SWANAGE 198-4 (2pts) beat DORCHESTER 195-5 (0pts) by six wickets & SWANAGE 173-7 (2pts) beat DORCHESTER 144-8 (0pts) by 29 runs

SWANAGE caused a massive upset by roaring to two victories over Dorchester, who suffered their first defeats of 2024.

Going into the T20 section of the Wessex Internet Dorset League, Dorchester boasted an unbeaten record in Premier One, while Swanage occupied third in Premier Two.

However, the Swans took no notice of the gap in levels as big-hitting batter Mike Salmon inspired the hosts to all four points on the day.

In the first game, Swanage’s call to field first after winning the toss looked to have backfired as Dorchester piled on 195-5.

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Scott Peach (36) and Will Maltby (37) got Dorchester off to a brisk start and the visitors raised the tempo even more towards the end of the innings.

Captain Gautham Rajendar scored a sublime 51 from 21 balls, including four maximums and four boundaries.

Dan Belt chipped in with 34 not out from 24 deliveries and Simon Mitchem posted 12 not out from seven balls to put Dorchester in a commanding position.

However, they had not bargained for what will surely be one of the innings of the season from Salmon.

The Swanage opener destroyed the Dorchester attack, crashing a blistering 139 not out from only 62 balls, including an astonishing 13 sixes and 10 boundaries.

Dorchester bowler Harry Jones had the unwanted distinction of returning 0-42 from two overs as Swanage got home with five balls to spare, despite Rajendar’s 3-18.

Salmon again fired in the second game, hitting 53 from 26 balls including 10 boundaries and a six until Mitchem (3-22) had him caught.

This time, Swanage needed other contributions and they came from Freddie Long (25), skipper Ben Hodder (33no) and Peter Richards (36no) as they posted 173-7.

Dorchester’s batters made a number of starts in reply, but nobody could emulate Salmon’s scoring power.

Peach (31), Jack Owens (29) and Rajendar (21) all weighed in but Swanage continually chipped away as skilled bowling by James Harding (3-18) helped the hosts defend their total.

Speaking to Echosport, Rajendar said: “I don’t think we adapted to the conditions the way they did and Mike Salmon seemed unstoppable on the day.

“We know it would be a challenge not having played them in years but full credit to Swanage for the way they played.”

Asked if the twin defeats were a wake-up call for his previously unbeaten side, Rajendar replied: “There are quite a few takeaways for us for sure but no, I wouldn’t say a wake-up call.

“The league is our main focus and I don’t see this affecting that at all.”

Elsewhere, Dorchester Seconds lost by nine wickets at home to a Nick Voss-inspired Charlton Down in County Division Two.

Dorchester Thirds suffered a six-wicket reverse to Symene Sports Seconds in Division Six West, while Dorchester Fourths went down to a five-wicket defeat to Christchurch Thirds in Six East.