Southern Premier Division 1: Sparsholt CC 150 vs New Milton CC 89 (Sparsholt win by 42 runs with revised target)
NEW MILTON CC let Sparsholt slip away to a 42-run reduced target victory following a rain delay to leave them without a win in their first three league games.
After electing to field, New Milton’s pace attack went on the offensive on a bowling-friendly pitch. The tandem of captain George Watts (2-12) and Lee Beck (1-40) picked up the early wickets of Michael Haworth, Jeremy Frith and Jonathan Norris to put the hosts on top.
First-change bowler James Haggarty (2-20) then got into the action as he bowled Ollie Perrin and had Stuart Taylor spectacularly caught by Dale Wakefield to leave Sparsholt 39-5.
With the impending rain looming, the visitors stuck around and gradually started to sneak closer to a respectable score. David Banks and Sam O’Brien shared a 46-run sixth-wicket partnership before Ryan Beck bowled Banks for a gritty 14.
Rain stopped play shortly after the wicket resulting in a lengthy delay. When the players came back onto the pitch, the visitors continued to battle. Despite a three-wicket haul from Ryan Beck, O’Brien and Liam Doran led the way for Sparsholt to record 150 all out.
Having struggled with the bat in their previous outing, New Milton were looking to knock off the total quickly. However opening batsman Luke Mortimore fell without scoring to Perrin as the wickets began to tumble.
Frith then caught Ryan Beck on 20 to give Perrin his second wicket while Lee Beck and Matthew Freeman fell victim to Haworth’s bowling to put Sparsholt in the driving seat. Alfie Hussey departed without scoring to Perrin to expose New Milton on 42-5.
Unlike the first innings, the visitors capitalised on New Milton’s collapse as they searched for their second win in three games. Steve Watts and Haggarty added 25 to the total before Watts was (11) bowled by Doran and youngster Campbell Golding suffered the same fate the next ball.
Sparsholt bowler Frith picked up the remaining wickets of Haggarty (22), Wakefield (6) and Tomkins (0) leaving George Watts unbeaten on 14 to give the visitors a 42-run win after a reduced target following the rain.