Dorset break Wiltshire hearts
Dorset brought the curtain down on their season in sensational fashion after engineering a remarkable four-win victory over Wiltshire in their final Minor Counties Championship match.
Wiltshire dominated much of the contest at Dean Park in Bournemouth, but fell agonisingly short of a victory target of 242 on the final day, a result which earned Dorset fourth place in the Western Division and condemned the hosts to third-bottom.
A Wiltshire victory looked the most likely outcome after they bowled Dorset out for just 127 in their first innings, thanks largely to Greg Lamb’s 4-44, which included a hat-trick, and 3-14 for James Hibberd.
Lamb also starred with the bat, hitting a fine 113 as Wiltshire replied with 300 for nine declared to establish a 173-run lead.
When Dorset slipped to 257 for nine on the second afternoon - leading by just 87 - their fate appeared sealed, but Nick Park followed up his first-innings 46 with a magnificent 219 - the highest score for the county - as he and David Kidner (54 not out) shared a record 10th-wicket stand of 157.
Their astonishing alliance carried Dorset to 414, with Wes Durston taking 5-128 and Lamb and Josh Pickering sharing four of the remaining five wickets.
Durston led Wiltshire’s pursuit, but he fell on the final morning and could only watch as they slumped to 171 for seven.
James Hibberd and Tom Morton, who made 35, added a valuable 52 for the eighth wicket, and Pickering accompanied Hibberd for the addition of 14 runs to take Wiltshire to within five runs of victory.
However, two wickets in the space of three balls proved fatal for Wiltshire, while Dorset could celebrate thanks to Tom Hicks’ haul of 6-82.
Hibberd, who finished unbeaten on 35, later stood down as captain after a season in charge in order to concentrate on his own game.