CORNWALL 328-9d (12pts) drew with DORSET 176 & 271-5 (9pts)

DORSET batted themselves to a draw with Cornwall in the first match of their Durant Cricket National Counties Championship clash of 2023.

Luke Webb’s men earned nine points from the contest, with Cornwall claiming 12 after the hosts dominated large portions of the match in Truro.

However, had rain not intervened, Dorset might have been staring a defeat in the face.

The hosts won the toss, elected to field and bowled Dorset out for 176 on the first day.

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That was despite a captain’s innings of 82 for Webb, eventually ended leg before to Ellis Whiteford (3-33), who also dismissed Dorchester captain Jon Legg for a second-ball duck.

Will MacVicar (4-41) also impressed as Ed Ellis (56no) was the only other Dorset batter to make a significant score.

Cornwall blasted 328-9 declared in response, going into full attack mode as Alex Blake struck a tremendous 102 from 85 balls, including seven fours and sixes apiece.

Karl Leathley (71), Paul Smith (31) and Adam Hodgson (30) also contributed strongly but Joe Huns (3-51) was the pick of the away attack, while Legg went unrewarded for 28 runs in his three overs.

With more rain around, Dorset had to bat out the final day to avoid defeat. Their task looked increasingly difficult after losing Webb (22) and star batter Sam Young (5).

At 52-3, David Scott (78) and England Under-19s star Joseph Eckland (94) saved Dorset’s bacon with a magnificent 152-run partnership.

Ben Ellis (2-48) ended Scott’s stay while Eckland was run out when batting with brother Alex (32no), missing out on a deserved century.

Alex Eckland finished unbeaten along with Ed Ellis (34no) as the teams shook hands, Dorset showing spirit to end on 271-5.

Their seconds travel to Devon on Sunday (11am) before the first-team's next Western Division Two contest at home to Shropshire on Sunday, August 6 (11am).