HALF centuries from Luke Webb and Ed Ellis combined with a two four wicket hauls from Jigar Naik helped Dorset County Cricket Club to a 92 run win over Wiltshire in their Unicorns Championship opener at Sherborne School.
After winning the toss Dorset skipper Chris Park opted to bat first but his side soon slumped to 28 for 4 before a 79-run stand between Scott Currie (35) and Josh McCoy allied to a six boundary 46 from number 11 James Hayman enabled them to post 170 all out in their first innings with Wiltshire seamer Luke Evans claiming a career best 6 for 55.
The Dorset bowling attack responded well and wickets fell at regular intervals with wily former Leicestershire spinner Naik returning figures of 20-10-35-4 while Mark Wlstensholme (2-23) and McCoy (2-17) both bagged a brace.
The Dorset second innings produced the highest total of the match. The backbone was formed by a crucial 116 stand for the third wicket by Webb (76, 9×4 1×6 128 balls) and Ellis (65, 12×4, 62 balls) which took the score to 168 for 3 before Ellis fell.
Webb and Currie then added a further 45 with the latter going on to make a useful 42 as Dorset were dismissed for 249 leaving the visitors a victory target of 267.
With Ellis picking up a finger injuries the Dorset keeping gauntlets returned to skipper Park. And he will have been pleased with what he saw from behind the stumps as Wiltshire were soon in trouble at 29 for 2 and were always up against it. They slipped to 118 for 9 on the final morning of the three day game before a spirited last wicket stand of 56 was ended by Naik who took 4 for 68 while all rounder McCoy waded in with 4 for 63 as Wiltshire were shot out for 174.
The win saw Dorset bank 20 points ahead of their next fixture against Oxfordshire at Banbury on July 8th.