DETERMINED DAWSON CANNOT SAVE CHESHIRE
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)

Pictured : Cheshire wicketkeeper Matt Dawson impressed with a spirited 81, but it was not enough to save his side

CHESHIRE suffered disappointment as they slipped to their first MCCA three-day Championship defeat for nearly four years at the hands of Dorset in Bournemouth today (Tuesday).

The defending Western Division champions went down by 146 runs at Dean Park after they failed in their chase an imposing 376 for victory on the final day of this year's three-day clash.

It was the county's first loss in the three-day format for a staggering 20 matches, an outstanding record which dated back to their last three-day loss away to Shropshire in a rain-affected match back in late August 2006.

The only other time Cheshire have lost in the Championship in recent times was in last year's showcase final, but that was contested over four days at Slough.

Cheshire wicketkeeper Matt Dawson showed plenty of fight with a gutsy innings of 81 against Dorset, but the Cheshire batting line-up failed to click for a second time as they were convincingly beaten.

Dawson batted stubbornly for over three hours as Cheshire looked to at least salvage a draw, but his brave 168-ball innings eventually came to an end when Dorset skipper Tom Hicks had him pinned lbw late in the day.

Lee Dixon (26), Ben Spendlove (24) and Dan Berry (21) all made starts, but failed to capitalise as Cheshire's impressive unbeaten record finally in the Western Division finally came to an end.

A disastrous second day in which they were routed for just 135 proved Cheshire's undoing as Dorset led by a healthy 338 runs going into the final day.

The hosts' hero with a career-best seven wickets in the first innings, Matt Metcalfe made an unbeaten 51 as Dorset batted a further 25 balls in the morning to post an imposing 376 for victory.

And in reply Cheshire lost regular wickets while Dawson dug deep at one end and deny the home county.

Spinner Hicks was the pick of the Dorset bowlers with an impressive 4-72 return from 18.1 overs, while Metcalfe finished with figures of 3-33 from 13 overs to finish the match with ten wickets.

Dawson claimed his 100th dismissal for Cheshire during the game, but this contest will be one the visitors will want to forget.

However, despite their first defeat this season Cheshire are still third in the current standings, although some results are outstanding from the final standings at the halfway stage of proceedings.

- Cheshire's next three-day match is away to Berkshire at Finchampstead Cricket Club from 18-20 July.

Scorecard from Dean Park (Bournemouth):

Dorset 1st innings 264 all out, 85 overs (J Fawcett 3-58, N Dumelow 3-65, J Hawley 3-68, J Lawrence 58, T Hicks 73, C Park 41)

Cheshire 1st innings 135 all out, 49 overs (B Spendlove 33, L Dixon 33, M Dawson 22, M Metcalfe 7-53, T
Hicks 2-23)

Dorset 2nd innings 236-8 declated, 64.1 overs (R Logan 5-72, J Fawcett 2-34, A Williams 40, M Metcalfe 41, R Naik 27, T Hicks 24, E Denham 20 not out)

Cheshire 2nd innings 219 all out, 62.1 overs (M Dawson 81, L Dixon 26, B Spendlove 24, D Berry 21, T Hicks 4-52, M Metcalfe 3-33, M Wilson 2-72)

Result: Dorset beat Cheshire by 146 runs

LOGAN STARS BUT CHESHIRE STRUGGLE AFTER COLLAPSE
by Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)

Pictured : All-rounder Richard Logan impressed with a fine 5-72 return, but Cheshire have got a real fight on their hands against Dorset.

CHESHIRE face an uphill battle to avoid defeat on the final day of their three-day MCCA Championship clash away to Dorset at Dean Park in Bournemouth.

The defending Western Division champions resumed well-placed on the second day having dismissed the hosts for just 264 in their first innings on Sunday.

But a first innings batting collapse of their own has left Cheshire needing to pull out all the stops if they are to avoid defeat - and to also stand any chance of an unlikely victory.

Dorset moved an imposing 338 runs ahead with two wickets remaining on a deteriorating pitch - having earlier in the day routed Cheshire for only 135 in 49 overs.

Opening medium pacer Matt Metcalfe returned county best figures of 7-53 from 25 overs as Cheshire lost wickets at regular intervals.

And from 94-5 Cheshire lost their last five wickets for just 41 runs to post their lowest first innings score of the season.

In reply Dorset then reached 209-8 from 60 overs at the close of play to firmly put themselves in the driving seat for a welcome victory.

A total of 18 wickets fell on the second day, so it's fair to say that a result now looks likely as both sides set to battle it out for a conclusion tomorrow (Tuesday).

Ben Spendlove and Lee Dixon jointly top-scored with 33 for Cheshire, while opener Matt Dawson contributed 22.

But Cheshire's batting order lacked substance for a change and Metcalfe went for the jugular with his seven scalps.

Dorset were reeling at 80-5 and 93-6 after Cheshire started brightly with the ball, but a seventh wicket partnership of 46 between Chris Park and Raj Naik got Dorset back on track.

And then an unbeaten ninth wicket partnership of 42 between Metcalfe (41 not out) and Ed Denham (20 not out) made sure Dorset made themselves favourites for victory.

All-rounder Richard Logan was the pick of the Cheshire bowlers with a fine 5-72 return from 18 overs, while left-arm spinner Jonny Fawcett claimed 2-34 from 21 accurate overs. There was also a wicket for Neston seamer James Hawley.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but there's still a lot to play for on the last day," reflected stand-in Cheshire skipper Nathan Dumelow.

"Dorset bowled well in our first innings, but that wasn't our best batting performance. We need to work hard and make sure we get something from this match."


Scorecard:
Dorset 1st innings 264 all out, 85 overs (J Fawcett 3-58, N Dumelow 3-65, J Hawley 3-68, J Lawrence 58, T Hicks 73, C Park 41)

Cheshire 1st innings 135 all out, 49 overs (B Spendlove 33, L Dixon 33, M Dawson 22, M Metcalfe 7-53, T
Hicks 2-23)

Dorset 2nd innings 209-8, 60 overs (R Logan 5-72, J Fawcett 2-34, A Williams 40, M Metcalfe 41, R Naik 27, T Hicks 24, E Denham 20 not out)

State of play: Dorset, with two second wickets in hand, lead Cheshire by 338 runs with one day's play remaining

CHESHIRE TAKE CONTROL AGAINST DORSET
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)

Pictured Lancashire Academy youngster Chris Tipper has returned to the Cheshire line-up

CHESHIRE made a strong start on the opening day of their three-day MCCA Championship clash with Dorset at Dean Park in Bournemouth.

Having lost the toss the defending Western Division champions dismissed the hosts for just 264 with three different bowlers all claiming three wickets each.

Spinners Jonny Fawcett (3-58) and Nathan Dumelow (3-65) both starred with the ball, as did seamer James Hawley (3-68).

And in reply, before bad light had brought a premature end to proceedings, Cheshire had reached 5-0 for no wicket.

It also proved to be a good day for Cheshire wicketkeeper Matt Dawson has he claimed his 100th dismissal for the county.

"We've made a good start," reflected Cheshire skipper Nathan Dumelow, who is standing in for the injured Andy Hall.

"To bowl a team out for under 300 in the first innings is a great effort, especially having lost the toss on a decent wicket.

"It's up to us now to see if we get ourselves a decent first innings lead and put some pressure on Dorset." With Hall absent and Bowdon seamer Adam Syddall also out injured, Cheshire drafted in Macclesfield bowler Ian Tait as cover.

Tait didn't make the final team, but will be 12th man for the match, with Neston's Hawley preferred in the bowling attack.

Oulton Park batsman Rick Moore also pulled out the squad at the last minute, with Lancashire Academy youngster Chris Tipper brought back into the team.

"We've had to make a few changes, but we've still got a really strong side," added Dumelow.

"It's important we try and build on our victory over Wiltshire and maintain our unbeaten run so far, we really want to defend our title this season."

 

Cheshire team:

Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall)
Chris Tipper (Northern)
Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park) - captain
Matt Dawson (Bramhall) - wicketkeeper
Dan Berry (Hyde)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Jonny Fawcett (Didsbury)
James Hawley (Neston)

12th man: Ian Tait (Macclesfield)

Scorer: Jim Law

Scorecard (Day 1 of 3):
Dorset 264 all out (J Fawcett 3-58, N Dumelow 3-65, J Hawley 3-68)
Cheshire 5-0 (bad light stopped play)

CHESHIRE MAKE CHANGES FOR DORSET TEST
By Neil Goulding (Cheshire CCC Media Officer, mobile 07813 859986)

CHESHIRE have been forced to make changes ahead of their next MCCA Championship match away to Dorset at Dean Park, 4-6 July.

Skipper Andy Hall misses out through injury again having missed the county's emphatic eight-wicket win over Wiltshire earlier this month.

And opening bowler Adam Syddall is also out having suffered a bad shoulder injury on the first day of Cheshire's victory in that three-day match.

Orinal selcetions Rob Woolley and Rick Moore have now been slected for University Cricket and are replaced by Ian Tait and Chris Tipper. Rob Woolley had originally been selected in place of injured Bowdon left-armer Syddall, while Oulton Park batsman Rick Moore had been included in the 12 man squad as cover for Bramhall's Hall.

Oulton Park all-rounder Nathan Dumelow will captain the side again in Hall's absence as the defending Western Division champions look to maintain their impressive unbeaten start to the season.

Cheshire are currently third in the latest standings, just one point off top spot with leaders Shropshire and second-placed Berkshire the early pace-setters in what, at this early stage of proceedings, looks likely to be a very tight division.

"We've had a good start to the season, but it's important we push on from here," said Hall.

"I was really gutted to have missed our win over Wiltshire, but I'm delighted for Nathan and the rest of the lads.

"We know it's going to be a really good test against Dorset, but the lads are full of confidence and hopefully we can take that confidence to Dean Park with us.

"It's a blow Adam Syddall us injured as well, but it gives Rob Woolley the chance to show how good a player he is.

"We know another win would really put the pressure on Shropshire and Berkshire, we know we can't afford any slip-ups in this division because it's always very tight."

So far Dorset have drawn both of their opening matches and are 11 points behind in the table.

Cheshire 12-man squad:

Warren Goodwin (Chester Boughton Hall)
Chris Tipper (Hyde)
Ben Spendlove (Oulton Park)
Lee Dixon (Oxton)
James Duffy (Hyde)
Nathan Dumelow (Oulton Park) - captain
Matt Dawson (Bramhall) - wicketkeeper
Dan Berry (Hyde)
Richard Logan (Chichester)
Ian Tait (Macclesfield)
Jonny Fawcett (Didsbury)
James Hawley (Neston)

Scorer: Jim Law