DORSET 168-4 beat WILTSHIRE 217-5 (via Duckworth Lewis)

ELATED captain Chris Park was proud to see Dorset reach the final four of the MCCA Knockout Trophy, after a game that seemed to have everything at North Perrott.

The home side will now face Staffordshire in the semi-finals of the competition after restricting Wiltshire off the last ball of the game to win by four runs via the Duckworth Lewis method.

Having lost the toss and been put in with overcast conditions, Dorset found themselves struggling early on as openers Masoor Khan (2) and Hampshire professional Lewis McManus (10), were blown away cheaply with the score at 14-2.

Michael Porter’s stay at the crease was also a brief one for just 13 but then came a rebuilding job between Tom Arnold (69) and Luke Webb (47).

The latter helped put on a stand of 96 for the fourth wicket with Arnold before he was then removed by last year’s Dorset vice-skipper Jake Lintott, now of Wiltshire, who had him caught by Tahir Afridi.

Arnold continued to accumulate runs however and the New Milton man brought up his 50 off 68 deliveries before rain started to interrupt proceedings.

It was Dorset’s number three and skipper Park who got the home side up to 168-4 from 34.2 overs before the rain arrived.

By the time the ground was adjudged fit for play by the umpires, time had been taken out the contest, meaning the Dorset innings had closed and, with the Duckworth Lewis method in play, Wiltshire required 222 to win from 34 overs.

A blistering 113 from opener Steve Bullen and 50 from former Gloucestershire all-rounder Ed Young appeared to put the visitors in the box seat but, after they were dismissed, Dorset were left to defend 18 from the last over, bowled by unlikely hero Khan.

The game then went down to the final delivery after the visitors had crushed the penultimate ball for six but Dorset held their nerve to book their place in the last four “What a game of cricket,” Park told Echosport.

“They were flying but they were always just behind the Duckworth Lewis par score.

“I was really happy that my mistake in captaincy has actually won us the game in Mas bowling the two overs!

“To gamble with him there right at the end was a real pressure situation.”