Southern Premier/Division One West Division: Totton & Eling CC 248-7 v New Milton CC 224-8 (Totton & Eling CC win by 24 runs)
NEW Milton finished 24 runs short of Totton & Eling’s first innings score as they slumped to an opening day defeat in the Southern Premier League Cup at Southern Gardens.
Totton got off to a solid start as opening batsmen Oliver Thomas and Harrison Clarke reached 77 before Luke Mortimore stumped Thomas off Ryan Beck. Joe Hall claimed the next wicket for the visitors to put them back in the game with Totton struggling to keep the run rate up at 108-2.
However, the hosts fought back and a swift partnership between Clarke and number four Brighton Mugochi put them back on top.
George Watts came back into the attack to remove Mugochi, who made 41 off 27 balls, which left Clarke to take command of the innings. He scored an excellent 126 off 109 balls with 13 fours and three sixes, which got Totton to 248-7 off their 40 overs.
Captain Watts was the stand-out performer for New Milton with the ball as he claimed 4-42.
In response, New Milton got off to a short-lived blistering start as T. Edwards smashed four consecutive boundaries in Dan Collier’s first over but was then removed the next over by Hakim Peruzi for 16.
Campbell Golding came to the crease and continued the Green and Golds’ fast pace. He was the stalwart in the visitors’ innings as he smashed 12 fours and a six in his 68, but he was caught by Collier off Jack Owens in the 25th over.
With Golding departing, New Milton were well ahead of the run rate but lacked wickets to go with it.
Watts carried his excellent form with the ball over to the bat as he scored a handy 45 not out off 36 balls. He was assisted by Hall, who stuck around to make 29, but New Milton were unable to keep up with the rising run rate and eventually fell short 24 runs of their target.