LUKE Webb insists Dorset are “brimming with confidence” as they attempt to deliver victory in their “very tough” Unicorns Championship Western Division opener against Shropshire.

Webb’s charges, who last weekend secured a place at Unicorns T20 finals day with seven wins from eight matches, begin their three-day clash at Shrewsbury on Sunday (11am).

Dorset endured a campaign to forget in 2018, claiming just one win as they finished second bottom.

However, after a brilliant run in the shortest format of the game, skipper Webb believes his troops can make the perfect start in the red-ball format.

Batsman Webb told the Daily Echo: “We are going into it brimming with confidence.

“Shropshire away is always a very tough fixture. They are a very good side, so we will have to be at our best, as always with Minor Counties cricket, to win.

“The beauty of three-day cricket is the best side over the three days always wins and you have to work hard for the team.

“I am confident and I am backing the lads to put in a good performance and get the red-ball season off to a good start.

“The team is on a bit of a high after qualifying for the T20 finals day, so the challenge is now to take the momentum, the team spirit and the success we have into the longer format.”

Asked how difficult it would be to transfer form from T20 matches to the three-day game, Webb said: “It is a challenge. We had a very set game plan in the short format.

“The challenge for not only us but every team and what wins you games is those first-innings runs.

“We will be working hard as a batting group to make sure we get the runs on the board and give our bowlers plenty to work with so we can bowl to our plans and we can try to take wickets to win the games.”

Bashley’s Ben Walker is set to feature after missing the whole of the 2018 Championship campaign due to injury, while 20-year-old Felix Organ is in line to make his debut for Dorset in the league after featuring in their white-ball side.

Counties face a key Championship campaign ahead of a significant restructure in 2020.

The top five sides in the league this season will be placed in Division One of a new two-tier structure as the number of three-day games is reduced.

Webb said: “There is a bit more riding on it with the top half qualifying for Division One next season, so that is a clear target for us.

“We don’t look much beyond that other than winning every session and contributing to winning the matches. It is a broad thing to aim at and we will see how the first few games go.

“You go to win every game but I am sure a top-five spot is a target all the teams will be going for this season.”

Dorset: (from) Bartlett, Currie, Digby, Eckland, Ellis, McCoy, McManus, Naik, Organ, Walker, Webb, Fisher.