Southern Premier Division One: New Milton CC 156 v Rowledge 136 (New Milton win by 20 runs)
NEW Milton CC claimed their first win of the season after a clinical bowling display in a 20-run home victory over Rowledge.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, the hosts, who have struggled with the bat this season got off to a solid start.
After opener Ryan Beck fell for 24, Matthew Freeman and Steve Watts pushed the score on to 53 before Chris Broad caught Freeman off Ollie Baker’s bowling.
New Milton then lost several quick wickets in succession as Watts was run out and Campbell Golding, who scored 144 last week, was removed second ball by Broad. Middle-order batsman Lee Beck continued his good form as he anchored New Milton’s innings with a measured 57 from 79 balls which included eight fours.
Alfie Hussey and Luke Mortimore provided a supporting role for Beck throughout his innings, but Beck was caught by David Lloyd off Steven Martin at 135-7.
With the innings winding to a close, captain George Watts entered the frame and smashed his way to 18 not out which included a huge straight six. After some suicidal running at the other end, the hosts finished on a competitive 156 all out.
In reply, Rowledge were slow off the mark. Opening bowlers George Watts and Lee Beck both bowled with a tight line and length, which made it difficult for the visitors’ batsmen.
Ryan Beck continued to add pressure as he claimed two wickets from his cheap ten-over spell. Ryan Beck removed top scorer Sam Plater for 37 which kept the hosts in the game as Rowledge reached 83-4.
Freeman then removed the supporting cast of Lloyd for a patient 16 to set up a tense finale. Spinner Hussey joined in on the act as he grabbed two wickets in his excellent seven-over spell to leave Rowledge struggling on 126-7.
Skipper George Watts came back into the attack with the game on the line. He removed key man Broad after an excellent catch from Dale Wakefield.
Watts rounded off proceedings with a devastating toe-crunching yorker to tailender Richard Forbes sealing a well-deserved and long overdue 20-run victory for New Milton.