SKIPPER Chris Park pulled no punches in his assessment of the “embarrassing” batting capitulation which led to Dorset’s innings and 43-run thumping by Devon today.
Already trailing by 192 runs, the Dean Park outfit were wiped out for just 149 in a second innings which lasted a little over three-and-a-half hours, with only the stubborn resistance of tail-enders Tom Hicks (45) and Mark Wolstenholme (37) offering any kind of solace.
Centurion Mark Golding saw out an unbeaten 107 as Devon ended their first 90 overs on 310 for eight before the hosts embarked on their meek response.
Opener Chris Jones, clean-bowled for a duck in the first innings, had his bails scattered by Trevor Anning (3-18) once more within the first over.
Max Porter quickly followed for a single score and when Liam Lewis (2-6) claimed the scoreless scalps of Somerset professional Jack Leach and newcomer Sam Thomson, dismayed Dorset were reduced to 21 for five in the 15th over.
Try as they might, the lower order could not stage a recovery with the captain left bewildered by his side’s showing in the Unicorns Championship Western Division opener.
“It was disappointing and slightly embarrassing considering the team we had available,” said Park.
“I was gutted we didn’t bat to our potential and to lose by an innings wasn’t anywhere near good enough.
“I couldn’t fault the efforts of our bowlers but as a batting unit, the whole XI need to take responsibility. To lose 20 wickets for less than 270 is not good enough at this level.
“Having won the toss, we planned to bat through our 90 overs but we couldn’t last more than 25. That was a massive shock to me and we were just not able to recover.
“The frustrating thing is that the potential is definitely there. We had three Somerset professionals in the team, a Hampshire Academy player and one of our top scorers from last season.
“We were expecting a little bit better from everybody, not just the professionals but nobody put up their hand or took responsibility.
“Poor shot selection, poor application and a lack of mental toughness has resulted in us being thrashed. We let ourselves down in every aspect of the game.”
Despite the drubbing, however, Park insisted it was important to “stay positive” ahead of Dorset’s next assignment – a trip to Corsham to face Wiltshire from Sunday, June 22.
“Last year was really disappointing for everyone but we now have things in place behind the scenes to get things right off the field. It’s now a case of taking that onto the pitch," he said.
“Where we go from here is something to talk about with the coach and selectors. Do we go down the route of fielding youngsters or go out to find more experience?
“Looking ahead to the next game in two weeks time, we’re losing Chris Jones, Max Waller and Jack Leach, three of our top five.
"Mansoor Khan is back but the two other batting slots and how we select for them will be important.”