DORCHESTER 56-9 (0pts) lost to BERE REGIS 57-1 (2pts) by nine wickets and DORCHESTER 117-1 (2pts) beat BERE REGIS 116 (0pts) by nine wickets

BERE Regis moved to the brink of qualification for the Dorset League T20 finals day despite a mixed performance at rivals Dorchester.

Brian Keegan’s men comprehensively won the opening rubber by nine wickets and knew a victory in the second would guarantee them a place in the final four.

However, Gautham Rajendar’s side fought back impressively to return the compliment with an identical margin of victory in the second game.

Despite rain lingering around Dorchester Rec, Rajendar won the toss and chose to bat.

READ MORE: Batters blast Bere Regis to victory in Martinstown T20s

His decision ultimately backfired in a big way as Dorchester crumbled, not helped by an unfortunate calf injury for Jim Ryall.

Were it not for Rajendar’s innings of 29, Dorchester would have been even further embarrassed as they limped to a paltry 56-9 off 20 overs.

Bere’s bowlers had a field day in ideal conditions, Rich Payne claiming 3-13 and Rob Murphy 2-13, while two run-outs added insult to Dorchester’s injury.

Predictably, Bere ticked off the runs with minimal fuss as Tom Munnings (31) and former Dorchester batter Eral Anderson (21no) found the boundary with regularity.

They moved Bere to 55-0 before Dan Hill (1-9) bowled Munnings, although Dean Rogerson got Bere home with a four on his first ball.

The story was a polar opposite in the second T20, however, as Dorchester exacted revenge after a rain delay during the break.

This time, it was Dorchester’s bowlers who landed the first punches, Harry Jones (1-24) bowling Munnings for a duck.

Anderson (36) and Rogerson (22) hit back but Dorchester’s Rob Nobbs (2-18) broke their partnership and wickets then tumbled.

Hayden White made a stylish 15 on debut but Bere had very little else to shout about as they were dismissed for 116, Jamie Barrett ending the pick of the bowlers with 2-11.

Dorchester were able to show their true colours in the chase, rebuilding well after the loss of Scott Peach (6) to Pete Macklin (1-12).

Barrett (69no) glided to a wonderful half-century, largely compiled with boundaries as he smashed 12 fours and a six.

He was backed up by Jack Owens (38no), who scored even quicker with three fours and a six off 28 balls, the duo putting on 96 to get Dorchester home with four overs to spare.

Speaking to Echosport, Bere skipper Keegan rued inconsistency despite watching his team move to the cusp of finals day.

He said: “I’ve said that all along. It’s helped a few of our players that haven’t played for a while.

“The likes of Pete Macklin and Hayden, we’re getting cricket. But, everyone you speak to we’d much rather have 50 or 100-over cricket.

“At least it’s keeping us ticking over.

“We struggled with the bat in the second game and big time with the ball. As a result, you can’t then exert any pressure.

“To be fair to Dorchester, when they were given an offering, they put it away.”

Dorchy captain Rajendar explained of the first game: “A combination of injuries, shot selection and conditions I’d say, but nothing to worry about.”

After the second T20, he added: “It was a better overall performance, which we’re pleased about.

“We’re using this as an opportunity to get everyone to have a bit of a bat and bowl which we’re now able to do.”

Elsewhere, Bere Seconds lost by 13 runs to Cerne Valley in County Division Two. In the same league, Dorchester Seconds lost by 116 runs at Sturminster & Hinton.

Dorchester Thirds lost by 57 runs to Milborne in Division Six West but Dorchester Fourths were thwarted by the weather.