Thursday, 24 June 2021

Berks secure second place with Dorset win

BERKSHIRE demolished DORSET by 201 runs at Bournemouth on Tuesday to seal runners-up spot in the

BERKSHIRE demolished DORSET by 201 runs at Bournemouth on Tuesday to seal runners-up spot in the Western Division of the Unicorns Counties Championship.

They finished unbeaten in the championship and were the only side to defeat league winners Oxfordshire. Their tally of 109 points, left them 13 behind Oxon.

This year has seen a massive change round in Berkshire’s fortunes, as in 2014 they failed to win a single championship and finished bottom of the table.

Chris Peploe enjoyed another fine match, taking a total of 12 wickets in the game, including a career-best eight in Dorset’s first innings. The Ealing spinner completed the campaign with a remarkable 50 championship wickets from six games.

But the man-of-the-match award against Dorset went to Andy Rishton. The Reading player scored 127 runs in the first innings for his maiden Berkshire century, followed by a lively knock of 71 in the second.

He then bowled for the first time for the county and took a wicket in his opening over before finishing with 1-10 off two overs. But his contribution to the victory did not end there, as Rishton also took four catches during the game and produced a great throw to secure a run-out.

Richard Morris also produced a superb knock of 122 in the first innings, which saw Berkshire declare on 411-8.

The two centurions, both former Bradfield College students, put on 229 for the fifth wicket.

Dorset replied with 214 all out in their first innings with Peploe taking 8-61 off 33.2 overs.

Skipper James Morris did not enforce the follow on, preferring instead to take the game even further beyond Dorset’s reach.

Berkshire slipped to 76-5 before Rishton (71) and Stewart Davison (46no) took the total to 201-6, when Morris declared to set Dorset a daunting target of 399 to win.

But that was out of the question against a formidable bowling attack like Berkshire’s.

Luke Webb (64) and Curtis Blakemore (53) offered some resistance but Dorset were polished off for 197 by Peploe (4-57) and Nugent (4-77) by mid-afternoon on Tuesday.

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