BEAMINSTER 71 (0pts) lost to WITCHAMPTON 72-1 (20pts) by nine wickets

BEAMINSTER’S five-game winning streak in County Division Two came to an abrupt end after a heavy nine-wicket defeat to Witchampton at the Memorial Ground.

After winning the toss on an excellent batting surface, leaders Beaminster were bowled out for just 71 runs in 23.1 overs.

The majority of the dismissals were through poor shots and execution with six batsmen being caught.

South African overseas all-rounder Daniel Swift (32) was the only batsman to make double figures during a disastrous innings for the home team which saw captain Ross Baker, Ali Crawford, Rich Runyard and Nick Hollely all register ducks.

Chris Vaughan (3-27) was the pick of the bowlers, while Stefan Taylor (2-6), Stewart Hibberd (2-16) and Ricky Hempstead (2-22) all claimed a brace of scalps.

In reply, Witchampton had few problems in chasing the meagre total in just the 18th over.

Swift (1-34) had Dan Hilder (1) caught early on but from there Martin Ashford (31no) and captain Adam Croker (38no) coasted home to the low target to claim 20 points.

Beaminster gained no points from the defeat as Witchampton closed the gap at the top to two points. Wimborne and Puddletown are also within eight points of Baker’s pacesetters.

Speaking to Echosport, Baker said: “It was a very poor batting performance by us. It was definitely the right decision to bat first because it was a good wicket but we didn’t apply ourselves at all.

“There was lots of cheap dismissals. We’ve batted well all season – this is the first time we’ve imploded like that so it’s very disappointing.

“Every catch went to hand and we didn’t form any partnerships at all.”

Elaborating on the batting display, Baker explained his side might have been “over-attacking” against the Witches’ slower bowlers.

He said: “A few players are out of form and we were rescued the week before by an excellent middle-order recovery.

“But we kept losing wickets all the way through, it was just one of those games.

“We tried to play attacking throughout, but maybe because they put a few slower bowlers on we were over-attacking and lost wickets that way.

“We gave quite a few chances and they took all their chances.

“We’ve got our cricket week starting this week and lots of matches for our batsmen to play in and find some form.

“It’s important we work hard this week and get some runs under our belts going into (Saturday) which is a huge game against Cranborne.”

During their cricket week, Beaminster will play North Perrott today, Wye Rustics tomorrow and Big Hammer on Friday.

On Sunday, to celebrate the Cricket World Cup final, Beaminster will play a T20 game against Beaminster FC before watching the game on a big screen during an open family day.

The club’s youth section are also in action, with the under-11s having faced Dorchester on Monday evening and the under-14s playing Sparkford on Thursday.

On Saturday, youth training will be replaced by a club-wide youth match.