not much different to any other pitch that you’d see on Portland, but they had a right whinge about it and it lost them the game.”

On the playing side, Randell praised Joe Adkins for his efforts before a clinical chase with the bat.

He said: “We hit good areas but they got off to a flyer. We managed to get them 88-4 at the first drinks break.

“Although the runs were flowing, we kept on taking regular wickets. Joe bowled really well for his six.”

Randell added: “It was a tricky (chase) because we came out, they wanted to have a bowl at us before tea.

“Dave batted nicely and held up an end for us. Then we came out after tea and played positively, just looked to knock them off.”

In reply, Puddle captain Ryan Norman said: “The wicket had not been cut and all they’d done was run a scarifier on it.

“It wasn’t great and the outfield was long but we just didn’t bat well enough on it.

“We didn’t apply ourselves in the middle order with a decent start, we lost a couple of quick ones, they were their usual rowdy selves and we didn’t dig in enough. We would’ve liked 250, to be fair.”

Norman added: “Callan batted well, Dave hung around and Matt came in and hit a few like he does.

“It wasn’t necessarily that we bowled badly, things just didn’t go our way.”

In Division Five, Portland’s second string lost by 36 runs at Stalbridge Development and Puddletown Seconds were beaten by 87 runs at home to leaders Poole Town Fourths.