DORCHESTER 142 (17pts) beat POOLE TOWN 129 (9pts) by 13 runs

DORCHESTER successfully defended a low total against Poole Town to get their new Wessex Internet Dorset League Premier One season off to a winning start.

Victory also handed new captain Gautham Rajendar an immediate triumph in his first game at the helm.

In this new era for Dorset cricket under the ECB umbrella, the first five weeks of the season are 50-over matches played in coloured clothing with a pink ball.

And with the wet Spring weather expected to make life difficult for batting, Poole skipper Jordan Betts had no hesitation in bowling first after winning the toss.

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Dorchester were in early trouble at 35-3 as Jamie Barrett (9), Jim Ryall (12) and Jack Owens (5) all departed cheaply.

New signing Will Maltby (3) dug in with Kiwi overseas all-rounder Harry Jones, who scored freely in tricky conditions.

However, Jones’ knock of 41 from 31 balls came to an end shortly after Maltby departed and the baton was passed to Dan Belt (26no) as wickets continued to tumble.

Belt ended unbeaten from 60 balls, guiding Dorchester to 142 all out after a late flurry of wickets for Daniel Winwood (3-14).

Poole’s chase grew in confidence after Jones (3-16) bowled Ben Wright (6), with Badrul Alam and Luke Hall sharing 54 for the second wicket.

But Jones struck twice more after Rajendar castled Hall (15) to leave Poole on 92-4.

With the match delicately poised, Alam (51) raised his bat but would depart soon after as Rajendar (2-29) delivered a crucial blow.

At 122-5, Poole were still favourites but a magnificent spell of 4-25 from Dan Hill tore through the visitors’ lower order, wounding them to 127-9.

And Owens (1-2) finished the match off with his third delivery as Dorchester handed their rivals an early signal of intent.

Post-match, Rajendar detailed how he felt Dorchester were “rewarded” for a “patient but tidy” deployment of the pink ball.

“I’m very happy with the performance,” he told Echosport. “With only 140-odd on the board, it could have gone either way but I’m glad to be on the winning side.

“I’m definitely pleased seeing as we were asked to bat first. We needed to stay very patient but tidy with the ball and I thought we were rewarded for that.

“We’re still getting used to it and it does play different to the red ball. Pleasantly surprised to see how it held up after 50 overs.”

Elsewhere, Dorchester Seconds beat Puddletown by 45 runs in County Division Two.

Dorchester Thirds were awarded the full 20 points in Division Six West after Compton House Seconds scratched, while Dorchester Fourths were victims of a wet pitch in Six East.