CATTISTOCK & SYMENE 215-6 (7pts) lost to MARTINSTOWN 218-4 (18pts) by six wickets

MARTINSTOWN took a thumping six-wicket victory at Cattistock and Symene to begin their Dorset ‘Thank You NHS’ League Division One campaign perfectly.

In the revised top tier comprising two groups of six teams, games are 40 overs and feature a sanitisation break every six overs to help combat coronavirus.

After losing the toss and being asked to bat, the hosts were hampered early on as Sam Baker (4) fell caught behind off Will Maltby (2-22).

Ben Golledge and Dorset man Jon Legg (31) shared 62 to recover the situation until Liam Banfield (1-33) ousted the latter.

Cattistock and Symene, who amalgamated prior to the campaign, continued to accelerate thanks to the fluency of Liam Toohill, who put on 103 with Golledge (79 from 89 balls) before Teddy Andrews (1-38) bowled the opener.

Amid a flurry of wickets, Toohill (67) hit back-to-back sixes to record his 50 but perished to Nathan McNab (2-36), with captain Brad Damen (10no) smearing a towering six to help post 215-6.

Martinstown’s reply steamed along to 67-0 off six overs as Ed Nichols and Sean Williams (19) cashed in on wayward bowling until Legg (1-39) forced Williams to edge behind.

Tao White (1) soon followed off Baker (1-61), bringing the hard-hitting Andrews to the crease at 68-2.

Martinstown’s deadly all-rounder promptly got going, smashing eight maximums in a stunning 78 from 49 balls, only ended by Ollie Legg’s fine caught and bowled.

Nichols (54) chalked his 50 up before Ollie Legg castled him but the damage was already done as away skipper Sam Kershaw (15no) hit three boundaries to see his team home with 8.2 overs left.

Speaking to Echosport, Kershaw said: “It was a good benchmark. It’s always an unknown playing teams you haven’t played in a while.

“They’ve still got a strong core of players and a few faces we see from the evening league.

“Their opener got 79 but I dropped him on about 10. It was a surprisingly good bowling performance as well.

“There were quite a few changes missing our two opening bowlers, Chris Read and Matt Camp, they guys really stepped up.”

On Andrews’ sparkling display, he added: “We all know what Teddy can do. He’s a gun player when he wants to be.”

Opposing captain Damen also credited Andrews for his exploits: “It was great to get back out on the pitch again, I thought our batting innings was well paced and it was great to see both Ben and Liam in the runs.

“We let them get off to a flyer and it was hard to pull them back in despite taking a couple of quick wickets. Their number four scored quickly and took the game away from us.”