MARTINSTOWN 111 (5pts) lost to POOLE TOWN 112-8 (17pts) by two wickets

MARTINSTOWN lost a “sweet and sour” Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League battle with reigning champions Poole Town by two wickets at Lower Ashton Farm.

Charlie Durant’s men were coming into the game eyeing a fourth successive win, while Poole had lost the previous week at Bere Regis.

And in a low-scoring thriller at Martinstown, 18 wickets went down for just 223 runs as Poole edged over the line despite their chase lying in tatters at one stage.

Poole won the toss, chose to bowl and immediately had Martinstown in strife at 1-2 as Mitchell Wilson (3-10) dismissed Ed Nichols (1) and Sean Williams (0) cheaply.

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Henry Lewis (25) and Steve Gerety (1) fought on, but Martinstown could only muster further contributions from Will Maltby (24), Hayden White (17) and Ry Gerety (17).

Badrul Alam claimed 4-24, dismantling the middle order, as Martinstown were bowled out on 111, known as ‘Nelson’ in cricketing parlance.

If Poole thought the chase was going to be easy, they would have been given a major scare as Martinstown reduced them to 57-6.

Jacob Coombs (3-50) and Dave Trotter (4-24) piled on the pressure, dismissing the entire top six.

However, Wilson confirmed his man-of-the-match performance by hammering 54 from 31 balls, including nine fours and two sixes.

He took Poole to 107-6, breaking the back of the chase, before Coombs bowled him.

Although Durant (1-29), bowling seam instead of spin, trapped Dave Miller (9) leg before with the scores level, Josiah Edy (1no) hit the winning run on his first ball to give Poole a slender victory.

Speaking to Echosport, Durant said: “The deck was a bowler’s paradise. The bowlers would happily wrap it up and take it wherever they went.

“It was perfect (for bowling) and very uncharacteristic of a Martinstown track, but these things happen.

“It’s no fault of the batsmen, I don’t think many played a bad shot. It was a combination of getting unlucky and Poole bowling well.”

But Durant was pleased with his side’s attempted defence of such a low total.

“It was a story of sweet and sour,” he insisted.

“With the bat we struggled but with the ball I couldn’t have asked for anything better.

“We went through a few strange fields, had short legs in and bowled a few short balls. We bounced their opener out, and the wickets have tumbled from there.

“Coombsy and Dave have bowled beautifully. It was such a seamer’s paradise that I’ve come off the long run, after I got smacked everywhere, and taken a wicket bowling seam up.

“It was a tight game. We dropped two catches as well. On another day we could’ve won.”

Martinstown Seconds beat Hamworthy Seconds by five wickets in County Division Four and now lie sixth in the table.