MARTINSTOWN 258-8 (10pts) lost to DORCHESTER 283-5 (19pts) by 25 runs

DORCHESTER made ground on Wessex Internet Dorset Premier League leaders Wimborne with a 25-run victory at near rivals Martinstown.

Wimborne were casualties of a sodden pitch at Cattistock & Symene and conceded 14 points to second-placed Dorchester, who closed the gap to just 13 points.

After losing the toss and being invited to bat first, Dorchester piled on the runs to take maximum batting points.

Skipper Jon Legg elected to open alongside Jamie Barrett and the duo shared 86 in a solid partnership.

READ MORE: Martinstown beat Christchurch by seven wickets

Needing a breakthrough, stand-in Town captain Will Maltby turned to Henry Lewis (2-44) and he first had Barrett (40) caught by Jack Kane before having Eral Anderson (2) stumped by Ry Gerety.

Legg (70) and new man Gautham Rajendar set about a scorching rebuild, amassing 135 for the third wicket before the captain was run out by Sean Williams.

At this point, Rajendar, who was dropped twice, needed only four more for his century and duly obliged before falling for 101 in a blistering 68-ball innings containing nine fours and three sixes.

The successful bowler was the returning Chris Read (2-59), who also removed Harry Jones (4).

Dorchester pushed on to a commanding 283-5 when Simon Mitchem (31no) and Scott Peach (10no) both scored at more than a run per ball.

Martinstown’s reply was largely forged on a brilliant 97 for Lewis, allowing Finlay Williams (30) and Maltby (33) to score quickly around him.

When Krish Subramanian (2-31) struck twice, Lewis joined forces with Tom Pope (63), the latter carving six boundaries and four maximums.

The duo helped take Martinstown from requiring ten an over to 28 off the final three after Lewis agonisingly perished three runs short of a ton, bowled by Mitchem (2-58).

However, tight bowling from Jones (3-32) ensured Martinstown claimed only three runs in the finale when Pope was castled.

In the end, Martinstown came up 25 runs shy of the winning line and Legg was quick to praise Rajendar for what proved to be a match-defining knock.

He said: “G played a fantastic innings. Losing the second wicket, at drinks we decided to bring him in at four and he put on a masterclass in building an innings.

“He timed and placed the ball to perfection throughout, aided by Martinstown’s very ‘korma’ bowling line-up.”

Assessing the finish, Legg added: “There were no real nerves, we back ourselves in that situation. Si and Harry closed the game out very well for us.

“A near perfect day. Obviously 20 points would’ve been nice but we’re over the moon with 19.”

Losing skipper Maltby said: “We were unlucky, we gave it everything. They ended up getting 283 and batted well.

“The first period of the game we were good, the second period awful and the third good again in the field.

“Without Gautham I can’t see them winning that game. He gave a couple of chances but he took the game away from us.

“Psychologically them getting 283, rather than 220, is massive. It was a tough day on us.”

He added: “We needed 28 off three overs. Henry batted unbelievably, anchored the innings, Finlay looked good but it was mainly soft dismissals that ruined our innings, especially myself.

“Tom got 63 and got us within touching distance. We were thinking we were in the game and then Tom got out.

“Fair play to Harry Jones, he took it away from us at the death.”

Martinstown Seconds were washed out at Marnhull Seconds, but Dorchester Seconds beat Division Three leaders Royal Challengers by 34 runs. Dorchester Thirds were also rained off against Verwood Thirds.