BEAMINSTER 257-8 (8pts) lost to BLANDFORD 259-6 (19pts) by three wickets

BEAMINSTER suffered a devastating three-wicket defeat at home to 10-man Blandford in County Division Two.

The home team were unable to defend a total of 257 after being inserted after an uncontested toss.

Daniel Swift continued his remarkable batting form with a superb 135 not out and Swift was the mainstay of the innings as wickets fell steadily at the other end.

Opener Ross Baker (33) shared the highest partnership of 91 for the third wicket, before Swift started to dominate the Blandford bowlers.

Swift struck seven maximums mostly straight and ensured the home team achieved maximum batting points and a high total.

At the interval, the Beaminster team felt confident they could achieve victory but the carefree Blandford top order batsmen produced a hard hitting onslaught that few spectators will ever forget.

After a brutal 89-run opening partnership, Alex Sullivan hit an incredible 176 not out.

Sullivan’s batting with the tail was remarkable. as he farmed the strike and refused to run singles.

For 10 overs he dealt in nearly boundaries (23) but Blandford recovered from a mid-innings wobble when Baker (2-50) took two hard-earned wickets before Sullivan chanced his arm.

Beaminster could have few complaints as several chances were spilt when fielding.

None of the bowlers escaped punishment as the crowd were entertained by an afternoon of boundary hitting by the two in-form batsmen.

Speaking to the Bridport News, captain Bakeradmitted Swift and Sullivan’s centuries had been “entertaining” to watch.

He said: “Unfortunately we came out the wrong side, it was very disappointing – we really should have won.

“We didn’t take our opportunities. We had several chances to catch (Sullivan) out but we didn’t take them and he punished us.

“It was a good batting performance and Daniel continued his fantastic batting form – he hasn’t been out for Beaminster yet.

“He came over as a bowler but his batting’s been incredible – great concentration and determination to bat nearly the whole innings.

“To set 250 in May you normally win those games nine times out of 10. We were quite confident we’d defend it but a remarkable innings by their skipper to hit 176.

“It was huge hitting. He’s hit one over the fence at the bottom end. We worked it out as an 80, 90-metre hit.

“It was quite entertaining to watch but at the end we were devastated to lose that game.”