BEAMINSTER 298-2 (20pts) bt CHARLTON DOWN 121 (2pts) by 177 runs

BEAMINSTER produced their best batting performance for several years as they amassed 298 for the loss of only two wickets in their 177-run victory against Charlton Down in County Division Two.

With one game remaining, Beaminster remain second in the table with promotion and the title within their grasp.

The crowd were entertained by a thrilling third-wicket partnership as 150 runs were plundered in 15 overs.

Beaminster captain Ross Baker hit his maiden century for the club and finished unbeaten on 140 runs.

In his last home game for Beaminster this season, Daniel Swift struck a brutal 76 not out from just 45 balls.

Earlier, after losing the first wicket, Simon Jones (34) shared an excellent 130-run partnership with his skipper.

Swift then entered the fray and shared an unbeaten 163-run third wicket partnership to propel the score to 298.

On an excellent batting surface, all of the Charlton Down batsmen suffered as boundaries were struck to all parts of the ground.

Facing the mammoth target, Charlton Down’s innings struggled throughout as wickets were lost at regular intervals.

Nick Hollely (4-27) was rewarded for another excellent opening spell, shared with Daniel Swift (3-12) who produced a hostile nine overs.

Although Dan Stevens (30) and Mark Homewood (36) showed some resistance in the middle overs, Charlton Down fell four runs short of gaining a second batting point.

Dave Persey (2-29) and Ali Crawford (1-22) also took wickets while Chris Park, Dave Persey and Adam Moss took catches before the last wicket fell in the 38th over.

Baker said: “It was a special day and really good to get the win. We were very determined and had a lot of motivation to not only win but get as many points as we could.”

On his own landmark knock, Baker added: “I’ve had a few 80s and 90s and only started opening the batting two seasons ago. I was always a middle-order hitter before.

“As I’ve got older, I’ve become more of a batter than a bowler. It’s nice to get a first ton and even better to win the game.

“I’ve been a bit disappointed with our batting for a month, so there was a lot of motivation to get a good score and really push on and be dominant.

“Daniel played a fantastic innings. Our first aim was to get over 200 and it was big hitting then – it was nice to play with a bit of freedom and really accelerate the score.”

Beaminster visit Wimborne & Colehill Seconds in their final game on Saturday (1.30pm).