ALEX Eckland cracked a superb century for Dorset against Cheshire to help put the hosts in control on day one of their Unicorns Championship Western Division clash at Chapel Gate.

Eckland stroked a brilliant 109 from 170 balls, including 14 fours and two sixes, as Dorset registered 286-9 declared from 89.3 overs.

The North Perrott man shared a sublime 145 in a fifth-wicket stand with young talent Harry Fisher (64), backing up the solid foundations laid by openers Sam Collins (32) and Ryan Scott (34).

In reply, Cheshire were all at sea in closing on 46-4 from 22 overs, Brad Currie doing most of the damage with a remarkable 3-15 from 11 overs.

Seamer Currie bowled Danny Leech (1) and Jamie Crawley (2) either side of fellow opener Josh McCoy (1-16) castling Rick Moore (6) as Cheshire stuttered to 13-3.

Currie strengthened Dorset’s position by pinning Robert Sehmi (11) leg before wicket as the visitors head into day two still trailing by an imposing 240 runs.