DORSET are firmly on the backfoot against a classy Berkshire side following a difficult first day of their NCCA Championship clash at the Leaze.

On a beautiful sunny day and with the carrot of a pitch renowned for big scores, the toss appeared crucial and Berkshire were the lucky winners.

They duly capitalised to the full extent, scorching to 403-9 from their 90 overs and then reducing Dorset to 29-2 by stumps.

Before play began, a minute’s silence was held for Dorset legends Clive Moore and Tim Hill, two figureheads of the sport in the county who recently passed away.

READ MORE: Dorset to pay tribute to Clive Moore and Tim Hill

Dorset also wore black armbands as a mark of respect and, when play began, the hosts enjoyed an early breakthrough courtesy of Ben Fletcher (2-71) as Archie Carter departed for a duck.

Joe Huns (1-49) was the next Dorset player to take a wicket, sending back the dangerous Euan Woods (39) as Berkshire reached 97-2.

However, the visitors stepped hard on the gas in the afternoon as two batters clinched brilliant centuries.

Savin Perera (112) and Tom Scriven (110) were the successful players, sharing a dominant 168-run stand in just 37.5 overs.

Fletcher eventually returned to dismiss Perera, who hit 12 boundaries in his 169-ball knock, sparking a Dorset comeback as Berkshire went from 265-2 to 306-7.

Charlie Gwynn (3-125) and debutant Matt King (2-55) claimed two wickets apiece but Berkshire had intentions of passing the magic 400 mark.

Controlled late innings from Andy Rishton (35 off 48) and Sukhmeet Kang (41no off 53) ensured Berkshire set an ominous total.

Having toiled with the ball and in the field on a warm day, Dorset lost two quick wickets late in the final session, debutant Will Tripcony (3) the first to depart after he was bowled by Rishton (1-4).

Tripcony was followed by Dorset captain Luke Webb, who could only manage five before edging Rhodri Lewis (1-9) behind to keeper Kang.

Dorset closed on 29-2 from 14 overs, still an enormous 374 runs behind.