BEAMINSTER 140-7 (21pts) beat CORFE MULLEN 139 (7pts) by three wickets

COUNTY Division Two leaders Beaminster underlined their strength in depth with a three-wicket win over Corfe Mullen at the Memorial Ground.

Many of Beaminster’s in-form players contributed to their tenth victory of the season and the defining innings of the match came from number eight batter Lahiru Abeywickrama (35).

Beaminster had earlier dismissed Corfe for 139, with wickets shared around.

Ollie Bareham (3-29) made light work of the middle order, while Simon Jones (2-20), Ross Baker (2-25) and Abeywickrama (2-12) all claimed braces.

READ MORE: Beaminster beat Parley Seconds by 42 runs

Only Richard Witherington (36) and Manav Kathpalia (37no) made notable scores, but Beaminster also struggled in their reply.

Mark Hodges took 4-23 to wipe out Beaminster’s top order – all of whom made starts – as Corfe reduced the league leaders to 82-6.

Abeywickrama, however, turned the complexion of the game on its head, smacking Kathpalia for three fours in one over and taking his side to the brink of victory.

His dismissal by Nigel Stannard (1-12) lbw did not hinder Beaminster as the reliable Jones (13no) eased the hosts over the line.

Speaking to the Bridport News, Beaminster captain Chris Park said: “Lahiru came in and completely changed the momentum of the game.

“He’s very unorthodox. He hits the ball in places you don’t expect and plays with a freedom that I love.

“Chasing such a small total, we kind of went into our shell for the first time this season. Lahiru came in and did the exact opposite.

“He completely turned the game. We needed 58 when he came in and within 20 minutes we needed ten, he was fantastic.”

Beaminster next visit fourth-placed Weymouth at Redlands on Saturday (1.30pm) looking to make amends for coming out the wrong side of a classic between the sides in May.

Park said: “It’s getting to this stage after 12 games you can get a glimpse of what everyone else is doing.

“We look forward to it, we always enjoy playing Weymouth and we’ll give it our best.

“Obviously, it would’ve been amazing to win (the reverse fixture) but Weymouth were just better on the day. We couldn’t creep over the line.

“I’ve forgotten about that now, we’ll just turn up ready to go.”

Beaminster make two changes, with Ross Baker and Dan Hillier missing out for Tom Fowler and Paul Edwards.

Beaminster: Park, W Moss, Golledge, Fowler, A Moss, Jones, Abeywickrama, Bareham, Edmunds, Edwards, Hollely.